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.
Gaming is huge for Apple. It represents both a huge chunk of their revenue from the App Store and a significant driver of sales for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch product lines. So it should be no surprise that the iPad Mini was built for gaming. The iPad Mini fills an important niche between the almost-desktop, full tablet experience of the iPad and the portable, but oft-congested experience of the iPhone.
Today, getting discovered in the App Store can be the difference between success and failure. Making a great app isn’t enough: you need to make it easy to find for your target audience. This is where App Store Optimization comes in.
App Store Optimization (“ASO”) is like Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”), but for applications in the Apple App Store and the Android Market. This webinar will arm you with everything you need to know to optimize your app store listing for both markets. This one hour webinar will help you:
- Understand Discoverability
- Optimize your description
- Design an eye-catching Icon
- Outmanuever competing apps
- Increase your chances of your app being Featured
This webinar is accessible to complete beginners, including developers with no marketing background, while also providing some advanced tips for those with experience in ASO. The goal of this class is to give you actionable learnings and tangible results that you can act on immediately. The webinar will be hosted October 31st, 2012, from 10:00am to 11:00am PST. Click here to register now.
Game piracy is a huge problem. All app developers suffer from it, but game developers are particularly vulnerable. One acclaimed indie developer suffered a 95% piracy rate for his PC title, and the problem has carried over to many developers on the mobile platforms, especially Android. After months of hard work, one Android developer found that over 40 piracy blogs had picked up his game within 24 hours of launch. Mad Finger Games recently did an interview where they said they saw a 60% piracy rate across iOS and Android.
For solo developers or small teams, the best way to combat piracy is to do their best to prevent piracy in the first place. Here’s some anti-piracy tips to make life harder for those swashbuckling app thieves.
Rusty Axe Games, an indie game studio run by Lennard Feddersen, has been making simulations and strategy games for years. He’s now working on a new browser-based Risk-inspired game called Endless Empires, and has multiple ways he could spend his time over the next 6 months. He could build a single player version of the game, flesh out the multiplayer content with new maps, or use Betable to integrate real-money bets into the game.
To help him pick which feature to focus on, Lennard created an IndieGoGo campaign for Endless Empires where people can vote with their wallet: a $9 donation is a vote for maps, $10 is a vote for Betable, and $11 is a vote for single player. Frankly, it’s a brilliant experiment, so we reached out to Lennard to interview him about the IndieGogo idea, his upcoming game, and why he hopes Betable can save indie game developers from the App Store price mentality.
One of the most prominent trends in mobile gaming is the move to freemium. Spotted as early as 2011, the move to freemium has come to dominate both the iOS and Android App Stores. With the legendary Angry Birds simultaneously sitting in the Top 5 Free Apps and #52 in the Grossing ranks, it’s clear that freemium games are not only more popular, but they’re making significantly more money. Reinforcing this point, Natural Motion informed the press that CSR Racing made over $12 million in its first month with it’s AAA-quality free-to-play game, showing that even high quality titles stand to make more from the freemium model than charging an uber-premium price of $4.99+.
So why is it that freemium games are simultaneously so attractive to consumers and so profitable for game companies?