Indie Giving 2015. $200 HTML5 Offer Ending. Developer Survey – FGL December 2014 Dev Newsletter

$200 Offer Ending Soon

The $200 HTML5 Opportunity endsDecember 31st. Get your games in soon to qualify! 

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2014 Game Dev Survey

Help us improve. Take a minute to complete our 2014 game developer survey.

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F2P Is Here To Stay

Check out an awesome 3 part series by an experienced pub regarding F2P psychology

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Join us for the next FGL Game Jam on January 2nd!

November 2014
Broken Turrent
FarGD
Friendly Fire
rankaru
darthleur
Don’t Shoot
zerocreativity1
Ivka
Brian Bunker

 

$200 HTML5 Advance Opportunity Ends 12/31

Due to the overwhelming success of the $200 advance opportunity for HTML5 games that integrated our sdk, we’ve decided to end this promotion while we focus on building out the tools that will be needed to get them distributed to as many platforms as possible. We are currently distributing HTML5 games to Amazon, the new HTML5 Game Shop, Portal in a Box, and more; all with no additional work from the developers. We are actively working to improve our sdk’s functionality while expanding out to other platforms as quickly as we can and will automatically start distributing the games that have given permission.

If you are currently working on an HTML5 game and want it to be eligible for the $200 advance, please be sure to have it submitted for QA before the end of the year!*

Not to worry, though, we will continue to accept new HTML5 games in 2015, and will run them through the same QA steps,  distribute them to all available platforms where we have been given permission, and continue to maximize earnings for developers.

Please let us know if you’d like to review or change the distribution plan for any of your games and we’ll get it sorted as soon as possible.

*Games submitted must be complete games.  No partially finished games will be eligible.  Games do NOT have to be fully QA tested by the end of December to be eligible.  If your game is complete, but still in the QA process, then your game will still be eligible.  FGL reserves the right to reject any submitted game, for any reason.

FGL Community Spotlight – A Chat with Matthew Bowden

The Community Spotlight returns this week, and we’ve got a very special guest.  We caught up with indie triple-threat Matthew Bowden to talk about game development, publishing, and his writing projects.

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Q: Can you introduce yourself to our developer and publisher audience?

My name’s Matthew Bowden and I’m an independent HTML5 game developer, publisher, and author. I was one of the first developers to start selling commercial HTML5 games all the way back in 2011. I currently run my online business from the comfort of my home in Brisbane, Australia.

I differentiate myself from other developers by publishing an online income report at the end of each month. In these reports I openly discuss my online earnings and growth strategies, and try to inspire hobbyists to make a living out of game development like I do.

Q: What drives your commitment to financial transparency?

Money is a taboo topic that I’ve had to approach very carefully. Personally, I’m always inspired when I see the success of others, but that’s not how everyone reacts.

When I started making games for a living I knew I wanted to use my experience as a resource for other developers to learn from. My financial transparency has helped me build an audience, but more importantly it has influenced the lives of others. I have helped dozens of developers turn their game development hobby into a career which is more than I ever aimed for.

I’ve found that while openly talking about money polarises people, it can also be influential in all the right ways. It’s also a great way to hold myself accountable – I share my bad months too!

Q: You mentioned that you took an early interest in HTML5 as a game development format. What was it that excited you about HTML5 back in 2011?

I could tell the technology had tons of potential. Adobe had just announced that they were discontinuing Flash on mobile, and had called HTML5 “the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms.”

I already had an interest in web games and mobile games, so when HTML5 presented itself as an opportunity to combine my interests in a new niche market with no competition I committed all of my time to it. I’ve been a leading proponent of HTML5 ever since.

Q: FGL recently launched its HTML5 Game Shop, and the SDK now includes support for GameMaker – an engine you’re quite proficient with. Tell us a little about GameMaker for those who may not be familiar with it yet.

GameMaker is a primarily 2D game development engine that has been used to produce indie hits such as Hotline Miami, Gunpoint, and Spelunky. The current version allows developers to export their projects to many different platforms, including Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, HTML5, and plenty more.

