- App developer N3twork bought the rights to develop "Funko Pop! Blitz," a mobile game based on Funko's pop culture collectibles from Universal Games and Digital Platforms, which is exiting game publishing to focus on licensing. N3twork, maker of the hit mobile game "Legendary," will collaborate with Funko and Universal to develop "Funko Pop! Blitz" while featuring characters from movies made by Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, per an announcement.
- "Funko Pop! Blitz" is a puzzle game consisting of Funko versions of characters from Universal's "Back to the Future," "E.T." and "Jurassic World," along with DreamWorks' "Shrek," "Kung Fu Panda" and "How to Train Your Dragon."
- N3twork will launch "Funko Pop! Blitz," which was developed in collaboration with Tic Toc Games, next year. As part of the deal with Universal, N3twork will hire some of its employees to continue work on the game, per the announcement.
N3twork's acquisition of "Funko Pop! Blitz" from Universal Games is a sign of how the development of mobile games has become more specialized in the past decade. By shifting its strategy to licensing, Universal has more flexibility to partner with companies like N3twork that are focused on mobile game development.
Comcast's NBCUniversal in September announced plans to shut down its game publishing business and focus on licensing, Venture Beat reported. Comcast isn't alone among the media companies that are shifting away from internal development of games. After acquiring 20th Century Fox, Disney planned to sell FoxNext, an internal game studio the company created in 2017, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
N3twork last month raised $40 million to expand mobile game development and its media and audience network, per a separate announcement. The company's Scale Platform uses its "user acquisition technology, capital and expertise to enable mobile marketing at scale," according to the press release.
Mobile platforms are responsible for 47% of time spent with digital games, making them more popular than gaming devices (27%) and personal computers (22%), per a Deloitte study cited by eMarketer. More than 2.5 billion people worldwide play video games, and mobile gaming generates $68.5 billion in revenue, making it the biggest segment of the $152.1 billion gaming market, per researcher Newzoo.