SUPER SENSO - BEST OF APP STORE IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA FOR 2016!

15390774_1274042505968000_9189265893431481847_n.png

You like us, you really really like us! Super Senso was recently awarded Best Of App Store in New Zealand and Australia for 2016! Don’t worry, we promise not to let this go to our heads, and still have a ton of rad new game updates that we are planning to release in the coming months. For now, we’re just going to stop and smell the roses for the next day or two. :) Special thanks to our loyal community and App Store Games for all the love! Trust us when we say that 2017 is about to get SENSOFIED!

SUPER SENSO IS GOING TO TWITCHCON!

Are you ready for all the face melting excitement that we are about to drop at TwitchCon 2016? YOU BETTER BE! Check out all the rad ways we'll be melting your faces off with our amazing in-booth events: https://redd.it/52yhmc

PUBLIC BETA CLOSURE! EXPERIMENTAL BETA TEAM! & HUMBLE BUNDLE ANNOUNCEMENT! OH MY!

Sup ya'll!  I know things have been quiet lately on our end, but rest assured your friendly neighborhood developers at TURBO have been hard at work not only stopping crime, but also making Super Senso awesome for our official 2016 release.  Mind blowing updates regarding our Public Beta, Experimental Beta Team and Humble Bundle E3 Digital Ticket participation can be found here: https://redd.it/4nwmxo

TURBO & GUNGHO JOIN FORCES! GET EXCITED!

So this happened today: http://venturebeat.com/2016/04/07/japans-gungho-to-release-turbos-super-senso-mobile-strategy-game/

Thanks to everyone that has supported TURBO and Super Senso so far!  We promised you that World Domination was on our To-Do List for Super Senso and this partnership with GungHo gets us one step closer to achieving that goal.  Trust us when I say even more awesomeness is coming!  Please keep your eyes open for even more upcoming rad Super Senso announcements...STAY TUNED!

Two Final Fantasy Legends Working On Super Senso!

Final Fantasy Legends Yoshitaka Amano and Nobuo Uematsu Contributing to TURBO's Debut Game, Super Senso!

NEW YORK – Jan. 28, 2016 – Independent, NYC-based studio TURBO has announced its collaboration with two artistic icons of the gaming world for its esports-driven mobile title, Super Senso: designer Yoshitaka Amano and composer Nobuo Uematsu.

Yoshitaka Amano Super Senso Mech Concept Art

Yoshitaka Amano Super Senso Mech Concept Art

“Both as a developer and fan, it’s been a true honor working with Amano-san and Uematsu-san on Super Senso,” said Yohei Ishii, CEO of TURBO. “Everyone here owes so much inspiration to the monumental influence these two visionaries have had on games, and we all collectively geeked out a little watching their creations come to life.”

Amano is best known for his work on the 1960s anime adaptation of Speed Racer, as well as a character and graphic designer for the Final Fantasy series. Uematsu has been composing games music for over 30 years, including the soundtracks for most major Final Fantasy titles and the main theme for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Amano’s evocative character illustrations formed the basis for many of Super Senso’s larger-than-life mechs and units, and Uematsu created the game’s vibrant, symphonic theme song.

Super Senso’s graphic style and visuals had a big impact on me,” said Uematsu. “I felt that synthesizer sounds were appropriate for a game like this, rather than orchestral instruments. If I were to describe the feeling I wanted to evoke based on a movie, I’d liken it to something like Terminator.”

Amano Tek 5000 Super Senso Mech Design

Amano Tek 5000 Super Senso Mech Design

Super Senso will launch this winter as a free-to-download title on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Inspired by the classic Advance Wars, the game delivers a competitive, strategic experience with customizable armies of massive, upgradable mechs, zombie soldiers, tanks, ninjas, weaponized dinosaurs, UFOs and more. Outwit and outlast opponents in fast-paced, synchronous, turn-based battles across lively, 3D arenas for rare rewards, exclusive content and globally ranked dominance. Super Senso targets mobile’s rapidly evolving, hardcore gaming scene, and TURBO is working with prominent esports players to grow its post-launch tournament plans.

Public beta sign-ups for Super Senso are currently open at www.supersenso.com. For additional information, please follow the game on Twitter (@SuperSensoGame), Facebook (www.facebook.com/SuperSenso) and Instagram (@SuperSenso).

