Lootsie is announcing a platform for mobile and social games that lets gamers redeem points for real-world rewards.
The new platform (launching soon) is another imaginative way to generate revenues for mobile games and keep gamers more engaged in the age of nanosecond attention spans. Lootsie unveiled the platform at the Casual Connect game conference in San Francisco. For advertisers and brands, Lootsie offers a chance to get in front of a lucrative audience without annoying in them. In this case, the branded rewards would be welcome and relevant to what the gamers’ preferences are.
The Los Angeles company was started by Marc Mitchell, chief executive, and co-founder Brandon Werber in 2012. Other reward programs exist at companies such as Kiip, Session M, and Tapjoy. But Lootsie hopes to win favor with gamers by allowing them to continue playing their games without interruption. Lootsie lets players earn rewards that that they can choose for themselves and do it at their convenience. The idea is to enhance the game experience, not disrupt it.
“With Lootsie, we’re able to put the power of choice into the hands of gamers across the world,” Mitchell said. “We believe players should be rewarded for their achievements while playing games but shouldn’t have to leave it to reap those benefits. Lootsie makes it possible for players to earn rewards and redeem them when they want to, for the exact offers they want.”
For developers, Lootsie creates a new revenue stream by connecting the developers with advertisers who want to reach gamers. The developers also get to define how and when Lootsie interacts with the players. Users can earn and redeem rewards across multiple games, platforms, and devices. Developers integrate Lootsie in about an hour’s time through a drag-and-drop software development kit.
When a user reaches the in-game achievements set by the developer, they receive Lootsie Points via a notification bar that fades up and then out. The user has the option to tap on the reward immediately and go to the Lootsie Marketplace, where they can select a reward, or they can just continue playing.
Lootsie has nine employees. The company is launching soon on iOS and Android, and it will debut on web platforms in the first quarter of 2014. The company is privately funded by angel investors. Mitchell was previously chief operating officer of UrbanDaddy and an executive at SRC/Universal Records. Werber was previously at Creative Artists Agency. Chief technology officer Bryan Dickson previously worked at Jamdat and Electronic Arts.