Indie developers can self-publish their own mobile games in today’s app stores, but they currently have difficulty with discovery and marketing. Selfpubd hopes to address that problem with a three-part platform that could deliver many in-kind benefits for those who participate.
Selfpubd is announcing today a strategic partnership with mobile ad network Taptica, a move that will give developers working with Selfpubd the equivalent of $2,500 in advertising if they integrate Taptica’s ad platform SDK (software development kit) into their games. Taptica is willing to grant multiple millions of dollars to game studios that take advantage of the deal.
Portland, Ore.-based Selfpubd launched its indie mobile game publishing platform in June and now handles more than 115 developers with 230 games. Those developers are seeing more than 3 million downloads a month. And soon, Selfpubd will launch its own game portal website to attract more consumers to the games it promotes.
The partnership could be appealing to developers because Taptica has deals with brand advertisers who want to target users of mobile games. With its SDK, it inserts ads into mobile games. When developers become the advertisers and want to promote their games to other mobile users, they take out ads on Taptica, which knows how to target the right audience. In this case, Taptica simply gives each participating developer the equivalent of $2,500 worth of free advertising, which directs users to the developer’s games. In an interview with GamesBeat, Selfpubd founder Andy Rosic said that Taptica isn’t handing over cash, but the promotion still has real value.
“This is the sort of deal a hit studio might command,” said Rosic. “But Selfpubd shows its commitment to Indies by negotiating a deal like this for every one of our member studios.”
Taptica’s deal will be exclusive to Selfpubd for the next year. Under the terms of Selfpubd’s platform, developers retain rights to their own creations, but they get to use the full spectrum of publishing tools, including Taptica. Rosic says that every indie game studio can benefit from the Selfpubd platform and Taptica deal. Rosic, who felt the pain of discovery problems as a mobile developer, says he started the company to redefine what it means to publish in the new app economy. The old models don’t work, but developers can publish on their own these days and retain rights to their games. What they need is help with getting noticed. Selfpubd offers a dashboard of tools for that purpose.
“The tier 1 advertisers we work with are eager for quality media sources and loyal users. Teaming up with indie content will generate a real boost to both indie studios and to our advertisers,” said Kobi Marenko, chief executive at Taptica. “You can’t get this combination somewhere else.”
Self-funded, Selfpubd has four employees and was founded earlier this year. It graduated from the YetiZen game accelerator, where the first seeds of the Taptica deal surfaced. Rivals for Selfpubd include Chillingo (owned by Electronic Arts), Gree, Ngmoco/DeNA, Zynga, and Activision Mobile.