Viximo Sees Hope For Smaller And Declining Facebook Developers Through Cross-Platform Publishing

Cross-platform publisher Viximo has been racking up more social game partners for its distribution platform, this time pulling a couple of off-Facebook games into the mix. Viximo CEO Dale Strang explains how the company hopes to deliver benefits to smaller games with global aspirations.

Back in January, Viximo signed some bigger-name social games like Ravenwood Fair that very obviously drew benefits from cross-platform publishing on international social networks like Orkut and Quepasa because the games already had success finding users on Facebook. Today, the company’s newest social game partners — Clublife, Treasure Diving, and Cupcake Corner — are either not on Facebook at all, or haven’t been able to hang onto users. Cupcake Corner in particular seems to be suffering a steady loss across monthly and daily active users on Facebook after breaking 1.7 million MAU and 200,000 DAU four months after its August 2010 launch. With cross-platform releases in international territories, Viximo hopes to help these games find larger audiences.

None of that matters if the game is a good fit for international social networks, Strang says.

“What we look at is, ‘Do we think that it’s a game that’s attractive to a bunch of different demographics, will it translate to different languages?’” Strang tells us. “We don’t just go with whatever the DAU trends are. If a game developer feels like they’re reaching the point of diminishing returns on Facebook, that might be a good time to go with us.”

Viximo assumes responsibility for user acquisition across its web of social networks in North America, Europe, and Latin America and then takes a share of the game’s revenue after its launched. It also handles localization and currency management between networks, making recommendations to developers on how to control pricing using various network currencies like Facebook Credits.

Viximo VP of Business Development Sutton Trout adds that if a game isn’t on Facebook, that “often may be a better time” because there are fewer barriers to integration across multiple networks.

“There’s two pieces of what we view the publishing enterprise being,” Strang says. “One is the cross-promotion and discovery by using a base of users to drive new users into a game. The other part that we do is the cross-network functionality and optimization. We pull out many of the Facebook platform functions that these guys accessed and swap them out with ours and then make them work on a variety of sites. And then we optimize about that.”

Viximo has only just begun to see the returns on its investment into cross-platform publishing. Trout says several of its developers have renewed agreements with Viximo to start publishing new games across all the networks. The goal, say both Trout and Strang, is to eventually get its social game partners to the point where they’re releasing games simultaneously across multiple social networks on a global scale.

In the short term, this means working with developers on localization and in-game currency management for effective monetization in North America, Europe, and Latin America. In the long term, it means getting into other social networks in these regions and eventually rolling out to networks in Asia and Russia.

“The reason we haven’t done Asia yet has to with matching content to region,” Strang says. Viximo isn’t currently convinced that it could integrate its social game partners into the Asian market across both localization and monetization systems unique to the region.