The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets


Supercell and GungHo’s Cross-Promotion Mutually Boosts Presence in Japan and U.S.

By Camilla Noon

Successful developers Supercell and GungHo Online Entertainment launched a cross-promotion this week where Clash of Clans characters and a special dungeon appears in Puzzle & Dragons, their respective mobile games. But both companies are doing extremely well on the app stores — they don’t need help selling their games. What they can offer each other, however, is a chance to penetrate new markets and become relevant there.

Clash of Clans is Finland-based Supercell’s multiplayer strategy game, which recently launched in Japan and quickly climbed the iOS charts in the country. Its other game is Hay Day, where players tend a farm with crops and animals. (It’s currently not available in Japan.) Both are a huge source of monthly revenue. Given the huge success of GungHo’s match-three game, Puzzle & Dragons, especially in Japan, this crossover should help Supercell attract an even bigger audience.

“Ultimately, we hope the collaboration with GungHo will introduce more Japanese players to Clash of Clans and help Supercell get established in Japan,” Greg Harper, the general manager of Supercell in North America, told GamesBeat. “We are only just getting started and plan to bring our other games to market there as well.”

“If you look at the Japanese market and want to work with the best developer, there really is only one option, which is GungHo,” said Harper. “We met the team at GungHo on our very first visit to Japan back in February, and we instantly connected with them. From a culture point of view, our two companies are remarkably similar in terms of how we think about games and game development in general. So the relationship has really evolved in a very natural way that is mutually beneficial. We also have a lot of fun together, so we plan to keep looking for more and more reasons to work and spend time with them.”

The Tokyo-based GungHo echoed those sentiments. ”We had our first meeting with Supercell at the beginning of this year. We discovered that our philosophy and approach to game development were quite similar, so we immediately thought it would be great if we could collaborate,” Puzzle & Dragons producer Daisuke Yamamoto told GamesBeat. “That discussion eventually led to our current event.”

This isn’t the first time that GungHo has done a cross-promotion with another developer. In Japan, Puzzle & Dragons — where players enter dungeons with colorful monsters and battle them in match-3 puzzles based on their elements — has crossed over with Square Enix’s tower-defense game Crystal Defenders, and Necky the Fox, Japanese magazine Famitsu‘s mascot, has even appeared in the game.

“This promotion with Supercell is similar to our Japanese collaboration events in terms of style, structure, and execution,” said Yamamoto. “In terms of strategy, the biggest difference with this particular collaboration is that both parties really focused on providing marketing and promotional support for each other’s titles.”

Rather than simply competing — Puzzle & Dragons dominates Google Play in terms of revenue but often sits neck-and-neck with Clash of Clans on the iOS charts — they opted to help each other out.

Harper said he couldn’t discuss specific details about the cross-promotion, but Supercell is happy with the partnership. “They can obviously help us tremendously in Japan, and we hope to be able to return the favor in the Western markets where we are strong,” he said. “The nature of the relationship ranges from doing in-game cross-promotion in each other’s games to working together in other areas where either of us can be helpful.

“Both companies know their own game very well, and we simply tried to do what we thought would be the most effective collaboration to cross-promote each other’s game. I think everyone is very pleased with how it has worked out.”

“We plan to promote Puzzle & Dragons [in the West] through ad campaigns and more exciting collaboration events,” said Yamamoto. “We hope everyone is looking forward to them!”

Via: VentureBeat


Atommica Launches Cross Promotion Bar Jampp for Latin America

By Sebastian Sujka

Atommica is announcing the launch of Jampp, a cross promotion network for social games and applications on Facebook and Orkut. Jampp is the first network of its sort with a strong Latin American and Brazilian focus. Jampp’s mission is to help social games and applications in Spanish and Portuguese grow by providing an array of applications to cross-promote with. With Jampp, users of a social application on Orkut and Facebook can find other applications to try by clicking on an ad at Jampp’s ad bar. The bar displays ads based on the kind of application the user is currently using and other preferences.