About TURBO Studios

Founded in 2013, TURBO is an independent game development studio formed by a dream team of industry veterans who believe in building a business around killer games. When we’re not making games, we’re playing them, and therein lies the difference. For the latest from TURBO, follow along on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TURBOStudios), Twitter (www.twitter.com/TURBOStudios), Instagram (www.instagram.com/TURBOstudios) and www.turbo.nyc.

Media Contact

Corey Wade

Sandbox Strategies for TURBO

corey@sandboxstrat.com

TURBO UNVEILS SUPER SENSO! NEXT UP, WORLD DOMINATION!

We are excited and humbled to finally announce the studio's first game project, Super Senso!  In the coming days, weeks and months, we'll be releasing more and more information about the game, but until then, please check out this awesome article that Polygon posted about it today: Polygon Article 

Play Testers Needed!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, TURBO is happy to announce that we are finally at a point in our development process where we wanted to start soliciting feedback from the core gaming community.  

Why should you care?  Well we're glad you asked!  As you know, TURBO believes in building a business around killer games, and we know your feedback is what will help us redefine how mobile games are created. When it comes to identifying issues, testing out features, and designing the game, the more feedback from the game community we can get earlier in the process, the better off we're gonna be.

Wait, what did you just say?  You want to help?!?  RAD!  Simply send an email to info@turbostudios.com with the Subject Line: I Want To Be A Play Tester and the crew at TURBO will hit you back with next steps!

Love,

Jean Claude Van Damme

TURBO Featured On CNBC

 

"We're looking at our games to not last for just years, but hopefully decades. That's our goal. That's our vision."

-Yohei Ishii, Turbo Studios founder and CEO

In a small studio in Manhattan, the video game industry veterans at start-up TURBO Studios are busily working to release their first title this year.

Baked into the underpinnings of that project is a loftier goal. Founder Yohei Ishii and his team want to change the way users play mobile games. By trying to bring the immersive experience and high production value of console and personal computer (PC) gaming to mobile, they aim to create lasting hits.

"We're looking at our games to not last for just years, but hopefully decades. That's our goal. That's our vision," Ishii told CNBC.

The market for mobile gaming is hot, and getting hotter. According to video game research firm Newzoo, the migration from computers and consoles to tablets and smartphones sent worldwide mobile game revenues surging more than 40 percent in 2014 versus the year prior, hitting $25 billion.

With that in mind, TURBO Studios is just one developer aiming to build so-called core games for mobile devices. However, their task won't be easy. Traditional mobile hit makers are struggling to grow profit margins in the face of soaring user acquisition costs and crowded app stores. The new wave of developers believes it can avoid the boom-and-bust trend that has dominated mobile gaming, largely by building communities of intensely loyal core players.

"There's sort of a third generation of mobile game developers emerging, and it's really about relationships at that point," said Joost Van Dreunen, founder and CEO of digital gaming analysis firm SuperData Research.

This new breed of developers is not just targeting serious gamers, he said. It also includes companies such as "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" maker Glu Mobile, which has found success with titles that leverage name recognition and social media clout to reduce the cost of acquiring users.

As Van Dreunen explained, the common thread is that these companies operate more like traditional game developers. They recruit talent with highly specialized skills, develop deep networks and spend a larger share of their cash on marketing, which marks a change from just a few years ago.

The talent at TURBO Studios comes from places like Nintendo,  Sony PlayStation and Zynga. Ishii himself came from CCP Games, maker of the hugely popular online role-play EVE Online. He worked at Final Fantasy developer Square Enix before that.

Two years ago, Ishii decided to develop his own game that would embrace and innovate a genre he thought was well-suited to tablet and smartphones but has been neglected to date. At the time, countless developers were aiming to create the next "Angry Birds" or "Farmville," while studios like "Clash of Clans" maker Supercell were successfully developing a market for midcore titles, which borrow some more advanced game mechanics from core titles.

But few mobile titles offered the depth and production quality of core games. Nor were their founders as dedicated to building community as core developers were, Ishii said.

For now, TURBO is keeping project details close to the chest. "We are in ultra-paranoid developer mode," said Ray Bautista, Senior Director of Business Development.

What Ishii can say is that TURBO's flagship title seeks to inspire long-term commitment by embracing core gaming, but its plan is also designed to engage players in the way most are accustomed to playing on mobile—in short sessions divided throughout the day.

