Proud Sponsor of XDS 2017

Concept Art House is proud to announce our Bronze Sponsorship of the External Development Summit (XDS), September 6-8 in Vancouver B.C.

Our business development team is looking forward to catching up with old and new friends, partners, and colleagues at this year's event. Let us know if you're planning on attending and would like to connect. We can't wait to hear what you have coming down the pipeline.

War of Gods: DESTINED releases for ChinaJoy

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We're proud to announce that Concept Art House and Spellgun have joined forces with HRG Studio in Hong Kong for War of Gods: DESTINED, available now on iTunes and Google Play! In this epic new RPG strategy mobile game, you play the hero of an ancient realm as you lead adventures, assemble armies and wage war among the gods. Steeped in Norse, Egyptian, and Greek mythology, players can harness the power of Thor's lightning, or Tiamat's fiery breath as they traverse an epic, 3D mobile world.

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With Concept Art House tackling all of War of Gods' art and design needs, HRG handling publishing in China and Spellgun leading the distribution charge in the west, War of Gods is poised to take both sides of the Pacific by storm. Getting lost in War of Gods card art is entertainment alone. Just check out some of these beauties created by the Concept Art House team. 

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It's no coincidence that War of Gods: DESTINED's release tracks closely with 2017's ChinaJoy, Asia's largest digital gaming and entertainment expo. At this year's event, CAH's Shanghai office along with Spellgun and HRG will be out in force, meeting and greeting new and old friends alike. Be sure to get in touch if you'll be in Shanghai for ChinaJoy this weekend. We'd love to show you the ins and outs of our newest in-house project and hear what you're cooking up next. 

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CAH, Spellgun, and HRG have brought forth the powers of heroes and Gods in War of Gods: DESTINED. Here's to us doing it again for you and your team! 

See you in Shanghai! 

Agile, forward thinking is the name of the game - observations from E3 2017

E3 2017 has come and gone, but what we learned from the gaming industry's largest event is sure to serve us for months to come. Even against the roar of the showroom floor and chaos of a jammed packed meeting schedule, the Concept Art House team noticed a few trends still holding strong as we go into the second half of 2017. 

CAH for NetherRealm Studios, Injustice 2

CAH for NetherRealm Studios, Injustice 2

Working with licensed IP continues to be a strong move in the battle for users in crowded markets, and cross-cultural localization remains the holy grail for teams the world over. Neither of these is a new phenomenon. In fact, the word "norm" may be eclipsing "trend" on both fronts. What remains interesting though is that we have yet to see a standard formula for success emerge when using a big IP or working with new cultures. 

Games like Injustice 2 are embraced by audiences, while other games using well-known IPs wither on the vine. As for cross-cultural localization, the ever-changing labyrinth of international publishing rules and restrictions forces teams to stay adaptive, many times relying on outside expertise to help navigate the murky waters. No one seems to have a magic solution for success as trends transform into norms, but strength in experience seems to be the strongest card teams can play.

CAH for Games Workshop, Warhammer. 

CAH for Games Workshop, Warhammer. 

Esports is another 'trend transforming into a norm,' but at last month's E3, Esports seemed to be stepping into the light in a way unprecedented. Years of Western markets building the Esports infrastructure appears to be paying off. Western viewership and participation are primed to skyrocket, players are beginning to see greater protections, and mobile is gaining ground on the PC games that have dominated the Esports field. Here are a few articles that help hit our observations home.

  • Gaming giants like Riot are leading the way in setting up bodies that will protect players as western markets continue to mature, and prize pools deepen. 

Riot Games’ 'League of Legends' players form first e-sports labor union

  • Some familiar names in traditional sports broadcasting jumped on board last month.

Former NFL player Jordan Kent does esports broadcasting at E3 2017

  • Tencent is determined to take a bite out of PC gaming's hold of Esports, opening up channels for mobile to grow in the Esports sector.

The West’s emerging mobile gamer-first market that will power an eSports revolution

E3 is behind us and the dog days of summer lay ahead. As always, Concept Art House is ready at the helm to help you make the best game possible. Strength in experience and agile, forward thinking will help us all get to where we desire to be. 
 

CAH for Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering

CAH for Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering

Hope to see you at PocketGamer Connects in San Francisco!

PocketGamer Connects U.S. installment starts tomorrow in San Francisco, and we're excited to welcome all our friends back to The Bay. As always, this year's event is sure to bring together like-minded creatives and business folks looking to make it big in the mobile sector.

