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Kiip announces Swarm to stage mobile game contests with big rewards

Kiip, which offers real world prizes for rewards in mobile games, is launching a new feature called Swarm for its brand advertisers. In a partnership with Disney, the first Swarm is a contest-like feature that allows Kiip to offer some very big rewards in “flash tournaments.”

Kiip offers rewards at the moment when you achieve something in a mobile game, such as getting past a level or a boss. With Swarms, it will be able to offer bigger prizes to the winners of instant tournaments in games that players are already engaged with.

“Swarms are flash competitions that are built around larger, sponsored rewards,” said Brian Wong, chief executive of Kiip, in an interview.

Kiip developed the Swarm idea over the past six months and is introducing it Dec. 23 to Dec. 26 with a promotion of the Disney film John Carter, which arrives in theaters on March 9.

The concept is simple: mobile games with millions of players should be able to offer bigger rewards to consumers who win tournaments. The skill-based contests can be things like, if you get the highest score in the next hour, you can win a free car. The time periods can be set by the brand. Players find out immediately if they win. Testing has shown that the number of game sessions per user can increase 30 percent as a result of engaging in Swarm contests.

Many of Kiip’s individual prizes are things like coupons for a cup of coffee, and those rewards are being built into more and more games in a partnership with GameSalad. Those rewards have reached tens of millions of players. Kiip is actually releasing a list of those games on a web site now.

But that left big advertisers such as car makers, travel companies, and entertainment firms unable to easily participate. With a Swarm, a travel company could offer a reward of a free trip to the player who completes a level in the shortest amount of time.

To show off the Swarm, Kiip is working with Walt Disney Studios, giving game fans a chance to win prizes by playing some of their favorite mobile games — like Mega Jump, by Get Set Games — on Kiip’s network. Winners of the Swarm could win a new 3DTV + Surround Sound System, tickets to a 3D showing of John Carter, Disney DVD packs, and a $10 credit for snacks in theaters. The tournament has one grand prize, 10 first place and, 25 second place winners.

The Disney Swarm will run from December 23 through 26 as it promotes the film, based on classic novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. High scores will be counted and displayed on Kiip’s Swarm leaderboard. Wong said that the Swarm is just one of many that will be coming in the new year.

San Francisco-based Kiip was founded in September 2010 by Wong, Courtney Guertin, and Amadeus Demarzi. The company has raised money from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, True Ventures, and Crosslink Capital. Kiip has 20 employees. Kiip was founded in 2007.


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