Part IV of 4 Part Blog Mini Series on Porting your Game to Mobile
There are several options for driving your app higher in the charts: paid marketing if you have the conversions and budget. Cross-promoted games that offer promotion to your games and from your games. There are a few good services out there for cross promoting. FGL has very strong relations to Nook and Amazon but the game has to be high quality. It’s been said that the best hour to publish a game on iOS is Thursday before 4PM. Last, anecdotally and certainly something not to be forgotten is keeping track of your game analytics! And remember, partnering up with a indie friendly publisher can ease your workload tremendously.
Part III of 4 Part Blog Mini Series on Porting your Game to Mobile
An actual spider on the thumbnail for a game called “Spider”, and a spider with Spades on its back for “Spider Solitaire”. Both feature the same gameplay. Which one is clearer?
In most cases, a publisher will help to market your mobile game. Game Title and Keywords are critical. Does your title contain a descriptive word people are searching for? The title and keywords you use will influence your game search ranking in the AppStores. Matched traffic is important but by far the most important asset to your game is the thumbnail! The thumbnail should attract player’s attention not only in the app store but on the player’s device once installed. Screenshots, Short Description, Reviews and Testing also drive revenue to your game.
Part II of 4 Part Blog Mini Series on Porting your Game to Mobile
Bread Kittens; Gotta Catch ‘em all!
There are various ways you can monetize your game micropayments, in-game monetization, ads and simply selling a game. Some of these methods require multi-session game plays, users returning and playing your game multiple times, while others don’t.
Regardless of which methods you ultimately end up choosing, it’s important to understand how and why people spend money on games. (more…)
Part 1 of 4 Part Blog Mini Series on Porting your Game to Mobile
Martine Spaans has written a 4 part comprehensive article for our blog on porting Web games to Mobile. She is the owner of Tamalaki Mobile Publishing (http://www.tamalaki.com/) and freelance consultant in the field of casual gaming and online marketing. Martine has 7 years of gaming experience under her belt, which can be considered as quite a lot in our young industry. In previous roles she was Senior Licensing Manager for Spil Games, heading the Online Marketing department at the Ubisoft studio Blue Byte and as Chief Marketing Officer at the mobile social gaming network Gramble. While Tamalaki Publishing has only been around for 6 months she already had some successes like a #1 hit on Nook, a #10 paid app on Amazon and multiple games in the top 100 new free charts on GooglePlay. iOS soon to follow…
When porting your game to mobile a few basic elements need to be taken into consideration, regarding screen size, performance, controls and the mobile audience that you have one shot to impress.
What is an EIN number and why do you need it for Easy License deals:
An EIN number is an employer identification number and is used in the U.S. to identify an individual or a Company. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States issues a unique EIN number to each individual or entity that applies. An EIN number is very similar to an ITIN (individual tax identification number) but does not require the submission of personal information, including birth information, your passport, and proof of identity for issuance. In addition, FGL can obtain your EIN number on your behalf in a short amount of time, whereas you must obtain an ITIN yourself, which could take months.
FGL, as a U.S. based Company, is required to report all payments made to individuals or entities located outside the U.S. whether or not a tax treaty applies to the payment. As such, each individual or entity we send payment to, must have an EIN number with the IRS, so that we may properly report these payments.
Tax withholding on Easy License deals:
Many countries around the world have a tax treaty with the U.S. Each tax treaty specifies the amount of tax withholding required when selling a license, which is considered a copyright royalty. Depending on your country of residence, as specified in the required paperwork for Easy License deals, FGL will withhold anywhere from 0-30% in taxes and remit to the IRS on your behalf. If no tax treaty exists between your country and the U.S., we are required to withhold 30% in taxes from your license payment. A list of tax treaties and associated tax withholding rates can be found in IRS Publication 901 on the IRS website at http://www.irs.com .
What you need to know about year-end tax reporting on Easy License deals:
At the end of each year, FGL will send you tax form which lists all payments we have made during the year, and all tax withholding on those payments which were remitted to the IRS on your behalf. This form is called a 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. We are required to postmark this form by March 15th each year, for the period of January through December of the previous year. This form will be mailed to the address you provided in your initial tax paperwork completed, therefore it is important to keep us informed of any address changes.
Once you receive this form, you should take it to your tax preparer, who will decide, based on your individual circumstances, whether you qualify to apply for a refund of the tax withheld from the IRS. Unfortunately, FGL is unable to dispense tax advice, and must insist you consult a tax professional in your country for how to report the income received from your licensing deals.
