Video Gaming Hits Record Levels During The Pandemic

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A whimsical adventure game from Portland-based studio Soma Games, based on the bestselling book, “The Lost Legends of REDWALL™: The Scout,” sees uptick in gamers who are looking for something wholesome for the entire family

We celebrate beauty, reward intelligence, and encourage joy within the most consumed form of media in the world today, especially during this difficult time of uncertainty. The one thing that remains true is our desire to bring families together and tell great stories.

COVID-19 has left its mark on many business segments, including the gaming industry. However, unlike many businesses that have suffered, video games have actually seen an uptick in activity. According to the Sensor Tower Q1 2020 Data Digest, the first three months of this year marked the largest quarter for mobile game downloads ever, with more than 13 billion installs across the App Store and Google Play. For some context on how big a jump this is, that's two billion downloads greater than Q3 2019. App Store downloads grew by 35% year-over-year to nearly 3 billion, while Google Play installs increased by 38% to 10.3 billion -- record growth for both stores.

In a statement that rocked the gaming world, The World Health Organization actually came out to encourage people to play video games amid the coronavirus pandemic. Ray Chambers, U.S. ambassador to the WHO, tweeted his support, asking people to help continue social distancing efforts by picking up a game and helping save lives. He used the hashtag #PlayApartTogether as part of WHO’s growing movement to unite people around the world while also asking them to keep their distance.

Several U.S. game companies have joined the movement by making certain content available for free or adding new features and extra rewards. Soma Games, located outside of Portland, Oregon has continued to diligently work on their signature game “The Lost Legends of REDWALL™: The Scout in part to keep up with demand from customers who are looking not only to pass the time in a fantasy world, but to do something together as a family, something many video games can’t guarantee. “Our game requires imagination and immersing yourself in a fictional world,” says Chris Skaggs, Game Director and Principal at Soma Games. “Beyond that, it’s something the entire family can do together. In fact, you can go back and read the original books if you haven’t and then play through the games for the full Redwall experience.”

There has been a particular uptick for games that are helping connect people during the global lockdown, including REDWALL, which is based on the 22-novel REDWALL™ series, written by the late Brian Jacques. The series has collectively sold more than 30 million copies worldwide since the original book was released in 1986, published by Penguin Random House, and has renewed interest as people of all ages look to books, video games, and other games they can play at home as much of the country remains under restrictions or closed.

Soma Games, The Redwall Abbey Company Ltd. and Penguin Random House UK, originally released Act I of “The Scout,” the first episode in the ongoing character-focused game series “The Lost Legends of REDWALL™,” on Xbox One, STEAM, and PS4 in the summer of 2019. Since then, they’ve made numerous updates to game play and functionality of the game, including launching an Act II demo earlier this month, with plans for wide release of Act II later this year or in early 2021.

Mark Soderwall of Soma Games, whose resume boasts more than 43 game titles and 20 years of collective experience at Lucas Arts, EA and Atari, lends his talents to the forthcoming Acts II and III of “The Scout”. Soderwall says updates, which automatically appear on a players platform if already purchased, include improvements to environmental visuals across the game, more depth and operation in the dialog system, on-screen objective markers, and a new interaction system for spatial positioning, facing sensitivity and clarity.

“Soma Games exists to bring the "right kind" of stories to mainstream video games,” says Soderwall. “We celebrate beauty, reward intelligence, and encourage joy within the most consumed form of media in the world today, especially during this difficult time of uncertainty. The one thing that remains true is our desire to bring families together, tell great stories, and allow people to escape reality for a few hours.”

About Soma Games:
Oregon video game development company Soma Games has transformed a popular children’s fantasy book series into playable adventures. Soma Games, located in Newberg. “The Lost Legends of REDWALL™: The Scout” and “The Lost Legends of REDWALL™: Escape the Gloomer” are the first two video episodes of the seven episodes Soma Games is set to develop with The Redwall Abbey Company and Penguin Random House UK. The games are family-friendly, so they can be played by people of all ages. For more information please visit https://legendsofredwall.com/

About THE LOST LEGENDS OF REDWALL™: THE SCOUT:
The Lost Legends of REDWALL™” is a collaboration years in the making, combining the efforts of Soma Games with rights owners and controllers The Redwall Abbey Company Ltd. and Penguin Random House UK.

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https://twitter.com/RedwallGame
https://www.youtube.com/user/somagames

THE LOST LEGENDS OF REDWALL™: THE SCOUT © SOMA Games LLC, The Redwall Abbey Company Limited and The Random House Group Limited, 2018. All rights reserved.

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Maggie Palmer
mpalmer@theoakmontgroup.com
503-419-7677

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Maggie Palmer
The Oakmont Group
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Maggie Palmer