We’ve heard you- you’re hungry for more content! With that in mind, we’re kicking off a Q&A series called “5 Questions with Betable.” Inspired by the questionnaire asked of each guest on Inside the Actors Studio, we will ask our partners the same five questions.
We’re eager to see how their answers vary- especially for the 5th question. While I don’t wear as much makeup as James Lipton, I hope you’ll agree the questions give developers a chance to share why real-money and a partnership with Betable is important to their strategy moving forward.
First up is Digital Chocolate’s COO Jason Loia. As you’ll recall, Digital Chocolate recently launched their first Betable-powered game SLOTS! Pocket UK on iOS.
1) Why did Digital Chocolate become interested in offering real-money play in its games?
RMG is by far the single-most transformative phenomena developing in the games sector. In short, RMG is Monetization D-Day. It may not hit like a tidal wave all at once, but it’s absolutely coming and it will absolutely shake up the entire landscape. We want to be riding the front of the wave and deliver great RMG content as it unfolds.
2) What excites Digital Chocolate most about the industry’s move into real-money gaming?
“Moving the metrics” in a games-as-a-service business, especially social games, is an art as much as it is science. New content, new flow, new plumbing, tweaks, optimizations can all create the desired lift, but nothing can create such massive jumps in metrics as layering in RMG. It represents a remarkable step-function opportunity for game companies like Digital Chocolate and others, we know it can revolutionize the way the industry thinks about game development, distribution, and monetization.
3) Why did a partnership with Betable make sense for Digital Chocolate?
Unless you have the luxury of massive resources and lead time to go wrangle your own gambling license, then the only logical option is to partner with a platform provider who can enable the RMG piece for you overnight. Digital Chocolate at its core is a veteran game crafter, and taking on RMG on our own would be a tedious, time-consuming, distracting, and potentially highly-risky endeavor. Betable knows RMG, they are a professional, talented, and focused team that delivers, and that allows us to focus on pure game-making.
4) What are Digital Chocolate’s real-money gaming product plans?
We are very excited to see our first RMG social slots mobile game, “Slots! Pocket UK”, having launched in the UK. We also have plans to expand our RMG offering to include our innovative BlackJack Buzz game, as well as other titles in development. We strongly believe RMG can be a significant revenue stream for us, especially as new territories open up and the audience expands.
5) What game other than one of your own would you love to see include real-money play? How would it work?
The lowest hanging fruit target for RMG will be the casino genre, that’s clear as day, but what’s next? We think that the bigger opportunity could very well be the convergence of true social games and RMG. And by this I mean games for gamers, racing games, fighting games, strategy games, sports games. Not everyone’s a gambler, but everyone plays games (whether they admit it or not) so the audience size could be much, much greater than that of the classic casino genre. Digital Chocolate’s sweet spot is high quality, social, competitive gaming for mobile and web, so we think we’ll be in good position to pioneer this space with partners like Betable.
This past weekend’s Betable Hackathon couldn’t have been more inspirational. Having hosted participants who traveled from as far as NYC and Michigan to learn about and build on the Betable platform was humbling. Last weekend’s participants, as well as the participants in last year’s Hackathon can now consider themselves pioneers in the real-money gaming movement.
By the numbers we had:
- More than 80 participants
- 14 submissions
- 7 prize winners
- 4 judges from a combination of Betable, Big Fish Casino and Corona Labs
- 3 amazing sponsors: aarki, Corona Labs and TapJoy
- 3 bottles of Bulleit Bourbon
Our Grand Prize winner, Nathan Whitehead the developer of the winning submission Gem Miner, took home an impressive prize package- a team trip to Las Vegas, $10,000 in Betable credit, $5,000 in aarki distribution, a Corona SDK Pro seat and 10,000 free installs from TapJoy. Nathan, you’re going to have to find someone other than Lady Luck to join you in Las Vegas!
As for the winning submission Nathan says, “Gem Miner is a simple game that is a cross between Dig Dug and a slot machine. You move left and right to choose where to dig, then dig down in hopes of unearthing valuable gems. Blocks and lesser gems tend to be near the surface while more valuable gems hide deeper down.” I’d add that Gem Miner is a solid example of a slot machine mechanic that doesn’t look like a traditional slot machine. This is exactly the kind of innovation we at Betable get excited about.
