Discovery remains a significant issue on the major app stores.
But Slimstown Studios is the latest in a line of companies with a plan to remedy the situation, with its mobile game discovery service Quyay.
Quyay is essentially a pinboard-style website that lets users post pictures and video of the games they're playing. Through on-site sharing and a built-in recommendation engine, users are recommended other games that they might enjoy.
For developers, of course, solutions such as Quyay offer another potential path to discovery. But to succeed, these services first need to attract enough consumers and developers to create a viable community.
So, in order to find out how Slimstown Studios plans to achieve this, we caught up with the company's director of marketing and PR Amar Gavhane.
Pocket Gamer: First of all, how on earth do you pronounce 'Quyay'?
Amar Gavhane: It's pronounced 'Q-yay', or 'QUEUE-yay' if you use the Queen's English. That's a question I expect to answer often.
Now that's out of the way, what is Quyay, and who is it for?
There really are two sides to Quyay.
On one side, Quyay is a mobile game discovery service that makes looking for games fun and useful. Users can share pictures and videos of the games they're playing and find new ones to play based on what they post.
And, just for doing normal things on the site like posting and commenting, they earn experience points and badges as part of a metagame.
It's for folks who aren't satisfied with the ways out there right now for finding new games like the games they already love. Sure, they could ask friends what games they like, but we don't always have the same tastes as our friends.
They could use current recommendation engines, but I have yet to use one that I find satisfactory.
Even if they read all the sites that cover mobile games, talk to all their friends, and browse the top charts regularly, they're only going to find out about a few hundred games a year.
The thing is, there are thousands of games out there that people might like, but they have no way of knowing about them. Quyay aims to fix that.
And the other side?
On the other side, related to what I just said, there are thousands of developers out there who've put countless hours into making a mobile game.
They're talented people and a lot of them make some really enjoyable games, but they just might not have the time, money or connections to make a dent in the market.
Quyay is for them, too. Besides posting their games to the site to help discovery, they can use our SDK. It'll have time-saving tools to help with user interactions, engagement and retention, with a focus on augmenting multiplayer.
We're also working on a store to make it easy for a user to see a developer's great-looking game in a post and then download it in just a few clicks.
How will you attract users and developers to Quyay?
There are already would-be users posting about games they like through their social media accounts. We think those people will come for the opportunity to become tastemakers, and will stay for the social interactions and genuinely useful recommendations.
For developers, it's a few things in tandem: the ability to interact with people who comment on their games, another point of sale for their games once our store is complete, and a handy SDK that they'll find to be really valuable.
A shot of Quyay in action.
Quyay isn't the first discovery solution employing a 'pinboard for games' style approach GamsGrabr, for instance, is similar.
What advantages does Quyay offer?
Yeah, the pinboard visual style is popular right now and you see a lot of sites and apps across a variety of industries using it because it just plain looks fantastic, plus it works especially well for showing off games.
Our advantage comes from a combination of five factors. First, we're focused solely and intently on mobile games and mobile gamers.
Second, we're connecting game players and game makers through the service itself and through what we'll offer in the SDK.
Third, by building a store so users can download a game within a click or two of seeing a great post, we're trying to make it as easy as possible for users and developers to get downloads.
Fourth, we're working on an app so users can get the full Quyay experience on their mobile phones and tablets, which will help conversions for developers since users are already on their devices.
Fifth, we're a small developer too, so we know what it's like to have discovery issues. That said, our team has decades of experience, with some members having been around the industry since before the golden era of PC gaming, so our combined experience gives us a unique perspective on how to entertain users and assist developers.
Wrap all these things up and you've got the Quyay difference.
What can you tell us about the Quyay SDK?
It will be a suite of tools to make it easier for developers to give their users a way to connect with one another and for developers to connect with their users.
It's in development now and we want to talk to developers to see what their immediate needs are. We believe that the combination of true, real-time multiplayer and community-building social interactions is the next big wave for mobile games, so that's what we're focusing on in our initial development schedule.
But each developer has their own priorities and we want to make sure we give them something useful right off the bat.
When will Quyay be available?
It's already available! It's in alpha, and users can already apply for early access to the alpha as well as to reserve their usernames.
Developers can also sign up separately to gain access and so we can connect to talk to them about their needs, the SDK and the store.
It will be going to a public beta within several months, so then everyone can check it out at www.quyay.com.
Thanks to Amar for his time.
PocketGamer.biz's news editor 2012-2013
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