Sponsored feature: Big publishers and indies should be making the most of GREE Platform, argues Eros Resmini
From its Japanese heartland, it's expanded aggressively in the west, buying up platform companies such as OpenFeint and developers like Funzio.
And now, its borderless GREE Platform is preparing for a very busy holiday season.
In the first of a series of sponsored features, we quizzed SVP marketing and developer relations Eros Resmini about the company's plans and the opportunities available for developers, both big and small.
Pocket Gamer: Let's start with brass tacks. Why should developers be considering integrating GREE's social gaming platform?
Eros Resmini: Developers should consider integrating GREE Platform into their games because it will help them boost acquisition, increase engagement, and improve the social user experience, ultimately maximising ARPU and LTV.
For years, GREE has demonstrated power in the Japanese market, and now with GREE Platform, developers worldwide can leverage GREE's tools and knowledge. We think that combination of great tech and know how will lead to developers choosing to work with GREE.
What do you think is the single core feature that you bring to the market?
The platform has a lot of really strong features for developers but one of the most exciting opportunities is how the platform unifies users around the world, creating the only truly borderless system - both geographically and in terms of cross-platform availability.
This gives developers access to all markets, providing them with a global user base in high ARPU markets and helps the players discover all kinds of great gaming experiences.
You've signed big deals with big companies, but what's the juice for the smaller indies?
I'm personally very committed to the indie community. From my days at OpenFeint, I learned that independent game developers are the drivers of innovation and creativity in the space - rarely do you see that coming from the big guys.
We've adopted that philosophy here at GREE, focusing on making sure our tools are easy to use and drive unique value for the indies. Often times we're building features and systems specifically based on feedback from the indie community.
If I'm an interested developer, where should I head to find out more and do you provide real people who can deal with my queries?
You can contact our developer community ninja and game integration engineer, Erin Anderson, with any questions or to start a dialogue at erin.anderson (at) gree.net.
Additionally, we have lots of other resources available for developers on our Developer Center, including forums and FAQs, and make sure you tune in to our "Ask the GREEnius" webinar on Thursday, 27 September.
Everyone always says hours not weeks, but what's the timescale to get a basic integration of the GREE SDK done?
It really varies depending on what you're trying to do, and how deeply you're integrating the SDK. You can integrate features on a surface level in a matter of days, or you can integrate a more customised feature using a variety of tools, which can take a few weeks.
Our goal has always been to make an SDK that developers can use however they want to, depending on their timeline, games, and needs. In addition, we give developers a lot of flexibility and freedom to add on or take out any components of the SDK, at any given time.
As a developer, I'm already using Game Center, while other vendors like Microsoft, Amazon and BlackBerry have their own social networks. How does GREE work with those in terms of providing cross platform features?
We have great relationships with most major industry partners including Apple and Amazon. Our platform works seamlessly with Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and we have plans to expand on Amazon products.
Our primary goal is to have users around the world enjoy all the games on our platform regardless of their physical location, language, and device/platform.
We know you guys are big on card-battling games, but I don't make that sort of game so is GREE still an option for me?
GREE Platform offers features for all types of games from casual and social to hardcore to arcade. Our goal is to work with all types of game developers in order to provide a wide variety of content on GREE Platform for our users.
GREE is a cross-platform network but are you stronger on iOS or Android?
The GREE Platform is really in-line with the mobile market worldwide. So though games on iOS are monetising more at the moment, we're seeing a lot of success and momentum on Android. In some markets and segments, Android is actually leading iOS.
Our goal is really to focus on both iOS and Android and make sure we have the same tools regardless of what operating system you are developing for.
I'm interested in bringing my game to the Japanese market. Can you help me make that a success?
GREE has 7+ years of mobile social experience in Japan and we continue to have a huge presence there so the short answer is 'yes'.
That said, the reality is that the Japan market is very mature compared to the rest of the world. That means that the kinds of games that work there tend to look and feel quite different from games in the rest of the world.
If a developer is willing to invest in understanding the market and adapting their game(s) we're very interested in working with them.
There are lots of other big companies with similar platform plays - Mobage, Zynga, Origin - why should I go with GREE?
The simple answer is because we really partner with our developers and listen. We are very invested in their success and unlike other platforms we have the track record to prove it.
Over time these platforms will look very similar so from that standpoint the technology will rarely be a difference maker, instead it's the people you partner with that will make or break your chance at success.
You can find out more at GREE's developer website.