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Digital game publisher Roadhouse Interactive has acquired mobile-marketing firm Chunky Pig and will offer new digital publishing services to indie game developers.
Vancouver, Canada-based Roadhouse is known for titles like FRS Ski Cross, Warhammer 40,000: Carnage, and Family Guy Online. Now it is taking its know-how and combining it with Chunky Pig’s to create services that help indie developers acquire new users, market to them in a targeted way, and help run live operations for mobile and online games.
Nick Maliperiman (pictured below on left), the co-founder of Chunky Pig, will become the new head of publishing at Roadhouse Interactive. His team of about six people will serve third-party game developers who hire the company to handle marketing and distribution for free-to-play mobile games.
“We think this will be a new way of doing things,” Maliperiman told GamesBeat. “We’ll offer a blend of every service you can imagine.”
James Hursthouse (pictured above on right), the CEO of Roadhouse Interactive, said the publishing services could be attractive to developers because his company isn’t planning to charge exorbitant fees, such as taking a big chunk of revenues. The fee is a combination of a fixed monthly fee and a small percentage of revenue.
“If you were going to hire a few people to run this stuff, how much would you be spending?” Hursthouse said. “We can plug our resources into your team and provide the services on a fee basis. In the past, the perception was that if you signed with a publisher, you would give up too much.”
Roadhouse can now offer a full suite of publishing services as well as game development. Hursthouse, Tarnie Williams, and Ian Verchere started Roadhouse in 2009, and the company now has 80 employees. Most of them are developing games, but the addition of Chunky Pig means the company will have more dedicated publishing-services employees. Maliperiman started Chunky Pig in 2011 in Vancouver as a mobile-marketing consultancy.
Roadhouse already has publishing services clients including D3 Publisher in the U.S., Boomlagoon in Finland, and Bloobuzz in Canada.
There’s a slight chance of conflicts of interest since Roadhouse makes games and services third parties. But Hursthouse said that the division will get a thorough drilling as it will provide publishing services to Roadhouse’s own game developers. That will make it better at serving third parties, Hursthouse said.
“It’s better to have games that use these services firsthand,” Hursthouse said.
One of the things that Roadhouse Publishing Services division will do is evaluate third-party tools and networks, such as game creation tools, ad networks, and user acquisition firms. Then it will offer advice about best practices with developers.
“We’ll help you, but we won’t fleece you,” Hursthouse said.