Mobile VP for Activision reveals motivation behind Flurry partnership

Last month, Activision struck a partnership with analytics firm Flurry to create a third-party publishing platform that would allow outside developers to elease games under the Activision Mobile brand. The developers retain control over their intellectual property and Flurry provides mobile analytics and advertising capabilities. This was a significant step, considering Activision used to be less active on mobile than competitors Electronic Arts, Zynga, and Gameloft.

Activision’s VP of mobile Greg Canessa discussed the game publishing giant’s move onstage today with IGN mobile gaming editor Justin Davis at VentureBeat’s GamesBeat conference.

Davis asked Canessa what happened between April, when Activision had no dedicated games in the appstore, and June, when the company decided to grow its mobile division.

“The thinking evolved,” Canessa said. “Customers are spending time on tablets and smartphones for an increasing proportion of the day. The technology for these devices is powerful, and they have reached the point where midcore and hardcore gaming experiences can be expressed and compelling.”

Canessa said Activision Mobile will focus on building a strong internal staff and growing organically. The company is somewhat late out of the gate on this front, which will affect the roadmap for growth. It will work on publishing its own games, while also providing tools for independent developers to launch their own projects, Canessa said.

“We want our third-party division to complement our first-party initiatives,” he said. “There is a vibrant and thriving indy development community, especially on mobile, but getting a game recognized on an app store is an enormous problem. This is an area Activation can help with.”

Activision offers Flurry an aggregated community of tens of millions of users, and Flurry will reciprocate with expertise, data analytics, and a monetization platform. Furthermore, by publishing games through Activision, third-party developers will also have access to big data and can use it to iterate their games.

As a result of this announcement, Activision Mobile has received a tremendous amount of inbound interest. While he cannot sit down with them all, Canessa said independent developers hold a fond place in his heart and he looks forward to providing a launching pad for creative, well-executed games.

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