Pocket Gems

As romantic as it is to imagine one or two guys starving themselves in a tiny apartment while they work 20-hour days to independently publish a game on Android’s Google Play marketplace, only to hit it big when the game finally goes live, it’s not exactly ideal for the developers themselves. And honestly, it’s not actually that romantic. I want my developers well fed.

To that effect, developer Pocket Gems is flexing its knowledge base to become a publisher for smaller third-party studios. The mobile game publisher today announced that it’s working with three companies, Dreamfab, Twyngo, and WeRPlay, to help them finish their products and get them to market.

“We’ve built out playbooks, processes, and technology to help our own games find and delight users while staying in the top grossing charts,” said Pocket Gems chief executive officer Ben Liu. “We want to share our expertise with the most talented developers so that they can focus on what they love most – making great games.”

Going with a publisher will remove some of the headaches that the business and marketing aspects of game production introduce into what is otherwise a fully creative process.

”Pocket Gems has helped us optimize for monetization and quality assurance on Android, which we could never have done on our own,” said Christian Dickert, creative director on Chasing Yello at developer Dreamfab. “It has been a fantastic experience from the beginning, and we’re looking forward to a long partnership.”

Dreamfab’s Chasing Yello is the first game to materialize as part of Pocket Gems’ new efforts. It is an endless runner (swimmer?) game that gives players the control of a goldfish named Yello as he attempts to out-swim his owner while evading obstacles.

The second game is developer Twyngo’s Amazing Ants for Apple’s iOS. Pocket Gems will help release it this month. You help a colony of ants find food by solving puzzles with special powers and magical items.

“As we began working closely with the Pocket Gems team, it became apparent that we share the same desire to create quality games with high user satisfaction instead of quickly churning out game after game thoughtlessly,” said Twyngo chief executive officer Unni Narayanan. “Pocket Gems also understands the value of customer retention and longer term monetization strategies, which is what initially attracted us to this partnership.”

Recently, more and more developers are turning to small publishers to help them finish their games. It’s starting to look a lot like one of the major trends of 2012. Earlier this month we reported on GameFly moving into mobile publishing with the word puzzler Writer Rumble from developer Feel Every Yummy. Yesterday, Gree announced its plans to expand its publisher fund to help bring more mobile games to the U.S. under the Gree banner.

A lot of these games are the types of titles that developers would have self-published in 2011 or earlier.