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What is the “elevator pitch” for FlashGameLicense.com?
FlashGameLicense.com is a marketplace and community for Flash game developers to connect with people that want to buy and license their work, while maintaining flexibility and all their rights. FlashGameLicense also provides developers with tools to help distribute and monetize their games. We provide:
a discussion forum;
our First Impressions service including $1 critical reviews, yielding fast user feedback on aspects such as how quickly people get into the game, in as little as a few hours;
built in protection/site-locking/encryption service (partnered with Kindisoft) to keep the game safe while listed on FGL.
a collaboration forum for developers to connect with artists, FlashGameArt.com;
a statistics system that can very easily be implemented in games to monitor user progress, time spent, points earned, etc;
a distribution system (flashgamedistribution.com); and
a microtransaction system geared towards improving a player’s gaming experience (gamersafe.com)
Talk about the sponsorship model
Currently most of the money in the indie Flash game space comes from sponsorships. Basically, sponsorships are like buying traffic, somewhat akin to participating in an ad campaign. The older model was exclusive, in which the developer received a fixed sum, placed fixed branding in the game and the site operator basically purchased it forever. No in-game ads or additional revenue opportunities were available.
FlashGameLicense.com has been successfully pushing the “primary sponsorship,” in which the developer gets the right to use in-game ads as well as license to other sites and portals.The primary sponsor gets exclusive branding rights to the version of the game that is distributable but the developer can remove that branding on versions locked to single website domains.
Primary sponsorship is becoming the new accepted option because it actually creates more ‘total value’ from the game. The developer is able to earn revenue from ads and secondary licenses. The primary sponsor gets a slight discount compared to what they would pay for an exclusive sponsorship while still retaining 95% of the value vs. an exclusive license.
What is the typical profile of sponsors, and can you give some examples?
Really it’s anyone that wants to leverage quality gaming content in some fashion. The most traditional sponsors are arcade portals looking to attract new gamers to their site. A few examples: King.com, ArmorGames.com, ArcadeBomb.com, Bubblebox.com, Minijuegos.com, AddictingGames, Hallpass.com, CrazyMonkeyGames.com, CandyStand.com, MaxGames.com, Kongregate.
There are also many non-traditional buyers such as advertising companies looking for advergames, larger media groups like Disney or 4kids.tv and many companies looking to hire developers for contract work.
What is the approval process for developers?
Log on (after having created an account) and you have access to most of our community. Some areas are restricted until you an approved game or made your first official sale. You have the ability to upload your game for other developers to take a look at. Availability for sponsorship goes into an approximately 24-hour approval process, with feedback on suitability for buyers from our review team – things that you can change to make your game more appealing to sponsors, based on what they say they’re looking for.
Primary sponsorship is an ideal model that we’re pushing. There are two main sections of the site for purchasing games, unreleased games for sponsorship and already released games for secondary non-exclusive licenses (game shop).
And what’s the approval process for sponsors or buyers?
We only approve sponsorship accounts [able to view unreleased games] for large arcade portals or, say, an advertiser looking for advergames. Alternately, startups can make a cash deposit with FlashGameLicense.com as a deposit. These restrictions are in place to protect developers: having an unreleased game stolen is extremely rare, but it could happen if the developer does not protect the game.
Where would you say demand lies? What are the most popular and/or profitable types of games?
It’s always changing. “Defense” games (Desktop/Tower Defense, etc) are still very popular, but it has to be something new. Physics-based puzzle games, typically using Box2D, are very popular. Good RPGs can get some attention. Building a traditional ‘match3’ game isn’t going to get you anywhere but combing it with another core game mechanic can be fun. ATower Defense game using match-3 to generate resources is one potential example.
Are there any specific technical requirements?
Viral games typically don’t have many specific requirements. It is extremely important that everything needs to be in a single SWF for distribution and ideally under 5MB. If it’s an exceptional game the size can be larger but it can limit how many portals pick up the game.
New developers entering this market are particularly taken aback by the ‘single SWF’ approach since it exactly the opposite of traditional best practice development approach but the power of sites ‘stealing’ a SWF off a page to put on their own is the driving distribution force in your game reaching 100s or 1000s of different arcade portals.
You mentioned the microtransactions system, GamerSafe.Tell me more about it.
GamerSafe is a new tool offered by FlashGameLicense to improve players’ online gaming experience by allowing them to save games, items, and any other game features and be able to access them anywhere on the net from any computer. Working alongside this functionality is the ability for a developer to sell anything they want through a microtransaction system. This allows developers to create games with more value to gamers and also more efficiently monetize their games. And since we help to drive traffic and have a revenue share program for game portals, sites hosting the game can also benefit from the system.
Lastly, you mentioned a distribution channel, FlashGameDistribution.com?
After your game is sponsored it’s usually important to start distributing it to as many sites as possible. Previously this meant filling out tens – or hundreds – of submission forms on different web portals, emailing portals individually or hoping sites will 'steal' your game from other portals. Now you can upload your game to FlashGameDistribution and it will be broadcasted by email and rss feeds. Additionally if it meets the right criteria it will automatically be published to sites that have implemented our API. Lastly, we have a tool that assists in manually submitting the games so you can use your time more efficiently.