Gamer-profiling company iQU is launching an analytics and marketing platform to help online games find more users through mobile and social networks.
The Haarlem, Netherlands-based company was formerly known as MMOTraffic.com and MMO Life, but now it is expanding in the U.S. and rebranding itself as iQU (pronounced “eye-cue”). The company’s goal is to help online game publishers target the right potential customers with promotions and increase their income as a result. If it works, iQU will be a new best friend for a lot of online game makers.
iQU says it can do better marketing than game companies themselves because it has a large database of gamers and information on how they behave on the internet, social media, and mobile devices. This rich collection of knowledge about gamers can be used to pitch them the right game at the right time.
At its heart, the company is a data intelligence company, Reinout te Brake, chief executive and founder iQU, told VentureBeat in an interview. The goal is to create a “social graph” of gamer activity on an international level. Te Brake said that the company can track a gamer’s progression over time and predict what kind of game the gamer will like in the future.
“We wanted to find a way to make marketing spending more effective,” te Brake said.
One of the big problems that publishers complain about is that 20 percent of games are played by 80 percent of gamers. And of those gamers, only 10 percent of the gamers account for 80 percent of the revenues. Figuring out what kind of gamer is playing the game is thus exceedingly important.
At the Gamescom gamer event in Cologne, Germany, iQU will show a demo of a working mobile app that lets consumers keep track of their games via smartphones.
Founded as MMOTraffic.com in 2009, iQU has services that include GameriQU, (pronounced GameriQU), which maps a gamer’s behavior across platforms. iQU knows a gamer’s favorite genre, recent game activity, and payment history. The company matches this profile against the games that its clients are promoting.
iQU has also created a network of localized portals, like mmogames.com in the U.S., that offer news, reviews and exclusive content for gamers. That’s one of the ways that iQU gather’s information about gamer behavior. Now it is expanding its coverage to include social and mobile games. Te Brake said that the company has more than 40 million player profiles and tracks 100 million details.
The company has 35 employees and is shooting to have 70 to 100 people a year from now. It is expanding its office in Los Angeles and adding a new office in Seoul, South Korea.
Rivals to iQU include Google, Facebook, Omniture, Nielsen and Acxiom. Smaller rivals include Matomy, Ad4game, CPMStar, and Zanox. iQU says it currently serves more than 100 game developers.
iQU’s investors include Gameforge founders Klaas Kersting and Alexander Roesner, the iQU (former MMO Traffic) executive team, Pim Schmitz, Endemol, Talpa Media Holding, and Hummingbird Ventures in Belgium. The company has raised $4.6 million to date. Before founding iQU, te Brake was a strategist at Spil Games.