“We’re approaching mobile to how we did social,” says Jim Ying, 6waves Lolapps’ senior vice president of publishing. “We want to be a broad appeal publisher. As long as the game is great and there is audience out there for it, we’re happy to work with developers.”
The announcement also signals that 6waves Lolapps — one of the larger venture-backed players in the space with $32 million in funding from Insight Venture Partners and Nexon — still believes there is an opportunity to become top dog in mobile publishing. This comes in spite of both Zynga’s massive growth in the industry, and arguments that the mobile market is too fragmented for there to be a “Zynga of mobile.”
“Everyone likes to point at examples like Temple Run where the game just kind of virally explodes on its own,” says Ying. “There may still be the opportunity for that to happen, but we think that mobile is where social was two years ago. Everyone is going out with games, but no one has figured out what the right and steady way to grow a game is. It’s only a matter of time before consolidation happens.”
To have that happen, Ying says, a game needs to be great and be supported by marketing and distribution. That second component is what 6waves Lolapps brings to the table — assuming the mobile games industry heads toward consolidation. As for the first, he tells us the company’s plan for support developers of great content: the 6waves Lolapps product team will review all publishing submissions and choose games to award $100,000 in launch marketing. Ying also tells us that if 6waves Lolapps doesn’t make good on spending that money to launch the game, 6waves Lolapps will return publishing rights to the developer.
That last bit seems like a gesture of good faith to encourage developers that might’ve been scared off by the recent Triple Town dust up. According to legal documents filed in a lawsuit earlier this year, developer Spry Fox was allegedly in negotiations with 6waves Lolapps when the later abruptly pulled out and published a clone of the game — called Yeti Town — on iOS. Yeti Town’s developer, Escalation Studios, was later acquired by 6waves Lolapps for an undisclosed sum.
We asked 6waves Lolapps if they would consider future publishing partner acquisitions, and while the company did not rule it out, according to Ying, the company is not actively planning for any further acquisitions.
The full list of 6waves Lolapps publishing partnerships is:
- 42 Games, Hong Kong
- August Impression, China
- Big Blue Bubble, Canada
- Brainz Games, Colombia
- Harebrained Schemes, USA
- iLogos, Ukraine
- KOD Games, China
- Leiyou, China
- Mindstorm Studios, Pakistan
- Oxyful, China
- Shiny Shoe, USA
- Signus Labs, Russia
- Sixits, USA
- Winlight, Japan
- XIGANTIC/Playviews, USA
- xKey Media, USA
The majority of the games released through these partnerships will be available on both iOS and Android. Although most of the games will be out within the next two to three months, one game, August Impression’s Oh Monster is already available on iOS.