Horse racing idols app injects new life into Japan mobile gaming market – Reuters

FILE PHOTO; View of an advertisement for mobile game “Uma Musume” in Tokyo’s Akihabara electronics district, Japan August 26, 2021. Picture taken August 26, 2021. REUTERS/Sam Nussey

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TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) – When an ageing racehorse, Makahiki, broke records by winning his first race in five years in Kyoto in early October, Japanese social media was flooded with comments from an unlikely group of racing enthusiasts: gamers.

The online outpouring was the latest sign of boundary-spanning for “Uma Musume Pretty Derby”, the Japanese mobile gaming industry’s first runaway hit in a decade. The game has found a niche by bridging the historically disparate subcultures of horse racing and women pop stars known as “idols.”

Players train and race female characters dressed in school- and military-inspired costumes, with the addition of horse ears and tails. Race winners perform a pop concert.

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The results have been unequivocally spectacular: since it was released in February, the game has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for its creator, Cygames, and the developer’s parent, online ad agency CyberAgent (4751.T), making it one of the world’s top-grossing mobile games despite its Japan-only release. At times its user base has rivalled megahits such as Tencent’s (0700.HK) “Honor of Kings”.

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Spongebob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake: health upgrade locations – Digital Trends

Spongebob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake has a handful of tricky segments throughout its surprisingly lengthy campaign, but it isn’t a game that most would deem to be overwhelmingly challenging. As such, the titular hero’s four underpants – the game’s version of hit points – are usually plenty to get most players through the adventure, especially considering how frequent health refills are across levels. But if you’re looking to add some additional pairs of underoos to your health pool, you won’t want to miss the game’s couple of hidden health upgrades (golden underpants). Read on to find out where to get them.

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Phil Spencer says ‘2022 was too light on games’ – PC Gamer

In 2021, Microsoft’s gaming division published games like Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Age of Empires 4, and Psychonauts 2. It was declared Metacritic’s publisher of the year (opens in new tab) thanks to its games receiving an average metascore of 87.4, helped also to the Xbox Series X port of Microsoft Flight Simulator releasing that year. While in 2022 Microsoft backed some well-received smaller games—Grounded, Pentiment, and As Dusk Falls—its biggest releases, Starfield and Redfall, were delayed into this year.

Xbox stans weren’t happy about this, though I think maybe we could do with less rushed videogame releases and maybe less videogames overall. During a recent inter…….