"That's kind of like the holy grail for us, to have that ability to have that level of snack-size gaming where you play how and when you want, but have a deep experience overall," he said.

Some heavy hitters are convinced Ishii is onto something. Last year, TURBO announced it would release the game exclusively through Nexon, a South Korea-based developer and publisher that pioneered free-to-play gaming. TURBO is also one of a handful of companies in the gaming space that Softbank Ventures Korea has backed.

While TURBO strives to achieve balance between core gaming's substance and mobile's snack-size sessions, Super Evil Megacorp has a different objective. According to Kristian Segerstrale, chief operating officer and executive director, mobile devices will become core gamers' primary screens in the years to come.  If that belief becomes reality, then players will dig in for longer sessions.

Super Evil Megacorp has made a mark as one of a handful of companies bringing free-to-play multi-player online battle arena games (MOBAs) to tablets. The genre, which mixes strategy and dueling and boasts major hits like "League of Legends," has developed a fiercely loyal and lucrative following among PC gamers.

Some of Super Evil's founders come from MOBA-maker Riot Games, the developer behind "League of Legends."

Super Evil's increasingly popular game "Vainglory" compresses typical hour-long MOBA sessions into roughly 20 minute games, and supports teams of three rather than the standard five-person squad, among other adjustments.

But Super Evil Megacorp has focused on offering the same quality as PC MOBAs. When Apple launched the larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last September, it featured the game to help showcase the devices' capability.

According to Segerstrale, early indications suggest that people are willing to play mobile games for much longer than usual. "Vainglory" players spend an average 80 minutes per day on the game, according to the company. The average session lasts about 24 minutes.

Perhaps more importantly, said Segerstrale, Vainglory's spectator numbers are on the rise. In February, "Vainglory" matches attracted about 300,000 viewers on video game streaming site Twitch, he said. By May, its audience had multiplied five times over, to 1.5 million.

"For us that's a really good sign we found a way to create a game that core gamers really care about," Segerstrale said. "That's the level of engagement we're ultimately aiming for."

Yet by traditional measures, Vainglory does not look like a breakout hit. After debuting in November, it ranked No. 115 in the U.S. iOS App Store in terms of revenue, according to analysis by SuperData Research. It has since fallen to the 300s, but still ranks highly in South Korea and shows promise in Asian countries in particular.

This, however, does not necessarily spell trouble for Super Evil Megacorp, van Dreunen said.

"There are a lot of strong incumbents in the mobile market so capturing a significant market share will prove a slog rather than a spectacular rise to glory," he said.

The traditional mobile model—amassing a massive amount of users quickly—is becoming less sustainable because user acquisition costs are rising, developers and experts said. The cost per install in the iOS App Store has risen nearly 150 percent to $4.16 in the three years to April 2015. CPI reached $2.96 on Android devices, up 280 percent over the same period.

Still, that strategy misses the point, said Segerstrale, adding that monetization is not a priority for Super Evil Megacorp right now. Success in core multiplayer gaming is not fueled by individual game play, but community play. For that reason, these games take longer to grow, he added.

"The truth is you cannot acquire a community overnight," he said.

TO VIEW ARTICLE, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

iPhone 6 Dev Challenges? Not For TURBO!

Fragmentation is creeping into the iOS ecosystem, but most mobile devs will still find it far easier to manage than Android

iPhone 6 is off to a stellar start with over 10 million sold in the opening weekend alone. "Bendgate" controversy aside, the two new models of iPhone offer better processing power and integrate Apple's new Metal architecture, which some developers believe offer vastly improved graphical rendering abilities. Make no mistake, these new phones will attract mobile gamers and devs in droves. It's notable, however, that this is the first time that Apple has introduced two new phones with different screen sizes and resolutions.

Should devs worry about increasing fragmentation from Apple?  How do they have to alter their approach to support both new phones? GamesIndustry.biz polled a number of mobile devs, and while the introduction of two new phones may cause some minor headaches, the general consensus is it's still a cakewalk compared to the horrible state of fragmentation encountered on Android, which has thousands of different handsets with different screen sizes, resolutions and operating systems.

"iOS is still one of the least fragmented spaces for games...there are still just a handful of hardware configurations, and adoption for new versions of iOS as they have been released has always been phenomenal," noted Steve Coallier, senior director of development at Tilting Point, and EA veteran.

