Tap Me CEO Hernandez reveals iPhone gaming advertising platform iComplishments

Linking advertisers to gamers' good times

Tap Me CEO Hernandez reveals iPhone gaming advertising platform iComplishments
One of the most interesting meetings I had at GDC 2010 was with Chicago developer Tap Me.

As well as eating its own dog food by releasing iPhone games such as bitFLIP, it's working on an in-game advertising and social marketing platform called iComplishments.

Currently developed for iPhone, it's planned for Android, Windows Phone 7 and Flash too.

"The problem is general mobile ad networks such as AdMob aren't designed for games," explained CEO Joshua Hernandez.

"Meanwhile social gaming networks such as OpenFeint and Plus+ aren't making more money for developers, and we're all worried about the impact on piracy on our revenue."

These are the issues iComplishments is designed to solve.

Positive feedback

The advertising part of the solution comes as the adverts are linked to in-game events such as achievements; hence the name.

"Seeing a banner, video or static ad page isn't something people want to see in a game," Hernandez says. "We think linking advertising to gaining an achievement or tweeting your high score is much better for both the advertiser and the player."

This provides flexible options in terms of how advertisers and developers interact, lining up the potential for say a health-focused advertiser to advertise using health power up in a game, or a car manufacturer to unlock a more powerful in-game vehicle.

"We enable the advertiser to match their business message with the abilities provided for gamers," says Hernandez.

Say it loud

Social networks are an important part of iComplishments, with uploading sponsored achievements to Facebook and Twitter supported and Google Buzz planned.

In terms of how the technology works, there's an API developers integrate into their games. This includes features such as online leaderboards, persistent user profiles, and a hosted in-app purchase system. They will also have the option to decide how deeply iComplishments interacts with their games.

And with iComplishments due to launch in the near future - the first example of how the system works will be the 1.1 update to bitFLIP - there will be an early bird program for developers who sign up immediately, and a referral process for those who encourage other studios to do likewise.

You can get more information about iComplishments from its website.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.