Tel Aviv, Israel-based Nextpeer has made a multiplayer platform that can convert both iOS and Android games into multiplayer titles. Since multiplayer is social, it makes games more engaging and enables them to retain players for longer periods. And that leads to better monetization.
The rate of growth on Android is about 15 times the pace of the growth when the company debuted on iOS a year ago. Altogether, more than 70 million users are playing Nextpeer-enabled games.
The rapid growth now can be attributed to the addition of multiplayer mode for 2048n Number Puzzle Games, the No. 1 free-to-play mobile game in the world — and which is also a clone of 2048, which is a clone of 1024, itself a clone of Threes, the hit puzzle game. Latvia-based Estoty Entertainment released the multiplayer version of 2048 Number Puzzle Game a couple of days ago in the Google Play store.
“We are amazed at the growth we are experiencing on Android” said Shai Magzimof, founder and CEO of Nextpeer. “The team is racing to keep up with the demand, and we see no end to this wave of new multiplayer users. We always thought that once Android took off, we would experience a steeper user growth curve than we had on iOS, but we did not expect anything like this. We are immensely grateful to be working with a great developer partner like 2048.”
An iOS version of multiplayer 2048 Number Puzzle Game is coming soon, and it will use Nextpeer’s cross-platform capability so players can challenge each other on Android and iOS.
In 2048 multiplayer, users can compete against each other in one of two modes. In the first mode, they can compete on the same board to see who reaches a higher score. The players have to reach as high a number as possible before the board gets full.
In the second mode, players compete on survival mode to see who can match tiles faster while having a time limit dependent on their ability to match tiles. Players can either invite their Facebook friends for a match or play against other random players from all over the world.
Nextpeer’s platform is used by more than 4,500 games. 2048 Number Puzzle Game is No. 13 on Android’s Google Play store, according to market researcher App Annie. The game is a clone of 2048 by Gabriele Cirulli, who created the game after seeing the hit mobile game Threes.
Nextpeer has created a multiplayer software development kit (SDK) for iOS and Android so that developers can add multiplayer tournaments and other social features.
Among the features are the ability to play friends on different platforms. Nextpeer also lets you compete against a “ghost” player, or the best time that you or a friend got in a recorded previous game. And it allows players to use Facebook Connect to link with their friends. Nextpeer provides leaderboards to show who has the best scores on a daily, weekly, and all-time basis. You can share your best moments in a GameStream feed for everyone to see. It also provides analytics on the game play.
Magzimof started the company in 2011 as a social phone service. With the initial product, friends could make phone calls to each other and share activities. But most of the people simply wanted to play games together, so Nextpeer pivoted into multiplayer.
A developer downloads the SDK and adds the capability to an existing game. In 15 minutes or so, the game reports the score to the server.
The SDK is free, and it can run ads. A version without ads costs $200. And Nextpeer also has an enterprise SDK that allows developer customization. Magzimof said developers can integrate the SDK using just 10 lines of code.
The company has raised $2.7 million to date, and it has 14 employees. Rivals include OpenKit (which makes it easier to make a social platform to work across platforms). Another rival was Jawfish, but that company shut down after an acquisition deal fell apart.