Many developers also anticipated the release of the new phones months in advance, so they weren't taken aback by Apple's announcements. "We have been preparing for this new generation of phones to come out and are working to ensure we support multiple generations of iPhones including the latest and greatest out for the market.  From a development and technology perspective, we are very excited to explore better quality graphics through Metal, take advantage of new larger screen sizes, and focus on the devices' faster processing speeds," commented Gree COO Andrew Sheppard.

As with development on any platform, not just mobile, tools are key.  Sheppard pointed to Gree's own tools that help it deal with fragmentation across iOS and Android, while Turbo CEO and founder Yohei Ishii noted that Unity is also enormously helpful.

Spotcos co-founder Shiny Yang agreed: "Anyone developing with best practices (or on Android) shouldn't have too much trouble with the new screen sizes. If somehow you've been stuck in the early 2010s and hardcoding screen sizes (960x640?), you've probably already been bitten by BOTH the not-so-recent switch to retina (see: points vs pixels) AND the slightly taller dimensions of the iPhone 5 (0.33 more inches)... anyone using an up-to-date game engine (or anything Unity) shouldn't have any trouble."

It also helps that Apple has done its best to facilitate scaling graphics on its own devices. "The best part about making games for the Apple App Store is that Apple has done a tremendous job of automatic resolution update using Xcode where it automatically scales the app up or down based on the device," said Manish Agarwal, CEO of Reliance Digital Entertainment. "This gives us the opportunity to build using Xcode and as the platforms and products have evolved from Apple, we are able to give our users on devices such as iPhone 6 Plus an enhanced user experience."

Bunnies' Empire creator Dominic Hamelin-Blais points out that anyone already supporting a retina iPad display won't have to worry about any extra effort to support both new iPhones. "You don't even have to produce higher res art since the iPad still has the highest resolution on iOS," he said.

But what about older iPhones and iPads? How far back can developers go in supporting previous generations of iOS products while making games for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? A number of the devs we polled go back as far as the iPhone 3GS, although some believe support for the 3GS and even iPhone 4 will soon be dwindling.

The problem with supporting older devices is that games for newer models are getting more sophisticated and the file sizes are automatically increasing.

Extrafeet CEO Don Synstelien remarked, "The issue that becomes more and more poignant as time goes on is that the download size has to increase to accommodate the new handsets--but older iPhones don't have much physical memory, so the code package someone downloads for a 3.5 inch iPhone 4S is the same code package someone downloads for the new 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus. This means that the next time we update our app, it will need to contain additional images for any additional resolutions we want to support; these will all need to be included in the same code package--making the download even larger for older phones, which are rapidly running out of storage space."

Any concerns over legacy support or fragmentation are easily outweighed by the excitement over the bigger screen sizes and beefier architecture the new phones offer, devs stated. Turbo's Ishii commented, "We're still keeping a lookout on market trends, but the classic adage, Bigger is Better, usually rings true... we're stoked about exploring new emergent usage patterns from having the additional screen real estate, i.e. more robust user interfaces, longer engagement, etc."

Paul Simon, executive producer at One Thumb Mobile, added, "The major benefit for us a games studio is that the new hardware gives us more scope to continue pushing the boundaries of what players can expect from a full-featured MMO on handheld devices. It'll be interesting to see what advantages Apple's new Metal technology can bring to Celtic Heroes once Unity supports it."

Ultimately, developers see the new iPhones as a genuine opportunity to show how good mobile games can be today. "We are really excited about the new screen sizes. It's a good thing for us as a developer, since it gives us more real estate to show our graphics and especially as we put a lot of focus on production values and polishing," said Saara Bergstrom of Next Games (which is making a Walking Dead game).

To view article, please click here.

TURBO Recruits Eclectic Counsel to Form Board of Advisors

Independent Video Game Developer TURBO Names Board of Advisors

Brooklyn-based startup studio recruits eclectic counsel to round out expertise

David Helgason, Co-Founder / CEO, Unity Technologies

David Helgason, Co-Founder / CEO, Unity Technologies

Brooklyn, NY – September 4, 2014 – Freshly forged video game studio TURBO today laid out the five-person board of advisors that will advance the company’s founding mission to develop AAA-quality, mobile-focused cross-screen experiences while fostering a new spirit of entrepreneurism in New York City’s budding game scene. Charged with keeping the company transparent and responsive to its core gaming audience and peers, this new board of advisors will act as partner and guide as TURBO transitions toward the launch of its first title.