Be sure to drop us a line if you're in town; Bespoke is less than a block away from Concept Art House HQ. We have lots of snacks, games, and insights to share. Hope to see you soon and welcome to San Francisco!

Concept Art House's 3D work for Limbic's mobile game, Zombie Gunship Survivor.

Concept Art House's 3D work for Limbic's mobile game, Zombie Gunship Survivor.

Coming Up, E3!

Bane, CAH for Injustice 2

Bane, CAH for Injustice 2

Ready or not, E3 is right around the corner. This year's event is sure to be festive as ever and with the introduction of consumers passes, we're all excited for a new fresh energy to hit the floor. Concept Art House's CEO, James Zhang, Director of Business Development, David Wallington and the rest of the business development crew will be there will bells on.

Will you be in LA the week of June 11th? If so, we'd love to meet up, talk shop and swap ideas. Let us know when you're available and we'll set up a date and time. Happy Hour's on us. 

Deadshot, CAH for Injustice 2

Deadshot, CAH for Injustice 2

Between the hugely successful launch of NetherRealm's Injustice 2, Tencent's soft launch of Strike of Kings, Boss Key's LawBreakers heading to PS4, and the newest installment of Get Set Games cult classic Robot Unicorn Attack 3, you can't throw a rock without hitting a game that CAH has been a part of. But don't take it from us, just take a look at what the gaming press has to say about some of CAH's fantastic partners: 

Injustice 2 Launch Trailer Highlights Customization, Supers, And More

The hugely popular Chinese MOBA Strike of Kings, by the studio behind League of Legends, has been soft launched

'LawBreakers' makes the leap to PlayStation 4

Robot Unicorn Attack 3 dashes onto the Play Store

Flash, CAH for Injustice 2

Flash, CAH for Injustice 2

Black Canary, CAH for Injustice 2

Black Canary, CAH for Injustice 2

As always, we're honored to be an invaluable part of so many talented teams and are alway excited to see our partners doing so well. Looking forward to keeping up the momentum and looking forward to catching up in LA!

James Zhang on China's Global Expansion in Games

The live events of 2017's GamesBeat Summit have come and gone, but the goods from this year's festivities just keep on coming, i.e. they've posted the talk videos. If you didn't have the opportunity to attend in person and you have Chinese markets on your mind, take 30 minutes to hear straight from the experts on the games business in China. It'll be thirty minutes well spent. 

As always, we're more than happy to help answer any questions you have about breaking into Chinese markets; whether that's adapting a game's art style and player incentives, or navigating the ever-changing and complex publishing hoops. Click the button below to drop us a line. We hope to hear from you soon!

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GamesBeat Summit 2017

GamesBeat Summit is an event the Concept Art House crew looks forward to every year. Drawing industry leaders from around the San Francisco Bay and beyond, GamesBeat provides a top notch setting to catch up with old friends and to get a deeper look at the games, challenges, and opportunities coming right around the corner. We're excited to share that Concept Art House is a proud sponsor of this year's festivities, taking place May 1st and 2nd. We're looking forward to exploring this year's theme, "how games, sci-fi, and tech create real-world magic" right along side our industry peers. 

Concept Art House's founder and CEO, James Zhang, has a long history of speaking at GamesBeat and this year is no exception. Along with Jim Ying, senior advisor at CV Capital, and Jazy Zhang, the former CFO at Giant Interactive Group, James will be discussing China's role in the global game ecosystem. Be sure to come listen in if you have Chinese markets in mind for your game

Check back soon if GamesBeat Summit isn't on your agenda next week. Dean Takahashi and GamesBeat Summit crew will almost certainly be posting videos of the panels, fireside chats, and keynotes.

Lets us know if you'll be there. We look forward to catching up!

GDC 2017 in Retrospect

There's nothing revolutionary in saying that GDC is a whirlwind. It does, however, happen to be a true statement. Last week, the Concept Art House team hosted over 90 meetings, explored the expo floor, sat in on numerous talks, and attended dozens of networking lunches, dinners and parties, all in the pursuit to connect more deeply with you, our clients and partners. 

Virtual Reality continued to have a strong presence at this year's GDC. Passes to VRDC sold out long before conference doors opened. VR show floor exhibits traded in the startup vibe of two years ago for a level of slickness that rivaled the console and game engine booths. With Sony announcing better than expected sales of PSVR units, an Oculus price drop, and Khronos Group's open standard VR API stack, VR seems poised to have another exciting year

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Between the exorbitant cost of user acquisition and an increasingly crowded marketplace, mobile games prove difficult to excel in. Even given the challenges, exceptional developers continue to find success, and savvy funding arms are still hedging their bets on mobile gamers staying engaged. Futureplay and Gunslinger are two mobile games studios excelling during highly competitive times. Gunslinger's intricate mobile RPG and Futureplay's simply structured idle games are vastly different, but by looking to their success, we see that mobile markets are thriving and that mobile gamers continue to be hungry for new experiences. 

