Here’s an interesting trend. Yet another mobile gaming company, Gamevil, has launched a multimillion dollar fund to find small studios to partner with and distribute games on behalf of.
South Korea’s Gamevil said it will invest up to $10 million in external partners to build a strong lineup of smartphone gaming titles. This follows on TinyCo’s move to build out a $5 million fund, Glu Mobile’s $500,000 mobile-social gaming contest and we might throw in Tapjoy’s recent $5 million fund for porting games to Android for good measure (even though they’re not technically a game developer).
To hedge the risks of a hits driven business, many of the biggest mobile gaming companies are looking for tiny studios to work with and expand their portfolio of titles. Gamevil has found a few successes this way — namely with its paid hit Air Penguin, which was developed by a six-person South Korean outfit called Enterfly and earned more than $1 million in revenue in its first month. Gamevil said it also recently acquired exclusive publishing and partial intellectual property rights to the ‘Cartoon Wars’ series.
The benefits of this model are two-fold. Not only do the bigger companies get the extra revenue from titles built by third-parties, they also gain a larger userbase to which they can cross-promote titles developed in-house later.