With Apple’s Game Center live and slowly starting to attract games and gamers, it’s no surprise that the thirdparty social gaming networks are looking further afield.
Scoreloop’s CEO Marc Gumpinger is positively effervescent when it comes to taking about the opportunity across all mobile platforms.
“The crucial thing about being cross platform is that gamers don’t have to worry if their friends are on the platform,” he says, of the company’s drive to provide for mobile developers the same sort of unified structure that Facebook did for web games.
“Most people aren’t on iPhone, which is why we’re so keen on covering all smartphones.”
Obviously, the biggest opportunity facing Scoreloop at the moment is Android (of which more later), but Gumpinger is also keen to point out Scoreloop’s SDK handles the full range of emerging technologies.
“Android, MeeGo and bada give us a lot more freedom,” he says. “There’s a lot of support from the manufacturers, and very good business opportunities with a lot of big companies. It’s natural for us to spend our resources on them. And they’re growing faster than iPhone.”
Scoreloop still supports iOS, that goes without saying, but it’s the social and commercial opportunities enabled by the fast growing Android ecosystem that really enthuse Gumpinger.
“Google is an amazing platform,” he says, revealing Scoreloop is now seeing more than 100,000 Android users sign up to its system daily.
“We’re seeing a lot of big companies taking Android and adapting it to their needs, because Google allows them to do that. There’s so much potential. We have a really strong focus on Android.”
Pay for play
Part of this focus was demonstrated last week when Scoreloop announced it had integrated PayPal into its Android SDK, enabling developers to get access to it for free. Scoreloop even sorts out the merchant account for developers.
Of course, the company isn’t doing this for altruist reasons. Its business model revolves around its Coins virtual currency that developers can integrate into their games, both in terms of the purchase of virtual items, as well as for player versus player challenges.
“At the moment, we’re seeing developer adding Coins as an additional payment stream into paid games,” Gumpinger says, of the evolution of Android game business models.
“We’re still in the process of seeing developers completely moving to the freemium model, but they are relying on Scoreloop more and more for this.”
Indeed, the first pure freemium games on Android using Coins are apparently in development and due to be announced before too long.
Despite Apple’s lock out then, Scoreloop still has everything to play for.