“No matter what state of change or upheaval the game industry is in, the most successful games will always be the ones that respect their audiences, creating fun and engaging experiences above all else,” explained board member David Helgason, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Unity Technologies. “That’s exactly what TURBO is all about. With their commitment to the core player and ambitions to raise the bar for mobile gaming, they’re trailblazing their own path to create something truly unique and entertaining.”

Ryan Duffy, VICE alumni, representing TURBO on the mean streets of Brooklyn

Ryan Duffy, VICE alumni, representing TURBO on the mean streets of Brooklyn

Joining Mr. Helgason is Ryan Duffy, whose work as a former traveling correspondent for HBO’s Vice brought Dennis Rodman to North Korea, among other exploits. Additional board members will include Alex Iosilevich, a longstanding media investment banker, and Jayson Chi, Leader of the Gaming Practice for global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Thor Gunnarsson, VP Business Development, CCP Games

Thor Gunnarsson, VP Business Development, CCP Games

The board’s final chair will be taken up by CCP Vice President of Business Development Thor Gunnarsson. "It's so rare to meet a team that fuses veteran pedigree with genuine spirit, skill and an innate affinity for the passions of core gamers," noted Mr. Gunnarsson. "After spending time with the team in Brooklyn, I'm thrilled to aid TURBO in making a lasting mark on the indie landscape."

The studio’s internal roster of talent and leadership represents a diverse yet uniformly distinguished group of the gaming industry’s best and brightest, drawn from worldwide powerhouses like Nintendo, Sony, CCP, Riot Games, Rockstar Games, Square Enix, LucasArts, and Zynga. The team has already secured capital investment from SoftBank Ventures Korea and global mobile publishing support from Nexon for its still unannounced debut title, a free-to-play online multiplayer mobile game with cross-screen functionality.

For more information about culture and development at TURBO, visit www.turbostudios.com. To stay up-to-date with the latest from TURBO, follow along on Facebook (www.facebook.com/turbostudios) and Twitter (@turbostudios).

About TURBO

TURBO. Brooklyn born. Founded in 2013, TURBO is an independent game development studio formed by a dream team of industry veterans who believe in building a business around killer games. When we’re not making games, we’re playing games and therein lies the difference.

For More Information, Contact:

Corey Wade, Sandbox Strategies
(212) 213-2451 x 223

Corey@sandboxstrat.com

TURBO Featured On GamesIndustry.biz

"Mobile is the true next generation gaming platform" - Turbo

By James Brightman

WED 04 JUN 2014 9:52PM GMT / 5:52PM EDT / 2:52PM PDT 

Brooklyn startup signs with Nexon for inaugural game; founder Yohei Ishii on making core games for mobile

New Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney said earlier this year that he'd like for his company to be "more successful in the West with the kinds of games that will resonate with Western tastes." While acquisitions could be on the table to bolster its development talent, the company today took a step in the right direction, revealing to GamesIndustry International that it's signed a publishing agreement with Brooklyn, New York-based Turbo, a startup with backing from SoftBank Ventures Korea and comprised of veteran talent that has worked at Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Riot, Rockstar, Zynga and more.

Turbo believes there's a great opportunity in core titles on mobile and the studio came together in 2013 with a shared "desire to bring AAA ambition to mobile game development." Nexon will be the exclusive worldwide mobile publisher for Turbo's first cross-platform title, which is expected in 2015. Turbo founder and CEO Yohei Ishii talked with us about his studio's goals and ambitions and why Nexon is the right partner.

While Nexon's portfolio on the PC has something to offer for core gamers, the company's mobile lineup has been a bit more casual in nature. With Turbo on board, and other deals in place, Ishii noted that Nexon is quickly getting serious about core titles on mobile.

"Every year, the devices get more powerful, developers get smarter, the tools get better, and the quality bar of what a mobile game can achieve is raised. I believe that mobile is the true next generation gaming platform"

"Nexon is dedicated to bringing high quality mobile content to gamers, and you can see how serious they are by their recent partnership announcements with companies like Shiver Entertainment (John Schappert) and SecretNewCo (Brian Reynolds). In terms of Turbo, we aren't confining our creativity to a specific genre; we are focusing on creating AAA quality games tailored to the pursuits and expectations of the core gamer, a community that we feel hasn't been properly embraced in mobile. Since we're gamers ourselves, it's important for us to not only develop titles that get the community excited, but games that we actually want to play as well. Nexon understands this and is 100 percent in support of what we are trying to accomplish here at Turbo," Ishii said.

