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Mind-Candy

Can One New Tablet Game Change The Game For Mind Candy?

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Mind Candy, the company that came up with the hugely successful Moshi Monsters kids game, began back in 2003 as a back-bedroom project by the colourful entrepreneur Michael Acton Smith. It’s now approaching 100 million registered users. And unlike many games, saw the possibilities of spin-offs into other products like comics and collectables early. In many ways it was Rovio that followed the Moshi path into the world of the broad brand franchise as an enormous cash cow.

Mind Candy’s Moshi Monsters now brings in healthy revenues from this business. But it has a problem. It’s addicted to the web and just has not made that important transition to native mobile and tablet.

It’s key Kids audience has switched over to mobile and tablet games in droves. They’ve never released figures, but frankly, their web traffic it must have fallen off a cliff when tablet games went mainstream

Last year Acton Smith said they would launch three new gaming worlds. This was after it acquired a games studio in 2012.

Well, it’s hasn’t launched three yet, but today it revealed plans to launch one, at least.

“World of Warriors” has been in development “for the last year,” according to Acton Smith in a blog post today. And it is the first project for Mind Candy, which exists outside of the Moshi Monsters universe.

Why is that significant? Effectively it’s an admission that they are not about to transition their web game to mobile any time soon. Perhaps not to risk the Moshi farm, which is working fine as it is, they are experimenting with new pastures.

The new game is described as “an epic combat strategy game with a unique skill element drawing from history’s greatest warriors. The game will be available on iOS and Android and will appeal to casual gamers of all ages.” Not much more detail than that – and frankly, just announcing you are working on a game is a weird strategy. Is it to recruit new developers? Keep investors happy? It’s not clear.

Whatever the case, Mind Candy has released a teaser video:

Fans who sign up will be able to get future sneak peeks and be the first to play the game.

The game looks like it might be similar to Clash of Clans, the runaway hit by SuperCell.

Is this a new franchise play, with comics and stickers and all the usual Moshi stuff, I ask?

“The World Of Warriors is the start of a new universe,” says Acton Smith. “The game will be at the heart of everything we do and we think Warriors has tremendous potential for a franchise. This is a game that’s not just for kids – but for everyone to get involved with.”

Will it have in-game payments? “We’ve had an incredible reaction so far and we’ll reveal more details over the next few months, so stay tuned.” So, no detail there yet.

Is it indeed positioned against Clash of Clans? “We see this game somewhere between Game Of Thrones meets Pokemon! It’s a unique genre and importantly the game pulls from history’s greatest warriors and cultures, so it also has an educational angle,” says Acton Smith.

Last year Acton Smith said the company was making a big shift to a mobile strategy and that it was “vital that we crack this.”

The question is whether this game is going to be Mind Candy’s big break into mobile… or not.

On this first taster the jury is still out.