I’ve been using GameMaker on an almost daily basis since 2005. When I first started using the engine, I had no programming experience whatsoever; now I gladly attribute much of my success to it.

GameMaker is often underestimated (and even ridiculed) by the game development community. But if you’re making any kind of 2D game, it would be a mistake to dismiss GameMaker. It’s one of the best engines out there when it comes to rapid multi-platform development.

Q: You have an impressive social media footprint, even including your Klout score in your online income reports. How important do you think it is for developers to have a socialmedia presence?

All independent developers need a social media platform, especially when they have a minimal or non-existent marketing budget (as is often the case). I have invested a lot of time and energy into establishing my social media platform and it has paid off in spades.

When you have a social media presence you’re able to put any message you want in front of thousands of people at the click of a button. Plus, it’s free. There’s no downside to that.

Q: You recently hit a milestone with your book ‘Making Money With HTML5’ reaching$20,000 in total sales. Why has this book resonated with game developers?

I never expected my book to be as popular as it has been, especially since it’s self-published and only available on my website. The main selling point has been the market itself; compared to other crowded markets HTML5 is incredibly accessible. However, that’s changing as competition grows.

Making Money With HTML5 is the perfect starting point for developers who are interested in joining the market as easily as possible. Reader feedback has been extremely positive and it honestly just sells itself.

Q: Thanks for your time. Where can people find you?

You can read my blog online, and I’m on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Free-To-Play vs. Customer Happiness – Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 (Currently Reading)

The following is a presentation created by Martine Spaans, owner of Tamalaki Publishing and frequent contributor on Business Development matters here at FGL.  Martine has 8+ years of experience in the online gaming industry and has served as Licensing Manager at Spil Games, worked in Online Marketing at Ubisoft, and is a Marketing Advisor at CFE.

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Part 3 – What Can We Do?

In retail, 6 to 12% of goods are returned. Returns are also on the rise—up 19% from 2007. For every $1 spent on merchandise today, 9¢ is returned. (Business.times.com) Online retail 60% of goods are returned. Crazy high numbers! Retails Return Policies are on a counter-movement of becoming more strict again, to protect themselves from all the abuse and costs. Compared to that, our Free-to-Play problems are nothing. Compared to that, our audience actually loves us, right?

Also, most people who are silent are just silently enjoying your game. Sometimes the biggest complainers are the most loyal players. Don’t be shocked when you see lots of bad feedback. Compare it to the hard data. Your analytics. Follow the trend of your players instead of listening to the ones with the biggest mouths.

So…if Free-to-Play is nothing new, and is apparently a problem that is not exclusive to the gaming space, how can we learn from examples outside of our own industry? I have one for you.

Several large North American cities have attempted zero-fare systems, but many of these implementations have been unsuccessful. A 2002 National Center for Transportation Research report suggests that, while transit ridership does tend to increase, there are also some serious disadvantages. This report suggests that, while ridership does increase overall, the ultimate goal of reducing emissions by enticing drivers to take transit instead is rarely met: because fare-free systems tend to attract large numbers of hooligans, vagrants and other ”problem riders”, zero-fare systems often have the effect of frightening potential riders back into their cars.

When we translate this to F2P, this is an example of a badly executed F2P design. Originally designed as premium multiplayer, then suddenly transformed info F2P. Because of the bad design, trolls can take over, and create a bad experience for the nice paying players.

When we think if the primary goal of games, it’s to make something fun. Something people really enjoy. This counts for any type of game.

For educational games, learning should be the secondary goal.
For dancing games, physical benefits should be the secondary goal.
For multiplayer games, social interaction should be the secondary goal.
For Free-to-Play games, Monetization should be the secondary goal.
For any of these games, if Fun doesn’t come first, the second goal will never be met. If you design your goal to get maximum monetization, you increase the risk that players will not think your game is fun, and they will leave the game before spending a dime. That’s how many badly executed F2P games came into this world and failed.

