Scoreloop is launching a community for gamers that combines a presence on the web with social games on the iPhone.
While others see lots of business in making games, Munich, Germany-based Scoreloop is trying to make money from game developers. The last time we wrote about them, I compared their strategy to selling shovels to miners during the Gold Rush.
The company is releasing a software developer kit for game developers to make their iPhone games stickier, through a combination of a web site and a social community on the iPhone. Once the game developers integrate Scoreloop’s software into their game, they can create a community for fans of the game. That community also becomes a subset of a larger Scoreloop community where game companies can cross-sell games to fans.
Mark Pincus, the chief executive of Zynga, pointed out in a recent interview that, as hundreds of new games appear every day, iPhone gamers can be a fickle bunch. And it’s hard to make games stand out on the iPhone, which has more than 13,000 games available.
Gamers are trying out a lot of games, but social features such as multiplayer play, scoreboards, and cross-selling could make the games last longer. Game developers can use Scoreloop to add features such as push notifications, which prompt someone when they should take a turn in a multiplayer game.
The Scoreloop Community includes a web site where gamers can make friends, create their own avatars, manage their games, and extend challenges for multiplayer games. It can find friends in Facebook and invite them into the Scoreloop Community, said Marc Gumpinger, chief executive of Scoreloop, in an interview. Players can also use the Scoreloop Community to discover new games.
Scoreloop is also launching an app on the Apple App Store that lets players engage in social games on the iPhone. They can use that app to get access to all sorts of games in the broader Scoreloop community.
The company competes with Aurora Feint, which is providing its own socialization features for game developers, as well as Ngmoco, which has its own social gaming features. Viximo also launched its own social gaming tool for iPhone developers. Another rival is Geocade, which makes it easy to set up global high score leaderboards.
Gumpinger says his company doesn’t compete with its partners, who may be leary of handing over customer data to rival game publishers.
Scoreloop’s system builds loyalty through “coins.” You win coins in game matches, by adding friends to your community or by downloading games. You can spend them on multiplayer games or other features. If you buy coins, Scoreloop gets a cut, as does the game developer.
Scoreloop can provide analytics information to the game developers. If many gamers drop out of a game at the same point, Scoreloop can tell the game developers that. Then the developers can fix the problem.
Scoreloop launched its platform earlier this year. The Scoreloop Community adds the dimension of the web to the platform.
Scoreloop’s partners’ games include 8bit Games, Flying, Aeio, Apollo XI, Bug Landing, GeoRain, inTENSity, Monster Mash, Orb, Sorty, Submarine, Tornado Alley, Zombie Pub Crawl and others. Developers are working on 50 more Scoreloop-enabled titles, Gumpinger said.
Scoreloop raised an undisclosed amount of money last fall from Target Partners. It has 16 employees.