Nokia discusses helping indies like Rebellion succeed on Windows Phone

Microsoft Spotlight: Mobile gaming with Nokia

[This feature was published in the July 2013 edition of Develop magazine, which is available through your browser and on iPad.]

Judge Dredd vs Zombies
Developer: Rebellion
Who are they? An award-winning independent studio based in Oxford, UK
What is it? A Judge Dredd WP8 game that Nokia has helped promote for its mobiles

Nokia wants to give games developers a seamless route to market across its handsets and digital storefronts.

The handset manufacturer is actively reaching out to work with indies and established studios to bring their games to its Windows Phone-powered devices. Rebellion is one of the studios Nokia has been working with closely.

“It wasn’t long after the release of Judge Dredd vs Zombies on Windows Phone 8 that Carly [Wyatt] at Nokia sent a friendly email explaining that they wanted to help us promote our game to Lumia users,” explains Rebellion’s marketing coordinator Robbie Cooke.

“They loved the game and were really impressed with the tech behind it. Even though we had previous experience developing games on other mobile platforms, it was really reassuring to have support like that because each mobile ecosystem – and their players – is so different.”


Understanding such ecosystems and how to get the best out of them for developer is the responsibility of Riaz Ahmed, Nokia UK’s developer evangelist, and first point of contact for perspective studios.

“I am really excited about what we’re bringing to the table for Windows Phone developers. Nokia, along with Microsoft, is committed to giving developers the tools, services and resources to help them bring their ideas to life on the Windows Phone ecosystem. With our Nokia Lumia smartphones combined with Microsoft’s gaming heritage, we are bringing incredible gaming experiences, such as Judge Dredd vs Zombies, to our customers, across our entire portfolio of smartphones on a daily basis,” says Ahmed.

Nokia assists developers with getting the word out about their mobile games. Promotion ranges from spotlighted or featured apps within the Windows Phone Store, up to game hub panoramas, or the main store panorama, with the biggest uplift in downloads coming from panorama slots.

Initial promotion usually runs for a period of two-to-four weeks, and consists of a variety of slots. And additional promotions take place during seasonal occasions, such as Christmas, throughout the year.

For Rebellion, Cooke tells us, Nokia put together a two-month plan.

“They interviewed us and posted the story on their Nok Nok blog, promoted the app on their social media channels, provided us with art assets and Lumia chassis images to help show the game to our own followers.

“Most importantly, they co-ordinated a series of game spotlights and panoramas on the main and games hubs to get Judge Dredd vs Zombies get as much exposure as possible.”

Nokia also pre-loads App Highlights (a discovery app) onto all Lumia devices in the UK and Ireland to help promote titles.


“Judge Dredd vs Zombies had a definite boost in downloads,” says Cooke, who’s pleased with the support Rebellion received from Nokia.

“Overall, our average daily downloads have increased since the campaign finished and we’re confident that gamers on Windows Phone 8 who enjoy Judge Dredd vs Zombies are recommending the game to their friends because it’s free to play – there’s no risk, it looks fantastic and plays really smoothly.”

And future advances also has Nokia excited about working with developers, as Ahmed confirms: “The idea of seamless integration and development of games and apps across Lumia, Windows and the wider Microsoft platform opportunity excites me even more.

“We are going to start to see a much deeper, richer and seamless integration with Windows Phone. With our partnership with Microsoft we’ll be able to work with developers to bring best in class experiences for second screen apps running on Nokia Lumia smartphones.”

But before that, Alex Bubb, Nokia’s head of games partnering and marketing global, says that the firm is continually on the lookout for fresh, innovative new titles to bring excitement to its customers around the world: “Judge Dredd vs Zombies was a great example of where the quality of the title really has made an impact. We look forward to continuing to work with Rebellion and the rest of the UK indie community.”

To read all of Develop’s Microsoft Spotlights, visit our archive

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