Skinner Box: Don’t condition your players that they will suffer a disadvantage when they don’t pay. It worked in the beginning of F2P, but by now there are too many competing games out there who focus on fun, that a punishing system is not immersive enough anymore to keep player attention. Focus on making a game fun for everybody, and reward the players who do go out of their way to pay in your game.

Payment wall: Don’t design your game in a way that players have no other option than paying when they reach level X. People will just abandon your game and play something else. There are plenty of alternatives out there.

Gaming Medium: Be aware of the short game sessions. Try to keep that in mind when designing your In-App Purchase options. People should be able to play for free for 5-10 minute sessions if they like. Or special premium content shouldn’t force them to sit through long sessions either. The hardest thing of mobile design is to make it possible to play a game for only 5 minutes, but to also make it possible to enjoy a game for a few hours.

Overwhelming: People need to get the feeling that they only scratched the surface, and that unlocking content and getting to higher levels faster will open up more gates.

Spending cap: When people can spend $20 max on in-game items that will never expire, you’ll never get more out of your 2-3% payers. Even though they might want to. When you build in some purchase items that expire, or they can stock up, you open up a way to spend more. However, be careful that you don’t make it feel unfair by taking away their purchase. For example, a system where players can “rent” special armor for 24 hours only works when there is a clear incentive, like a special quest they can use it for.

Ownership: Character customization, gender specification, naming, building a house or town, etc.

Generosity: Something they desire, that helps them in the game. Something that makes them feel good. Take away that fear that you only want to earn money from them. Give them a cool gift for free.

Easy: Very attractive discount. Turn off advertisements. Add exclusive goodies.

Different: Various flavors of the game. Some people go for customization, some for high scores, some for collecting achievements. Make your In-App Purchase options attractive for everyone.

Gifting: A mechanic that not many games have tried out yet. Do you know that feeling when you see a silly gadget and you feel ashamed if you’d buy it for yourself, but you think it would make a perfect gift? Same with the emotion behind In-App Purchasing. Works well in multiplayer games in Korea. Works in immersive co-op worlds. When you’ve captured a certain audience in one game, try to transfer that audience to your new games. This is a lot easier when you stay with the same genres. It might be fun to try out new things, like building a racing game, a puzzle game and a shooter. However, it will be hard to capture an audience that shares this scattered love. This way you have to re-invent your audience over and over again, and you might end up spending a lot of budget on buying users.

Tamalaki publishing focuses on Hidden Object games, and sometimes we publish something slightly different for a similar audience, like a Match-3 game or a Time Management puzzle. This might be less challenging for the developing teams, but this way it’s easy for us to always capture the attention of our audience and serve them new games they will probably like. We don’t have to spend a lot of marketing money trying to find our audience, because we already have them. The snowball of users keeps on growing this way.

Gamesbrief.com -> subscribe and get a free F2P forcasting sheet that allows you to calculate the financial success of your F2P model.

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We’d like to thank Martine Spaans for sharing this presentation with us.  If you have any questions or comments for Martine regarding Free-To-Play games, monetization strategies, or any of the other topics touched on in this series, feel free to leave your comments below!


 

Free-To-Play vs. Customer Happiness – Part 2

Part 1

Part 2 (Currently Reading)

Part 3

The following is a presentation created by Martine Spaans, owner of Tamalaki Publishing and frequent contributor on Business Development matters here at FGL.  Martine has 8+ years of experience in the online gaming industry and has served as Licensing Manager at Spil Games, worked in Online Marketing at Ubisoft, and is a Marketing Advisor at CFE.

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Part Two:  The Problem


When people set out to buy a boxed game for their console, they have a sense of ownership and commitment. It’s their game. They will try their very best to master it.

This is something that Free-to-Play games are lacking. The user does not feel that sense of commitment. They will not go out of their way to master something that comes for free. In fact, it seems they get more satisfaction out of complaining about their free product. So now you end up trying to sell something for nearly nothing and most of what you get back is negative feedback. How did we end up in this spiral?

 

I just love this quote, because it fully captures the problem of the value of free. Entitlement to getting a product for free turns into hostility towards the creator.