CAH for Injustice 2

CAH for Injustice 2

CAH for Injustice 2

CAH for Injustice 2

CAH for Injustice 2

CAH for Injustice 2

The use of well-known IP is a trend that remains hot in the era of costly user acquisition. NetherRealm's Injustice 2 is riding high with D.C. Comics and Jam City is standing out with Family Guy The Quest for Stuff. Glu and Scopely are also doubling down on IP. (Dice with Ellen has been topping the charts for weeks.)

Every year GDC gives us a look at what's ahead, and with GDC 2017 behind us, we're excited to apply what we've learned to our own business and to help you excel with yours. 

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Furby Connect: Flexible Marketing Art for Physical and Digital Play

Working on an up and coming mobile title,  forward-looking VR project or AAA console game is the norm around the Concept Art House office. Even with the diversity of projects we tackle on a daily basis, Hasbro threw us for a loop with a job a little out of the ordinary. Many of us remember the original Furby, the cuddly toy robot that "got smarter" as you played with it. Considering how many nightly newscasts touted stories of Furbys becoming fluent in second and third languages, it's safe to say that the original Furby was on many a Christmas list in 1999.

One of Concept Art House's marketing pieces for Hasbro's Furby Connect. 

Fast forward to the summer of 2015, Hasbro was readying the launch of Furby Connect. Like the original Furby, the more you play with Furby Connect the more it learns, but Furby Connect also wirelessly updates with kid-friendly pop-culture trivia and other fun surprises. With the Furby Connect World app, Furby Connect bridges the physical and digital worlds of play. If your Furby Connect becomes hungry, open up the app and feed them their favorite treat. Your Furby Connect needs to go to the bathroom?  Not a problem. The app has a solution for that too... 

Furby Connect going to the bathroom.

Furby Connect going to the bathroom.

Given Furby Connect's upcoming presence on toy shelves and in app stores, Hasbro had a lot of branded material to tackle for launch. Concept Art House was happy to help create flexible art assets that could be turned into splash screens, marketing material, box art and lots more; all in Hasbro's signature Furby style. Take a look at our work right at the top of the iTunes app store. 

Concept Art House's marketing work on display in the iTunes store. 

Concept Art House's marketing work on display in the iTunes store. 

And in Hasbro's official Furby Connect comercial. 

Furby Connect's launch was a big undertaking, but an exciting one. It brought up lots of nostalgia for '90s kids and introduced audiences everywhere to a new type of connected play. Here's CNET's and Gizmodo's review.

Hasbro turned to Concept Art House when they needed a large body of flexible marketing work. Together, our two teams combined our expertise to launch an innovative product and delight a whole new generation of Furby lovers. 

Our sketches, their paintings: how Boss Key leveraged CAH for LawBreakers

Packed with games industry legends, Boss Key Productions is a new game company hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. There's a ton of excitement surrounding their first release, LawBreakers, and we’re pleased to say that Concept Art House had a hand in creating some choice character concepts.

Originally referred to as “The Brute”, Cronos was one of the first characters developed for LawBreakers and was a quasi-catalyst for what the game would eventually become. “He’s a tough guy who wears a mask,” was about all the direction Concept Art House's Art Director, KJ Yu, needed to start the first round of Cronos sketches.

First Concept Art House deliverable for the LawBreakers project - 7 possible directions for Cronos

With the initial direction selected (Boss Key chose option one) and with more of Cronos’ backstory fleshed out, KJ was able to layer additional details and nuance into the final deliverable.

Concept Art House's finalized Cronos sketch 

The Boss Key art team filled in the final details, added color and injected Concept Art House’s work with LawBreakers' signature attitude. Jay Hawkins' full-color Cronos painting and finalized “card” are truly stunning.

Boss Key relied on Concept Art House when they needed to ramp up production quickly. By working together and remaining flexible, our combined teams delivered a dynamic character that's sure to excite players for years to come.

Interested in knowing more about Boss Key's artistic process? Check out the vide below; cued up to where Jay Hawkins talks about Cronos. KJ’s sketches are even up on his computer screen during the interview.