It’s back on!
A few games will still have errors. In these cases, you will receive an automated email letting you know. In those cases, you may be able to avoid the error by changing your Kindi settings. Some games may simply not be compatible with the Kindi encryptor at this point, but I believe those will be few and far between.
Thanks for your patience!
You may have noticed that we switched to a new beta version of the Kindi encryptor a month ago. Unfortunately its “beta” status is causing us some trouble right now: certain games are locking up the encryption system and causing the site to become unresponsive for many users. We’ve disabled the encryption system until this issue gets resolved. You’ll need to use your own site-locking solution and encryption program before uploading your game to FGL. (Previously-encrypted games are still encrypted.)
We apologize for the hassle and will let you know as soon as it’s back online!
We just accidentally sent half of our developers an email with this months’ sponsor newsletter, in addition to the developer newsletter we’d already sent out. Very sorry about the unintentional spammage! Won’t happen again.
Recently, we received a “cease and desist” letter from a company that manages the trademark TAYLOR SWIFT. This was in regards to a game that was uploaded to flashgamedistribution.com. We actually do kick out games that we know are infringing copyrights or trademarks, but many times we are not aware of cases where this is happening. I felt this was a good opportunity to share this with you to show that as game developers we do need to be careful about copyrights and trademarks, and also to show why we at FGL kick some games out that we think could have issues. Below I’ve copied and pasted the company’s email to us and my response.
– The company’s letter (I have replaced their company name with <a certain company>) –
To whom it may concern,
<a certain company> is the exclusive licensee and administrator of the trademark, name and likeness rights of Ms. Taylor Swift, in the United States and throughout the world. As you are no doubt aware,TAYLOR SWIFT is a trademark used to identify products, services, activities and events related to Ms. Swift.
In connection to <a certain company>’s proprietary rights over its famous trademark we are notifying you of the following:
It has come to our attention that our trademark TAYLOR SWIFT appears as a metatag, keyword, visible or hidden text on the web site(s) located at:
<an FGD link that has been removed>
Also, by using such trademark, you have intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to your web site(s) or other online location(s), by creating a likelihood of confusion with the TAYLOR SWIFT trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site(s), online location(s), products or services.
The foregoing amounts to trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and false advertising under the federal statutes, including The Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq., and to unfair or deceptive practices under the State statutory and case law. Furthermore, this use infringes on Ms. Swift’s personal rights, in violation of the applicable laws, including the Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-25-1101 et seq. Therefore, <a certain company> is entitled to recover from you the damages that it has suffered as a result of your activities—and three times the amount of such damages, and the profits that you have gained as a result of your activities, in addition to its court costs and attorney fees.
In view of <a certain company>’s rights to the trademark TAYLOR SWIFT we demand that you immediately and no later than within three (3) days of your receipt of this letter, remove all metatags, keywords, visible or hidden texts including trademark presently appearing on the above-cited web site(s) and any other web site(s).
As part of our <a certain company> Trademark Enforcement Program, be assured that we will continue to monitor your web site(s) to verify your compliance with this letter. Failure to do so will force us to defer this issue to our Trademark Lawyer for further actions.
We hope that we can achieve a prompt resolution of this matter. However, this letter is not exhaustive of <a certain company>’s claims with regard to your conduct in this matter and is not intended to limit <a certain company>’s rights or remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.
<a certain company>
– My response –
The game has been removed, sorry about that! Tell Ms. Swift that we apologize. Users can upload content to our site and we do not monetize the content in any way (there are no ads on the site, etc…). However we still strive to make sure no copyrighted or trademarked content goes up without the permission of the owners of the IP.
If you could relay this message to Ms. Swift that would be greatly appreciated. We, in no way, are trying to be Mean. We always try to have our Eyes Open for illegal uses of trademarks. I even remember Back to December when we cleared a bunch of games out that violated trademarks and man did Sparks Fly then, but we did it nonetheless. Believe me, we know what is Mine and Ours, and we would never intentionally use another’s IP to enhance The Story of Us. We feel like our own story is strong enough without that assistance and just the thought brings Teardrops on My Guitar. And, not to beat a dead White Horse, but even though we would never upload such a game, it still means there was some person who has done this horrible thing and our relationship with that person is anything but a Love Story. Trust us, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together with them.
You Belong With Me,
– Their response back to my response –
Thank you for your quick response.