To prove that the problem is not with the quality of the product itself, but really with the perception of free, I only had to look in my own Customer Support mailbox for evidence. Rory’s Restaurant is a game that is available on Google Play for free (with advertising), and on Amazon and Nook as a premium game for 1.99 (without ads). During one of the updates to the game, we accidentally wiped player progress. Of course this did not go well with our players who spend hours and hours getting to the higher levels, carefully building up their restaurant. Statistically, most of the customer complaints come from Google Play.

Amazon has a nice promotional service: Free-App-of-the-Day. A Premium app suddenly gets the opportunity to harvest a lot of eyeballs and downloads during this 1-day free promotion. It also brings in worse user reviews then when the same app is just a paid one. FREE opens the floodgates. And that brings in the crap players. It basically means letting a death metal band play during the Superbowl. A lot of people will complain that the band was horrible, even if it was the best metal band in the whole world.

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Tomorrow: Part 3 – What can we do?  Some solutions…

Free-To-Play vs. Customer Happiness – Part 1

Part 1 (Currently Reading)

Part 2

Part 3

The following is a presentation created by Martine Spaans, owner of Tamalaki Publishing and frequent contributor on Business Development matters here at FGL.  Martine has 8+ years of experience in the online gaming industry and has served as Licensing Manager at Spil Games, worked in Online Marketing at Ubisoft, and is a Marketing Advisor at CFE.

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Part One: History and Current State of Free-To-Play

Some people seem to think that the Free-with-optional-upgrade model is quite new and exclusive to gaming. I disagree and would like to point to the newspaper as an example. Do you know those small black&white comics that you get for free every day? They’re short, lower quality, and you have to wait for a day until you get a new one.

Or…you can go out to the store, spend a bit of money, and get all the content instantly, get some exclusives, in full color.

Or how about movies? You can pay for the cinema now and get the full big-screen immersing experience, or you can wait 1-2 years and see the same content for free on a smaller TV screen.

This has been around forever. Consumers are used to this model. So if Free-to-Play is a problematic model in the games industry, I don’t think that the monetization mechanic itself is the problem. I think it lies deeper within the emotion behind the introduction of Free-to-Play to the gaming industry and the rapid changes that we dealt with in the last few years.

Another example:  Who remembers the old Panini stickers? You had to spend ALL your pocket money on buying blister packs, not knowing what stickers would be inside. Especially hunting down the last few missing stickers could cost you piles of money. The grand prize was to proudly complete your sticker book.

So why is that all accepted and fine, while Puzzles & Dragons “Complete Gacha” was banned in Japan?

I can even give another example of our skewed thinking within our own industry. Go out to the store, buy a boxed console game for $60 and play it for 60 days. That’s 2 months of daily fun. Quite a reasonable amount of content for a console game, and the price point is just an accepted given. So compare that with a Free-to-Play game where you gradually spend $60 over the same amount of time. Why is that considered a lot of money? I don’t even want to know how Arcade machines would compare against this, where you only get a few minutes of gameplay for a quarter.

Actually, I think we are looking at this situation with the wrong glasses. Think of F2P as a street artist. His music is for free. His audience is big. If you really enjoy his music and you stop to listen to his music for a few moments, you are expected to give him a small fee. His conversion rate is maybe the same as the average play-pay ratio we work with. Maybe 1 to 5 percent of his audience pays something.

He has no marketing and no magazine will write about him. The only audience he captures are the people walking by that street corner where he’s performing.

A big chunk of his audience doesn’t want to pay for his music, because they are used to getting it for free. His audience doesn’t see the value of paying for something that comes free. And that is where the street performer and Free-to-Play games struggle.

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Tomorrow: Part 2 – So what’s the real problem?

November 2014 Developer Newsletter

November Game Jam

Join the FGL community for another 72 hour Game Jam starting on November 28th!

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Events Calendar Added

Interested in knowing when the next FGL event occurs? Check out your Developer Dashboard!

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HTML5 Shop Opens

The new HTML5 GameShop is now open to everyone. Check prices and see new features now!

Learn More…

 

FGL Community Spotlight – Welcome to the Dojo!

