Pocket Gems to publish third party titles

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By Scott Reyburn Comments

Mobile game developer Pocket Gems is throwing their hat in the game publishing ring, announcing today that they are publishing three indie-developed games in the coming weeks.

The first three developers that Pocket Gems is partnering with are dreamfab, Twyngo, and we.R.play. Dreamfab’s runner genre title Chasing Yello will be the first game published by Pocket Gems to hit the market, launching next week on Google Play. Twyngo’s Lemmings-like puzzler Amazing Ants for iOS is set to release later this month and we.R.play’s robot action title RoboQuest in early 2013 on the Apple App Store.

Recently appointed Pocket Gems CEO Ben Liu said two concepts that make Pocket Gems different than other publishers is that it’s approaching publishing from a developer perspective and also customizing each partnership with a developer instead of with a one-size-fits-all solution.

“We really view ourselves as a developer first and foremost,” he says. “That will never change for us. Publishing is our way of deepening relationships between companies that we were already giving advice to and working with informally.”

Liu told Inside Mobile Apps that the San Francisco-headquartered development house had been approached by many publishers in their past already, but none were a good fit.

“One thing that we always felt was missing was people approaching [publishing] from a developer point of view,” says Liu. “One reason why we never went with any of the people that approached us was that it wasn’t a good fit for a pure developer.”

Pocket Gems, who’ve developed 19 games to date, will help the indie developers by providing customized advice, reviewing games with their QA team, building a launch plan, promoting the app to find loyal users, and continuously supporting the game after launch with data and analytics.

Twyngo founder Unni Narayanan was on hand at an event yesterday at Pocket Gems’ office. He told us that since Amazing Ants is the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company’s first game, they needed help with distribution. After exploring a number of different publisher options, Twyngo chose Pocket Gems.Angry Ants screenshot

“What attracted us to Pocket Gems is they have a very developer-centric view,” Narayanan says. “They weren’t just a publishing house collecting assets and pumping them out the door. They’ve developed successful apps. They are quite good at monetization and retention. Those we’re things that we wanted to get right as well as we could on our first release.”

Pocket Gems, which is coming out of its best quarter in terms of revenue and gross profit, received Series A funding in December 2010 from Sequoia Capital.