Casual Connect 2011
This year’s annual Casual Connect conference in downtown Seattle brought together many of the top minds in the casual gaming industry, as usual. There weren’t really any new, radical topics, however. The topics that continued to rise to the top of the casual games industry are: marketability, discoverability, and monetization.
To tackle the marketability and discoverability problems there are a number of companies out there who market themselves as cross-platform games networks. These are companies like OpenFeint who provide a social solution that links your games with thousands of other games in their network and to millions of customers. OpenFeint claims to have 125 million users. By cross promoting your games within other games in their network, you can increase the visibility and discoverability of your game. A similar network is WildTangent who claim to have 175 million users. With WildTangent, developers can choose to sell their games as rentals, one-time purchase, or free with advertising. Other notable mentions in this category are GamesPassport and Conduit.
To address the monetization problem, there are number of companies out there who handle mobile payments and advertising. The mobile payments problem is acutely an Android problem as there is no standard solution on the Android platform to handle in-app purchases. Some notable companies at Casual Connect that work in this space are MoPay, Skrill, and PlaySpan. The advertising problem is addressed by such companies as TapJoy and Tap.me.