This week, we’re excited to sit down with one of the longtime publishers here at FGL: Dojo-GameMazing. They have revealed an exciting announcement regarding the launch of their new site, Dojo.com.

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FGL_Brian:  Welcome to the Spotlight!  Tell us a little about yourself and GameMazing for those who may not be familiar with you yet.

Dojo-GameMazing: Thanks Brian.  I’m Bryce Fitzsimons, founder of GameMazing.  I’ve been running GameMazing since 2011, and have been involved in game development for many years prior.  Right now, my team and I are in the process of launching Dojo.com, a new gaming portal which we’re very excited about .

FGL: What is Dojo.com and what are your goals are for the site?

Dojo: The focus of Dojo.com is premium games and a community experience that brings gamers and game developers together.  Unlike GameMazing, Dojo will look to promote not just games, but the developers who build those games.  So in that sense, we aim to be more than just a game repository, but a platform for connection.

Right now we’re still in soft launch mode (fixing bugs and adding features), but soon we’re going to bring in a lot of cool features for both gamers and developers to foster community.  Part of our push will be continued sponsorship of Flash games, but we’ll also be exploring outward to HTML5 and mobile shortly.

FGL:  It’s good to hear that you’re exploring all kinds of different game formats.  What sort of things are you looking for in particular when selecting games to publish?

Dojo: Right now we’re looking for good, fun, high-quality games.  The games that we build into our early portfolio are a reflection of what Dojo is all about, so we are eager to sponsor and purchase sitelocks for great games.

During the early stages, our emphasis for sponsorships will be games with (1) high viral potential, or (2) quality, fun games that help retain our portal audience.  As for sitelocks, we’re looking for games that have done reasonably well in the past, but we’re also open great games that may have been overlooked.  In terms of genres, we’re accepting everything from casual to complex.

FGL:  You mentioned that with Dojo.com you’re trying to foster a community experience for gamers AND game developers.  What’s your reason for that, and what are some ways you’re trying to achieve it?

Dojo: We’ve found that indie game fans are looking for an experience larger than just playing games.  Fans want to connect with the developers that made their favorite games, follow these developers, learn what other cool things they’re up to.  And we have a history of supporting indie developers, helping them gain exposure, and promoting great games.

As portal owners, we’re in a unique place to help developers and users connect in a way that is virtuous. Even though there is a bit of a format/platform war between Flash, HTML5, mobile, Unity, and some of the larger platforms like Steam, we recognize that developers aren’t going away, and that there will always be demand for great independent games.  We want to foster a community that is larger than a single platform or technology.  It’s good for us, but also good for developers, the players, and the indie game community at large.

FGL:  I think you’re absolutely right about that.  Tearing down the barriers between developer and gamer could be really helpful for both parties.

Dojo: Yeah exactly.  There’s a lot of uncertainty now, but indie gaming will always exist so long as there are passionate developers.  You asked earlier about what we’ll be doing specifically.  One thing is adding a lot of cool social features to our API that let the developer get in touch with gamers, run contests, and share endorsements across social media.

Beyond that, one of the things we’re excited about is a feature called the “Developer Dojo”, which we hope to roll out in a month.  This will basically be a portfolio that developers can use to show off their best content and build a fanbase around.  Our strategy will be helping developers promote their brand and communicate with their followers through the “Developer Dojos”.

FGL:  So when gamers are playing something they really like, they’ll just be one click away from a developer’s portfolio page!

Dojo: Exactly.  Then they can learn more about the developer, what they’re working on, preview demos of upcoming games, and connect with other fans of that developer.  We’re really excited about it.

FGL:  That sounds really cool.  Do you have any games that are performing really well right now that your users seem to be gravitating toward?

Dojo: We recently launched Zombo Buster Rising, a great zombie defense game, by one of our favorite developers: Firebeast Studio.  It’s been featured on NewGrounds, Kongregate, and many other sites already: http://www.dojo.com/game/zombo-buster-rising

Another great game we’re excited about is Awesome Run, a twisted marathon racing game. Think ‘Road Rage’ meets Summer Olympics. It’s made by our good friends at Deqaf Studio, and has also been featured on a number of sites: http://www.dojo.com/game/awesome-run

FGL: Those look great! Any shout-outs or ‘thank you’s you’d like to give as we wrap things up?

