King.com Games Gain Growth Through Cross-Platform Play
Online social games service King.com aims to be ahead of the cross-platform game with mobile apps for its leading Facebook and online titles. The first of these, match-3 game Miner Speed, hit iOS devices just last week as a free app.
Even before the app went live, King.com was already seeing strong growth across several of its titles. Puzzle Saga, Bubble Saga, Miner Speed and the developer’s games portal all occupied spots in our weekly lists of top 20 games by growth on AppData in the last month. By launching Miner Speed on mobile devices, King.com hopes for more growth as new users discover the games via mobile app markets.
King.com’s Lars Jornow, Director of Product Performance on Social & Mobile, explains that first-time users installing the free Miner Speed app are prompted to sign on with Facebook Connect. Doing so unlocks boosts in both the Facebook game and the mobile game, and 25,000 free Coins within each version. This grants new users arriving at Miner Speed through mobile games twice the free currency an existing online user gets from signing into Miner Speed through Facebook or King.com for the first time. Mobile users signing on with Facebook Connect also count towards Miner Speed’s MAU and DAU numbers on Facebook because they’re registered as new users if they haven’t previously installed the app on their Facebook account.
“We chose Miner Speed because it’s one of the easier titles to [build] for cross-platform,” Jornow tells us. “We keep the wallets separate on Facebook and mobile, but the scores stay the same.”
Cross-platform mobile apps are difficult for most Facebook game developers to integrate because of technical limitations between platforms and because of the different payment ecosystems. Most mobile platforms don’t support Flash or daily updates that some Facebook developers rely on to maintain their games, and inconsistent network connections on mobile devices make it synchronous gameplay very difficult. Apple actively blocks Flash on iOS devices and is only barely supported by Android. In-game payments on Facebook are done with Facebook Credits while in-app purchases on iOS are handled through iTunes, which is why Miner Speed keeps the wallets on each version separate.
Zynga only has a few mobile apps live for its leading games so far, and aside from FarmVille topping a few iOS charts, we haven’t heard much to suggest that they’re especially successful. Even so, cross-platform is where many feel the social/mobile market is going and so we see companies staffing up on mobile developers and searching for ways to integrate their Facebook brands onto mobile devices through companion apps, stripped down versions of the Facebook app, or through independent apps that carry the same name.
Miner Speed proved to be an easy build for King.com because of its single-player, asynchronous gameplay. Like Bejeweled, players aim to connect rows or columns of like-colored gems to clear the set and earn points within a time limit. The only social element of the game that relies on Facebook is the score-tracking among different users, which King.com uses to build weekly tournaments between friends, regions, and on a global level.
“Tournaments are our DNA,” Jornow says. “We want to bring that to iOS.”
You can track Miner Speed’s Facebook progress on AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.