The fund came about in recognition of how user-acquisition advertising is a huge burden for mobile-game developers — who need to advertise their offerings to stand out in app stores with millions of titles.
New York-based Tilting Point said the fund is designed specifically for developers who want to self-publish, maintain ownership of their intellectual property, and retain all of their equity. The fund’s resources will apply to globally released games showing traction in the marketplace.
“With the lion’s share of top-grossing games coming from well-funded and often publicly traded companies, scale is a must for success in today’s increasingly competitive mobile landscape. So many great titles miss their full potential due to a simple lack of UA muscle,” said Dan Sherman, cofounder and president of Tilting Point, in a statement. “Game Alliance is a direct response to the marketing and UA realities facing independent developers, built with the financial resources, experience, and direction needed to climb the charts.”
Game Alliance is managed by Tilting Point, which made an initial commitment of $12 million to fuel Game Alliance’s investments at the outset, assuming the risk for each UA campaign and participating in the ensuing profits. Marketing efforts are highly flexible. Some developers may utilize Tilting Point’s internal capabilities while others may choose to leverage a carefully vetted network of preferred partners.
Ultimately, the goal is to provide game makers with customizable strategies for achieving scale, even if that means bringing in new third parties that developers deeply trust. Developers can get more information or apply to participate in Game Alliance by visiting www.gamealliance.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samir El Agili, chief product officer at Tilting Point, elaborated on the company’s plans in an email.
“An independent developer needing help with marketing is nothing new, but we believe this fund will be a welcome addition to the ecosystem that has been built up in recent years in support of independent development on mobile,” El Agili said. “Developers now have a variety of resources available to them to facilitate self-publishing, such as game-focused venture firms, government agencies like Tekes, and marketing agencies that specialize in mobile user acquisition.”
He added, “What’s missing is a financial resource aimed specifically at helping developers take their creation to market in a big way. We identified that need and filled it with the Game Alliance fund. So what this fund says about the state of mobile games above all is that despite the hurdles, which can be intimidating, there are enough external resources out there now to help a talented developer with a monetizing game reach and acquire user at a large scale, provided they work with the right people.”
The company came up with the plan by talking to developers.
“So we listened to those needs and kept an open mind about ways to meet them that are economically viable for us as well,” El Agili said. “The success we had earlier this year with Photo Finish Horse Racing helped us figure this out. The developer (Third Time) knew what they were doing, but as a small team with limited resources it didn’t make sense for them to handle UA internally. As we started working with them it became clear that UA expertise combined with UA funding can be a game changer for a good game with solid KPIs that simply needs more users. The result was a win-win that proved that we could meet this market need and also provided good insight into how we should structure the fund for everyone’s benefit.”