With $3 million in funding, Gramble World is releasing a new version of its Gramble Network, a mobile social gaming network, in an open beta test today.
Mobile social gaming networks are helping game developers make more money by making it easier to get their games discovered. The company, a startup based in The Hague, the Netherlands, believes that such networks will also be a great way to make money for charities.
The network has been in testing since December. Gramble integrates charitable donations directly into competitive mobile games with a high degree of social interaction. Players can purchase in-game items to use across multiple titles, and a percentage of the proceeds go to the charities of the player’s choice.
The previous version has garnered more than 100,000 registered beta users. The network already hosts more than 240 games from 105 developers. The redesigned version has a more enticing look for gamers, expanded tools for developers, and new features that makes mobile games more social.
The platform works on iOS or Android mobiles and tablets. Gramble World CEO Adam Palmer said the company is now offering an extended, more fleshed-out set of tools for improving engagement.
“We are now one step closer to giving developers a seamless path to integrate our network so they can reach our users and also share the Gramble experience with their own audience,” Palmer said in a statement.
The new mobile platform has a system-wide chat program that works across all games. It also has cloud saves, leaderboards, achievements, and interactive Gramble and Facebook news feeds. Players can access these without leaving a game. The Developer Sandbox includes a free software development kit and documentation for the integration process.
One of the early adopters among developers is game studio Plata Games. It has integrated the Gramble Android SDK into its title Pirate Explorer. Other games include Vambleer’s Ridiculous Fishing and Youda Games’ Governor of Poker. About 1,500 to 2,500 gamers are signing up every day.
Gramble World’s investors include Novamedia, a $7 billion charity-funding group behind Europe’s Post Code Lotteries, and Angaros Group in Singapore. Gramble has 27 full-time employees. With part-timers and advisers, the number is closer to 50. Palmer founded the company in May. He formed it after he read the book, Blue Ocean Strategy. The idea was to create a new and socially conscious place in mobile games. Len Ainsworth, founder of Ainsworth Gaming Industries, liked the idea enough to give Palmer seed money.
Rivals include Gree, PlayPhone, Heyzap, Openkit and RIM’s Scoreloop.