Activision Publishing is about to make some big investments in mobile games. One of the ways it will do so is through a third-party publishing platform via a partnership with analytics firm Flurry.
Under the partnership, Activision Publishing will release games made by outside developers under the Activision Mobile Publishing brand. The developers will retain full control of their intellectual property, and Flurry will provide its mobile analytics and advertising platform.
Activision Publishing, a division of Activision Blizzard in Santa Monica, Calif., hasn’t been as active as other big players in the mobile space such as Electronic Arts, Zynga, and Gameloft. But it is committed to the market and has decided that the time is right to make a big splash in mobile games, said Greg Canessa, vice president of mobile at Activision Publishing, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“Our company is a thoughtful one,” Canessa said. “We aren’t one to promise the world and chase after it for years. We are thoughtful on how we enter new spaces, and our partnership with Flurry is a key component here.”
He added, “We are increasing our involvement in mobile and the microtransactions, games-as-a-service business model. This marrying up with Flurry is an indication of our increased investment. We’re going to find titles with a lot of potential and publish them.”
The partnership with Flurry, which captures analytics data on 190,000 games and 250 million consumers on a daily basis, will give the big company access to more critical data in the mobile game market, said Simon Khalaf, chief executive of Flurry, in an interview.
Activision Publishing will release games on iOS and Android platforms and help with development, distribution, and promotion of independent game titles.
“A world class partner such as Flurry will position Activision for mobile growth in the future, and we are confident our relationship will yield significant insight into mobile development and distribution,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Additionally, Activision and Flurry are uniquely qualified to provide mobile developers with funding, resources, and unmatched marketing expertise while also allowing them to retain their intellectual property. We are confident our relationship and this new platform will yield significant results and are excited to launch it.”
Khalaf said that Flurry has connections with more than 70,000 companies in the app market and that it monitors more than 670 million game sessions a month. That gives Flurry considerable reach into the indie developer community while Activision Publishing has the scale to help indie games get noticed.
“We have been watching and learning together,” Khalaf said. “Now the app market has generated $5 billion in revenues for developers. We now have a way for indie developers to get together with Activision, which has decades of experience in games.”
Activision will continue to make games such as the recent Skylanders Cloud Patrol for iOS, and more are coming. Games published under Activision’s mobile brand will have cross-promotion and a common community.
Khalaf said the two companies worked on the strategic relationship for almost a year. It is late to be entering the mobile space, but Canessa said that the timing is good because the market continues to expand and that “real gamers are now coming into the platform.”
“Activision’s experience could become extremely handy as the one-hit wonders are not growing that much anymore,” Khalaf said. Canessa added, “This is a great time. It is a very interesting time. We are at an inflection point, and I have a great amount of passion for the indie community,” as Canessa previously helped get Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade off the ground. Canessa will be one of our speakers at the GamesBeat 2012 event, described below.
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