Diego Meller, co-founder of Atommica said “The social gaming ecosystem in Latin America is very poorly developed, even if you develop a quality game for the region, it’s difficult to get it out there without spending loads of money or giving away a huge chunk of your revenues. We want to make it easier to publish games on Facebook, Orkut and other social networks that are strong in the region.” is now in beta, developers wishing to apply to start promoting their apps can go to http://www.jampp and sign up. Most accounts will be setup within a few hours and developers who sign up for beta will receive free extra credits on the network. Atommica also develops and publishes social games and has offices in Buenos Aires and London


Interview with Applifier Founder Jussi Laakkonen

By Sebastian Sujka

Jussi Laakkonen, CEO of Everyplay and Founder of Applifier

After Facebook closed down viral channels it became significantly more difficult for small social games developers to promote their games. Advertising on Facebook requires a huge budget as industry giants like Playdom and Zynga outbid small developers. Cross-promotion is the main alternative. However, it is only effective for developers who have many active users in their other games already. This promotion structure raised the question whether at all it will possible for small developers to compete with Zynga & Co. in the long run.

Jussi Laakkonen of Everyplay and Nabeel Hyatt of Conduit Labs decided to do something against the lack of cost effective promotion channels for small developers. The idea is simple: small developers band together. Their solution is Applifier, an innovative service that provides traffic exchange to the participating members in form of an ad bar above the game screen. With founding participants like Metaplace, BitMinion, Free Lunch Design, Wonderhill and Three Rings the Applifier network already counts over five million active users. Applifier is free for all participants and currently invite-only. We talked to Jussi Laakkonen about his “rebel alliance”.

SocialGamesObserver: How has Applifier been received since its launch?

Jussi Laakkonen: Growth has been fast and our members love the service. New members are joining in, so that definitely speaks to that Applifier fills a need in the market.

SGO: How did you come up with the idea?

Jussi Laakkonen: The time was simply right for something like this. We were working on Applifier on our own at Everyplay and once we started reaching out to other social game developers it was obvious that many had similar ideas. We hit it off with Nabeel Hyatt from Conduit Labs. Applifier grew very fast from there on and the support of the first members was essential to the network’s very successful launch.

SGO: Using Applifier you are promoting other developers´ games in your game. Does Applifier target users that play several games at the same time anyway?

Jussi Laakkonen: Yes, Facebook went on the record at the latest F8 that 200 million Facebook users play on average 4 games a month. Given that 4 games is an average value I don’t think it is far fetched to assume that the people who get more involved in games actually play 4-6 games at the same time.

SGO: Applifier is for free for participating developers. Are you planning to keep it that way?

Jussi Laakkonen:It is far too early to speculate about the future. What’s clear though is that Applifier is solving a burning need for its members. Just a couple of weeks after launch we looked at the fastest growing apps on Facebook and we’ve seen a number of our members appearing there like Nightclub City, My Vineyard and MonstrosCity.

SGO: Is Applifier a solution only for Facebook or do you plan to launch it on social networks that have announced to open up notification channels?

Jussi Laakkonen:We built Applifier to help us and other independent developers grow faster. As we and all of our members are on Facebook, we are naturally focusing all our efforts on Facebook for now.

SGO: Does Applifier work as one big network or can you bond together with a
number of developers of your choice and exclude others?

Jussi Laakkonen: Applifier is one large network and this approach works great for our members.

SGO: Currently Applifier is invite-only. Do you plan to make
it available for everybody?

Jussi Laakkonen: A core goal of Applifier is to ensure that the games found on the cross promo bar are of high quality and that the user experience is consistent. For these reasons we are keeping the network invite-only for the time being. We are always looking at ways to expand the network because a great selection of games makes it more appealing for the players, so I want to encourage independent social game developers who have quality games that are growing to get in touch with us!