The mobile games market has grown by leaps and bounds in just the past few years, and while PC and consoles are still very much the home of core gaming, Ishii is confident that a greater number of core gamers will be putting more time into playing on mobile. The quality of the titles has been steadily improving, and the price is right for consumers.

"In the past, mobile was never considered a legitimate gaming platform; however that was primarily due to the quality of games that were being offered at the time. Back then, a majority of game offerings were made up of very forgettable, factory processed gameplay experiences. Recently, there's been a dynamic shift in the mid-to-hardcore gamer demographic within the mobile space, and for the first time, smartphone and tablet gamers now outnumber traditional console gamers," Ishii noted. "Every year, the devices get more powerful, developers get smarter, the tools get better, and the quality bar of what a mobile game can achieve is raised. I believe that mobile is the true next generation gaming platform, and players' outlook as it relates to mobile will continue to change as their perceptions and user habits have already started to shift more towards core."

Needless to say, with Nexon as publisher, you can expect Turbo's inaugural title to use the free-to-play business model. That, in and of itself, shouldn't be a deterrent to the core crowd in the long run, Ishii insisted.

"Similar to my previous point about mobile perception and user habits shifting more towards core, this also holds true for the platform's business models as well. It is important for us to not only create an awesome game that hardcore, articulate gamers will enjoy, but also make it as accessible as possible. The best way to do that is to drop the barrier to entry altogether," he said. "By making it free-to-play, we understand that we may run the risk of initially alienating the core gamer, whose first reaction might be one of skepticism. But this is one of the reasons I'm so excited about what we are doing at Turbo. Every employee that works here is a gamer.  When we're not making games, we're playing games, and that sets a stratospherically high bar for ensuring that all our releases provide the fun and depth core gamers come to expect with a AAA quality experience. At Turbo, quality and knowing our community is what matters, not of-the-minute trends."

Of course, Turbo's core gaming mission can only be helped by initiatives like Apple's new Metal API for iOS 8, which should enable console-quality visuals to be rendered much more easily on iPhone and iPad. Ishii is definitely looking forward to leveraging the new technology. "We are super excited about what Apple is doing on the mobile front. Their recent announcements are another great example of how the mobile games platform is always evolving and moving forward. We believe there is a big opportunity for us in this space and are excited to be a part of it," he said.

To view article, please click here.

TURBO Featured On VentureBeat

SoftBank invests in game developer Turbo — via its Korean VC arm

March 10, 2014 3:30 PM 
Dean Takahashi

Extending its global reach, SoftBank is announcing that its Korean venture arm is investing in New York game development studio Turbo.

The investment, from SoftBank Ventures Korea, is a reflection of the global nature of today’s game business, where it’s increasingly common to see cross-border deals. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Turbo is coming out of stealth today with talent from console and mobile companies such as Nintendo, Sony, CCP, Riot, Rockstar Games, OMGPOP, Q-Games, Kabam, and Zynga.

SoftBank itself is already quite global: It is a giant Japanese company that invests in companies across a wide range of industries, including games. It acquired the U.S. carrier Sprint last year and would alsolike to acquire T-Mobile in order to merge the two, although U.S. regulators are opposed to the deal. SoftBank was also part of a $1.5 billion investment in Clash of Clans studio Supercell in October.

Turbo has assembled what it calls a “dream team” of game designers obsessed with refined gameplay mechanics for “cross-screen” games, or those that people can play on multiple devices.

“We’re finally coming out from under the radar,” said Turbo CEO Yohei Ishii in an interview with GamesBeat. “We want to elevate what an indie game studio is capable of. We are focused on cross-screen games for the core gamer, with a our lead platform on mobile.”

SoftBank has been active in the game business, investing in Japan’s GungHo Entertainment. Its Puzzle & Dragons is one of the best monetizing mobile games of all time. It also paid $1.53 billion for a 51 percent stake in Supercell, the Finnish company that makes Hay Day and Clash of Clans, two titles that have been in the top grossing mobile apps for more than a year.

“As an umbrella group, SoftBank is very thoughtful about investing,” said Ishii. “That gave us a lot of confidence in partnering with them. They have a track record of supporting long-term plans.”

