Page management company Vitrue has acquired GamesThatGive, a developer that allows brands to offer games to their fans in which engagement triggers donations to charity by the hosting brand. The acquisition will allow Vitrue to provide its clients with GamesThatGive games, helping them generate brand lift through sustained exposure to gamers and the good will generated by their donations. Game mechanics that encourage Liking of a brand’s Page and sharing with friends will also help Vitrue clients gain new fans.
Vitrue is one of the larger Facebook Page management companies. It serves brands including AT&T, McDonalds, Ford, and Best Buy as well as agencies such as Digitas and Saatchi & Saatchi with its licensable Social Relationship Manager platform. This includes a suite of promotional engagement apps for driving brand exposure and fan acquisition. The company has been in business since 2006, and has taken a total of $33 million in funding, including a $17 million Series C round in February of which may have in part been used to pay an undisclosed price for the charity game developer.
The GamesThatGive acquisition will augment Vitrue’s app suite with versions of simple, classic games such as Snake, Breakout, Columns, and solitaire that can be offered within a branded wrapper and linked to from a business’ Facebook Page. Users are compelled to play because time spent in the game and completion of levels cause donations to be made to a charity of their or the brand’s choice.
GamesThatGive has already powered games on the Pages of brands such as Starbucks, Master Card, and UNICEF, as well as existing Vitrue clients such as Best Buy. The company claims that some of its games average over 40 minutes of game play per session, draw 80% of visits from returning players, and “have achieved over 100% virality, bringing in over 1,100 additional fans for every 1,000 fans driven to the game.”
These stats are reasonable, considering Facebook users are often eager to act for social good as long as they can share the news of their contribution with friends. GamesThatGive also uses a unique style of Like-gate, where users can double the donation their play generates by becoming a fan of the hosting brand. This type of incentive probably has a high conversion rate, and combined with wall posts by existing gamers translates into a powerful fan acquisition mechanic.
Vitrue’s clients will now have less need to license games from outside developers in order to offer a constant rotation of promotions. The GamesThatGive team will be moving to join Vitrue in San Francisco, where the developer’s founder and CEO Adam Archer will oversee gaming-related functionality. Vitrue currently only offers quiz and trivia games, but Archer may bring the expertise necessary to build more robust custom games in addition to the simple games his company has already developed.
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