Dojo: One thing I did want to mention is that FGL has been an integral part of GameMazing’s success.  With Dojo.com, we’d like to continue to foster the relationships we’ve built with FGL and the developers they represent.  We’ve been a bit off-the-radar lately with game acquisitions, but acquisitions through FGL will be a strong part of our strategy going forward.  We’ll be on the lookout for great games, and we also welcome any games that developers are proud of and would like us to consider.

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We’d like to thank Bryce and the whole Dojo-GameMazing crew and wish them luck on this exciting new venture.  You can contact Dojo-GameMazing via FGL PM or directly at info@dojo.com, and be sure to follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DojoDotCom and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dojo.

Community Points v2.0!

 

We’re excited to announce a fun new feature coming to your dashboard: the FGL Monthly Community Points Leaderboard.  Prominently displayed for all to see, this leaderboard will track the most active members of the FGL community and reward them with the prestige and honor they deserve.  (And yes, there are plans to dish out some neat goodies to monthly leaders!)

Rest assured, the Community Level and points you’ve already accrued aren’t going anywhere (but up). We’re exploring the possibility of adding All-Time leaderboards and expanding the leaderboard’s functionality once we get some of the kinks worked out.  The points earned each month will contribute to your overall Community Level as normal, but the Leaderboard ladder will reset on the first day of each month.

If you’d like to be one of the glorious names up in lights for everyone to see, you’re in luck!  We’re adding new ways to send your Community Level through the roof, and most of them are so simple and beneficial, you’d be crazy not to.  You’re not crazy are you?  I didn’t think so.  Below is a list of easy activities you can do each month to start climbing that leaderboard ladder and get your name on the front page:

Log in to finish reading article

Make a Forum Post: 10 points – Our forums are a great place to get information and share ideas with fellow developers.  Good forums posts are awarded bonus points if they’re particularly helpful.  The General Chat, Saloon, and Game Feedback forums are great places to start posting (and racking up points!)

Check out the FGL Chat Room: 10 points – The easiest points you can possibly earn, just hop in the new FGL Chat room and once per day (at a random time), everyone present will earn bonus Community Points.  Jump in, hang out, collect free points.  Couldn’t be easier.

Follow FGL on Twitter: 100+ points – Once a week, FGL will pose a question to the developer community.  Just tweet us back your answer and you’ll earn a cool 100 community points.  Be one of the first to respond and you’ll earn a nice chunk of bonus points!  Extra credit if your response is clever, insightful or can make us laugh.

Enter the monthly FGL Game Jam: 300 points – The FGL Game Jams are great ways to hone your skills and meet like-minded developers.  Game Jams are good opportunities to flex your creative muscle, working within a theme and blitzing through the game design process in a time-sensitive format.  Now, they’re also a source of a nice big brick of community points!  The FGL Game Jam theme is announced in our Events forum and on Twitter (be sure to follows us at twitter.com/FGL_Team)  and usually takes place for 72 hours starting on the last Friday of each month.

Check out FGL Game Night: 100 points – Play games; get points.  What’s not to like?  FGL hosts a weekly Game Night every Friday at 5:00pm Eastern.  The games are live-streamed on our official Twitch channel: twitch.tv/fglgamenight.  Drop a ‘follow’ on the channel to get notified when we go live and join us in the chat room or in-game to receive your community points!

Get a Comment approved on an FGL Blog post: 25 points –  Hey, wait a minute.  You’re on the FGL Blog right now!  You know how to comment on stuff.  You do it all the time.  You should probably leave a comment on THIS blog post, and earn some free points.  Just one man’s opinion.  While you’re at it, you should definitely check out some of the other recently posted blog entries, like our world-famous Community Spotlight series and our zesty Earnings Reports.