As for real-money play and the Betable platform, Nathan shares, “I see real-money gambling as a huge opportunity. Betable promises to cut out the legal and regulatory headaches so that I can focus on creating fun games that people want to play. Making games – FUN; dealing with regulations and compliance – NOT FUN.”
In the coming weeks we will post more information about our winners, but in the meantime a huge thanks to all of those who attended and made the event a success.
And who knows, maybe if you ask him nicely Nathan will take you to Las Vegas?
Betable is excited to announce that Jonathan Flesher has joined the team as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Jonathan brings a wealth of diverse experience in games, digital entertainment, and finance having previously worked at JP Morgan, Electronic Arts, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Jonathan was most recently Vice President and General Manager of Business Development at Zynga, where he oversaw Zynga’s deal to enter the real-money gambling space.
Last week, SGN announced a new partnership with Betable, with plans to roll out Betable-powered games overseas beginning in Q1 2013. As the real-money gambling market heats up, we couldn’t be more excited to add SGN to our growing list of premier game developer partners. With 35 million monthly active users, 12 top-10 titles on the Apple App Store, and a strong cross-platform portfolio including hit games like “Panda Jam” and “Bingo Blingo”, we look forward to what the future holds.
On November 15th, over 100 game developers attended our latest SF Game Monetization meetup, “New Opportunities in Mobile Monetization”. With three outstanding speakers, we packed the house at IGN’s San Francisco office on 2nd Street. Those who attended were lucky to receive the presentations from the speakers directly, but Brian Sapp of Tapjoy graciously agreed to share his presentation online. With great data and new ideas for monetizing mobile games and apps, enjoy our summary of each talk below.
This post was written by Ya-Bing Chu, former VP and General Manager at Zynga and now Chief Product Officer at Betable.
A couple of months ago, I parted ways with my role as VP and General Manager at Zynga to again seek the pure thrill of growth and disruption in the startup world. To that end, I’m excited to be joining Betable as the Chief Product Officer.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine (@joshu) asked me what I would be doing if I weren’t working at Zynga. It was a tough question, as there are few better roles in gaming than managing the well loved With Friends games. After a short pause, I said, “I think I’d be doing something in — maybe a platform for — real-money gaming.” To which he replied, “I have someone you should meet.”
As the dust settles from the US Election, don’t forget to cast your vote in another important race: the 2012 Crunchies!
If you have a quick moment, we would appreciate your support in voting for Betable for Best New Startup of 2012, a category that is limited to startups that publicly launched in 2012. Need more convincing? Here are a few arguments in our favor:
- Betable is one of the most disruptive companies to launch this year, we’re affecting massive change for social and mobile game developers
- We have some of the Silicon Valley’s most prolific investors as our backers, including Crunch Fund, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, True Ventures, Dave Morin and Yuri Milner.
- We have momentum, having just announced a slew of partners and the launch of our first Betable-powered real-money game in the UK
Thanks in advance!
Today, Betable announces an exclusive partnership with another premier game developer: Mandala Games. Mandala Games, a social and mobile game developer based in Nantes, France, joins the growing list of prominent developers choosing Betable to address the massive untapped real-money gaming market. Mandala plans to launch a real-money version of it’s iOS title “Slots by La Riviera” in the UK with Betable-powered real-money gaming in the coming weeks.
It’s been a busy week at Betable! Earlier this week, Big Fish Casino launched a Betable-powered real-money version of their iOS game in the UK. Today, we announce partnerships with three industry-leading companies, each of which believes in Betable’s ability to help them tap into the huge opportunity the real-money play represents: Slingo, Digital Chocolate, and Murka Games.
Big Fish Games’ Big Fish Casino is a top-grossing game on mobile, with more than one million worldwide monthly active players. Today, Big Fish Games launched its popular Big Fish Casino app onto Apple’s UK App Store with real-money play powered by Betable. The app, Big Fish Casino UK, includes virtual currency play and real-money play in a single experience. By adding real-money play to its app, Big Fish Games has established itself as a first mover in the emerging social gambling market.
“Real-money betting is just one more way we are enhancing the Big Fish Casino gameplay experience,” said Carey DiJulio, General Manager of Big Fish Casino. “With the launch of Big Fish Casino UK, real-money players in the United Kingdom can join other Big Fish Casino players in the social aspects and thrill of casino gaming from their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch anywhere they happen to be.”
Read the press release here.