“We’re working with Turbo because they have the seasoned background and visionary ideas to reinvent how games are played,” said Daniel Kang at SoftBank Ventures Korea in a statement. “Our meticulous investment choices have led to strong position in gaming and we hope to benefit from the expertise of other subsidiaries of SoftBank Group, such as Supercell and GungHo. We look forward to furthering this success when Turbo’s first game is released in late 2014.”

Turbo opened in 2013, and it expects to use the Unity 3D game engine for its games. Ishii, a former CCP Games executive, said he isn’t ready to share the names of the creative leaders yet beyond James Mielke, formerly of 1UP.com and a former editor-in-chief of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Ishii said it chose to put the company in Brooklyn because of New York’s reputation as a cultural and creative hub.

“We decided to tap into its wellspring of cultural energy,” Ishii said. “We think it could be the next Helsinki,” as a game hub.

But he added the company will have a global focus. He said, “Our ambitions are to be where core gamers are.”

To view article, please visit: http://venturebeat.com/2014/03/10/softbank-ventures-korea-invests-in-game-developer-turbo/

TURBO Featured On Polygon

Brooklyn-based startup Turbo gets SoftBank investment to build 'cross-screen' core games

By Michael McWhertor on Mar 10, 2014 at 5:14p

Turbo, a newly formed game studio based in Brooklyn, New York, announced an investment from SoftBank Ventures Korea and plans to release its first game later this year. Turbo's game development venture, which is focusing first on mobile, aims to bring refined gameplay mechanics to "natively developed cross-screen core titles."

Leading Turbo, which is comprised of game developers formerly from Nintendo, Sony, Riot, Q-Games, Rockstar Games, Zynga and others, is CEO Yohei Ishii, former vice president of business development at CCP Games North America.

"We're driven by the desire to create AAA-quality entertainment with multiplayer components across devices," Ishii said in a release. "Natively developed cross-screen core titles with seamless functionality and fun have been elusive. We're enabling elite development talent to innovate on today's digital platforms because quality is what matters, not of-the-minute trends."

Turbo's first game is slated to launch in late 2014, and while details about that game are still under wraps, Ishii says the studio is "focusing on creating AAA quality games tailored to the pursuits and expectations of the core gamer, a community that hasn't really been properly embraced in mobile."

"Since the mobile space casts such a wide net, it can be easy for a company to spread their game concept too thin to appeal to both ends of the spectrum," Ishii told Polygon in an email. "We're taking the opposite approach, going vertical instead of horizontal.  Since we're gamers ourselves, it's important for us to not only develop titles that get the gaming community excited, but ones that we actually want to play as well.  I certainly feel like we have the pedigree to pull it off.  We have so many talented people working at Turbo who have helped develop genre defining games for companies like Rockstar, Nintendo, Riot, CCP, Sony and Square Enix to name a few.

"Our ambition is to create amazing games that engage players for years to come, not just days or months."

Turbo's approach to game development, creating "cross-screen" games, Ishii says, is about "the ubiquity of having amazing connected game experiences when and whatever way suits you." Promising to share more details soon, Ishii says cross-screen is about connecting with a game from multiple devices.

"Right now it seems people are making games for PC and console with perhaps a companion app, or a mobile title without much consideration for other platforms," he said. "There is still a distinct separation, but we feel gamers are looking for a connection that feels genuine, not forced. The experience should be fun on any platform that is a doorway into a game. Our goal is for players to connect with their game anywhere. Our first game is optimized for mobile, which we believe is the true next gen gaming platform."

Ishii says every developer at Turbo "is a gamer." That means when its employees aren't making games, they're playing them, and "that sets a stratospherically high bar for ensuring that all our games provide the fun and depth core gamers come to expect with a AAA quality experience."

"Each of us have been a part of the traditional gaming space for a long time," he said, "and starting Turbo was our way of breaking out of the innovation stifling legacy loop that every large corporation with big brands is challenged by. Watching a truly talented group of individuals get unleashed on creating a new kind of core title has been unbelievably inspiring to me. These are people that have not only accepted that the rules in gaming have changed; they are passionate about the new possibilities."

SoftBank Ventures Korea, an investment arm of Japanese telecom and Internet company SoftBank, which has also made key investments in Clash of Clans developer Supercell and Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo, bought into Turbo based on its pedigree and its future plans.

