Kixeye is taking its hardcore strategy title Backyard Monsters from Facebook to mobile, announcing today it has signed a publishing deal with DeNA-owned ngmoco to bring a new mobile version of the game to the Mobage network.
The game will be the first mobile title for San Francisco-based Kixeye, and will make its Android and iOS debut this summer. According to Brandon Barber, Kixeye’s senior vice president of marketing, the new mobile version of Backyard Monsters is the result of a close partnership between Kixeye and ngmoco, which provided mobile production and development experience.
“We were interested in partnering with them to try to understand what the potential for a franchise like Backyard Monsters is like on mobile,” says Barber. “It’s a really well-known brand and it has a large base of extremely passionate players, many of whom, if not all have mobile devices that are capable of gaming. We felt they understood the value of the Backyard Monsters franchise. They got it, for lack of a better word and that’s really important to us.”
The mobile version of Backyard Monsters has been in development for about six months and while not a straight port, Barber promises the overall mechanics of the simultaneous strategy game will be largely the same as they are on Facebook.
Kixeye also expects the mobile version of Backyard Monsters will prove to be highly lucrative, with Barber citing DeNA’s monetization experience in Japan — where some mobile games generate $1 in revenue for every daily active user — as another key reason for signing on with ngmoco.
“Our expectations are high. We know that the Backyard Monsters game design is one that monetizes pretty strongly and we would expect that to continue on mobile,” he says. “For us, partnering with a company that understands these games, how to market them and how to publish them was an interesting opportunity for us and something we’re excited about. They came to us with a compelling proposition and we’re interested in experimenting with the platform and what it can do for us.
Although Backyard Monsters will be Kixeye’s first foray into mobile, the success of Kabam’s strategy title Kingdoms of Camelot on the iOS top grossing app charts has proven Facebook-born strategy titles can find success on mobile, despite the fact that they tend to be more complex that their native mobile counterparts.
According to AppData the Facebook version of Backyard Monsters currently has 2 million monthly active users and 490,000 daily active users.