‘Like’ FGL on Facebook: 25 points – The FGL Facebook page contains can’t-miss information about goings-on around FGL.  We’ll often post market updates, milestones, and research up there, so be sure to check it out from time to time.  Drop a ‘Like’ on a post and you’ll be awarded some community points as a ‘Thank You’ for staying up to date.

Refer-A-Friend: 500 points* – One of the greatest assets we have is our awesome community of people who love video games.  Y’all are some incredibly talented and creative people with a passion for game design.  Little-known fact, though:  You don’t have to be a game developer or publisher to add value to the community.  Preview Players are vital members of the FGL community ecosystem, giving feedback on new games and helping to grow the community’s reach.  We’d like to reward you for telling people about FGL, so we’re offering 500 points for every person you refer who creates an FGL account (Preview Player, Developer, or otherwise).

* – Points will be awarded when the new account performs their first useful action (uploads a game, gives feedback on a game, makes a forum post, etc.) on FGL.  New account must send a PM to an FGL Admin confirming your referral.

Additional events and opportunities to earn Community Points will be coming soon, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, good luck to all and we hope to see you on the Leaderboard!  Join in the discussion on our dedicated forum thread here.

(Point values may be subject to change for balance reasons.  Some actions require points to be granted manually by an admin, so please don’t hesitate to contact an admin if you notice you have not been credited with the appropriate points for completing a community action.)

FGL 3rd Quarter Developer Earnings Update

FGL 3rd Quarter Developer Earnings

Q3 of 2014 was a good quarter for developers and publishers working with FGL.   A few notable things that happened: FGL surpassed $20,000,000 paid out to developers, we helped multiple native apps reach various “top 10″ positions on Google Play (and earn significant revenue gains),   and we continued to help HTML5 developers distribute and monetize their games (through our distribution platform as well as our new HTML5 Game Shop).

I’ll break down the earnings graph below.

Native Mobile: As you can see, revenue from native mobile games lead the way in growth in the 3rd quarter.  Most of our success on native mobile is explained in our blog post, linked above (and here for convenience). What is a little misleading is the jump, and then fall, in revenue from the 1st quarter.  Some of the earnings in the 1st quarter came from a few large one-off licensing deals we secured for developers.  A chart below shows the revenue growth of our Mobile Platform (in gross revenue earned) with the one-off deals taken out.

FGL Mobile Platform q3

This graph makes it easier to see the growth of the Mobile Platform in terms of recurring revenue.  This includes money from ads, in-app purchases, and premium app purchases.  It does not include licenses or “bulk deals” that we bring to developers from time-to-time.  This means that native mobile games that are going through us are doing better than ever in mobile marketplaces.  Our distribution, cross promotion, and ad systems are helping make games make more money.  The fact that we also help bring licensing deals to games is the icing on the cake.  At least for native mobile games.

HTML5: Where licensing is the icing on the cake for native mobile, it’s the actual cake for HTML5.  Licensing through our traditional bidding area, Game Shop, and new HTML5 Game Shop tops the earnings for developers pushing their HTML5 games through us.   However, at the end of the 3rd quarter – and now early into the 4th quarter – we’re seeing a lot of growth in ad revenue and distribution of our HTML5 games.  We’ve had several featured promotions through Amazon, and have partnerships with other marketplaces and distributors in the works.  This is an area that will likely jump in Q4.

Web: Though we’ve lumped all web technologies into the “Web” bucket, there are two main technologies that make up the earnings here.  One is Unity, which we’ve seen an uptick in exclusive and primary deals in our bidding area.  In fact, we’ve seen larger Unity deals over the last 3 months than we’ve seen in years at FGL.  The other technology is, of course, Flash.  Flash for web is a very volatile market right now.  However, we’re still seeing very high cpms on the web, and think the Flash market is due for at least a small bounce back.  In fact, one revenue source we have NOT added to our charts is Flash Ads.  This is something we’ll change in the future as we’re seeing significant gains for developers using our FGL Ads for in-game Flash ads.  With over $1,000,000 paid out to Flash developers already this year, one thing is for sure: the best place to make money with a Flash game is still FGL.