Social games have exploded on Facebook’s developer platform in the past few years, because they successfully combine social interactions and the virtual goods revenue model. Some social network rivals have followed suit by launching their own platforms for social game developers, with MySpace having the most success to date. And lately, service providers like Heyzap and Mochi Media have tried to make it easier for smaller sites to integrate social games by offering what amounts to their own platform layer.
Now, Viximo is quite logically trying its hand in this area, too.
The company already provides virtual economy services to help other web sites monetize virtual goods. Its new social gaming distribution service, called the Viximo Platform, promises developers a single implementation that will get their games working across all of its participating partners. Developers who have signed up already include Frosmo, IGG, Mob Science, Playtaki and Synapse Games. The total possible user base for the platform is 60 million users, according to the company, and includes partners like BlackPlanet, Multiply and Quepasa.
One conceptual catch, of course, is that the base value of social games comes from the existing social graph and communication channels available on a host site (otherwise, “social games” aren’t much different from casual games). There’s also the matter of how revenue is shared. While some larger developers, notably Zynga, have worked out their own distribution partnerships on other sites, Facebook’s sheer size and high engagement numbers continue to make it the focus for developers.
So how exactly is Viximo’s service going to work? We sent a few questions over to the company. Here’s what we got back.
Inside Social Games: What’s the revenue share on the virtual currency?
Viximo: Since Viximo works with premium partners only, not a self service system, the terms of its deals vary and are kept confidential at their partners’ request. We can say though that the game developer receives the largest share of the revenue.
ISG: What are specific ways that developers will have their games promoted?
V: Games are promoted through a variety of ways depending on the network. Common methods are email marketing campaigns to the sites users, interstitials on login, site home page placement, apps/games section placement, use of advertising space, cross promotion from other applications, among a variety of other methods. The amount of promotion leads to a critical mass of free users for every game.
ISG: How do you compare this service to others, like Heyzap.
V: Viximo’s distribution partners are all premium social networks typically between 3M – 20M users per month to provide the social context needed for social games. No long tail or content portal sites. Additionally, we integrate deeply into the social fabric of the site so game developers have easy access to the sites native social graph and viral channels (compared to posting notifications back to Facebook) which is vital for making social games thrive. Both lead to fast growth and higher revenue potential.