"We're working with Turbo because they have the seasoned background and visionary ideas to reinvent how games are played," said Daniel Kang at SoftBank Ventures Korea in a release. "Our meticulous investment choices have led to a strong position in gaming and we hope to benefit from the expertise of other subsidiaries of SoftBank Group, such as Supercell and GungHo..."

"They just got it," Ishii said of SBVK. "They understood our vision and development philosophies. SoftBank has a long-term vision on driving the mobile universe to new heights, which aligns perfectly with Turbo's aims to elevate the next chapter of gaming. They have an extraordinary track record of successfully joining with a select few of the best game developers in the world..."

"The last thing I want to do is just throw around a bunch of clichéd terms," Ishii said, "but I honestly believe that our company DNA, high production development approach, and unabashed focus on the core community is going to be what separates us from the rest of the pack ... So while it's true that the [mobile] marketplace is crowded, a big part of that crowd is currently made up of very forgettable factory processed gameplay experiences.  At Turbo, quality and knowing our community is what matters, not of-the-minute trends."

To view article, please visit: http://www.polygon.com/2014/3/10/5492366/turbo-studios-softbank-ventures-korea-investment-mobile

SoftBank Ventures Korea Announces Investment in TURBO

unnamed.jpg

 

SoftBank Ventures Korea Announces Investment in Video Game Creators TURBO

Brooklyn-Based developer is drawing global talent to craft “cross-screen” core titles

BROOKLYN, NY – MARCH 11, 2014 – SoftBank Ventures Korea (SBVK) today announced a strategic investment in TURBO, a freshly revealed Brooklyn-based game developer. With a pedigree that includes talent from such highly regarded and successful game makers as Nintendo, Sony, CCP, Riot, Rockstar Games, OMGPOP, Q-Games, KABAM, and Zynga, TURBO is comprised of a dream team of designers obsessed with refined gameplay mechanics applied to “cross-screen” design.

“We’re driven by the desire to create AAA-quality entertainment with multiplayer components across devices,” said Yohei Ishii, CEO of TURBO. “Natively developed cross-screen core titles with seamless functionality and fun have been elusive. We’re enabling elite development talent to innovate on today’s digital platforms because quality is what matters, not of-the-minute trends. We are thrilled that SoftBank shares our vision.”

“We’re working with TURBO because they have the seasoned background and visionary ideas to reinvent how games are played," said Daniel Kang at SoftBank Ventures Korea. “Our meticulous investment choices have led to a strong position in gaming and we hope to benefit from the expertise of other subsidiaries of SoftBank Group, such as Supercell and GungHo. We look forward to furthering this success when TURBO's first game is released in late 2014.”

TURBO is buoyed by the vibrant, growing creative scene in New York City. No place on earth is the worlds of game design, tech, and the arts colliding into such a supportive ecosystem of ideas and opportunity. The team at TURBO believes New York has the potential to drive the next wave of innovation in games, fueled by unparalleled cultural capital.

TURBO will be attending Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, and the coming months will reveal plans from the team for 2014 and beyond. For more information about culture and development at TURBO, visit www.TURBOStudios.com. To stay up-to-date with the latest from TURBO, follow along on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/TURBOStudios) and Twitter (@TURBOStudios).

About SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp.

Established in year 2000, SoftBank Ventures Korea is a venture capital arm of SoftBank Group. The SoftBank Group, is one of the largest technology and telecommunications corporations in the world, focused on mobile communications, broadband infrastructure, fixed-line telecommunications, and internet culture. SBVK has invested approximately USD 320M across 158 startup companies. SBVK is committed to investing in and supporting companies and entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies and innovative ideas to change the world.

About TURBO

TURBO. Brooklyn born. Founded in 2013, TURBO is an independent game development studio formed by a dream team of industry veterans who believe in building a business around killer games. When we’re not making games, we’re playing games and therein lies the difference.

For More Information, Contact:

Corey Wade, Sandbox Strategies
(212) 213-2451 x 223
Corey@sandboxstrat.com

James Mielke Joins Team TURBO!

Mielke Hiring News.png

It’s not often that one gets a chance to work with a hand-picked team full of switched-on industry veterans, making games I actually want to play, based in the city I hail from. So when an opportunity like that presents itself, the only reasonable course of action is to jump on it. And when you get to write your own hiring announcement, too, well, that just gets weird.