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GameStop’s Kongregate made its name as a publisher of indie games on Kongregate.com and mobile. Now it is expanding to publishing games on Steam with the debut of the title Splashy Hero.
In some ways, it’s not a surprise, as the $36 billion mobile game market has become ultra-competitive, and many developers have turned to the PC or virtual reality. By expanding to publishing games for the PC on Steam, Kongregate reduces some of its risk.
The San Francisco division of GameStop also said it has updated its system to provide a software development kit (SDK) with detailed game analytics across mobile, web, and PC platforms.
Slashy Hero, an action game from developer Gentlebros, is available now on Steam. Another game, Spellstone, a collectible card game from Synapse Games, is slated to launch in November.
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“Gamers have so many options — from mobile to console to PC — in fact according to a recent poll nearly 70 percent of our audience plays across multiple platforms,” said Emily Greer, president and cofounder of Kongregate, in a statement. “Despite the growth of newer platforms, PC gaming remains a viable and exciting option that our players want to explore. By adding Steam to our publishing business, we can support even more indie developers and deliver unique and innovative content to gamers worldwide.”
With the unified SDK, Kongregate allows game progress to be saved across platforms. Current Slashy Hero mobile players can download and play the Steam version with their upgrades, characters and saved games intact.
Slashy Hero is an action game where players must save Halloween from a great Evil that’s stolen all of the world’s candy. Players progress through more than 45 spooky levels and collect 60 unique costume parts.
Kongregate’s mobile games have been downloaded tens of millions of times and have hundreds of millions of gameplays. Kongregate’s web portal features over 100,000 free games played by millions of gamers per month.
Asked if it was de-emphasizing mobile, Kongregate’s Greer said via email that wasn’t the case. “We’re seeing great growth in mobile with the launch of Animation Throwdown, Pocket Politics, and Tinker Island in the last few months, Greer said. “We’re also excited about upcoming titles like Peter Molyneux’s game The Trail and Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre.”
She added, “Expanding to Steam is a natural extension of our publishing business. Our mission is to help independent developers succeed and we want to work with developers on any platform where we think we can add value, whether that be browser, mobile, PC or console. By pushing games to more platforms we’re bringing hit games to audiences on their preferred platform, and adding incremental revenue. There’s also games and genres that are right for PC but not mobile, and we want to be able to help developers of those games, too.”
Greer also said, “Mobile is certainly a challenging environment, but as a publisher, our job and our mission is to help developers succeed in challenging environments. We’re successfully doing that on mobile, and we saw an opportunity on Steam as well. As Steam becomes more open it also becomes more competitive, and as a publisher we can help teams rise above the noise. In terms of the timing, we’ve been looking to bring some of our titles to Steam for a while, but we didn’t want to just port games willy-nilly without thinking about what’s right for the Steam audience. For example, we’re bringing our CCG Spellstone to Steam and are adding synchronous PvP because we think that’s a crucial feature for a PC audience. We’ve got several more titles in the pipeline and hope to expand beyond that.”
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