King.com expands to Google+ with Bubble Witch Saga
Speaking to Inside Social Games, King.com Chief Marketing Officer Alex Dale explains how the emerging social games platform fits into the company’s overall cross-platform goals, despite the fact that the G+ Bubble Witch Saga isn’t at all linked to the Facebook version. He also confirms that mobile versions of more of its Facebook games are due out in the next few months.
Inside Social Games: What convinced you to branch to G+?
Alex Dale, chief marketing officer, King.com: As a part of our multi-platform strategy, we aim to make our games available across a broad range of platforms — Google + was the natural progression within this strategy [because it's] a rapidly growing network and, with Google’s backing, is highly likely to be a huge platform in the long-term.
ISG: Do you expect to see better conversion rates and monetization on G+ compared to Facebook? How about G+ compared to mobile?
Dale: We are looking forward to seeing how G+ converts — we are now on day two, so we’ll have more feedback in the coming months. In terms of audience, our expectation is that the G+ players are younger and more male compared to the Facebook audience. Bringing Bubble Witch Saga to G+ could hopefully help Google [attract] more women to their platform, since we’ve had great success in attracting female gamers to the Facebook version of Bubble Witch Saga.
ISG: Can we expect to see the Facebook-based King.com games portal app make the jump as well?
Dale: Several of the King.com skill games are already featured on Google’s Chrome Web Store, so it would be an easy implementation for us to make if we chose to also publish them on G+. Our skill games site www.king.com is both a successful business in its own right and a test bed for games that could be socialized for Facebook and G+.
ISG: How does G+ curate apps?
Dale: We are working with G+ on different promotional opportunities for Bubble Witch Saga. It’s just speculation on our part, but we’d like to think that their editors select the highest-quality games and try to make them readily available for the G+ players.
ISG: Do you think the competition will continue between King.com and its nearest Facebook competitors or is the ecosystem ripe enough to produce new rivalries with other developers?
Dale: Wooga is our closest competitor at the moment, both in terms of overall daily and monthly active users [and] also in terms of the types of games that we make. I think that we’ve shown that the ocean of players is vast, and there’s definitely enough room for several apps in the same category on Facebook. For example, Bubble Witch Saga, the sixth-largest game in terms of DAU on FB and wooga’s Bubble Island, the thirteenth-largest game, are obviously both very successful at the same time.
ISG: King.com’s push in 2011 was to go cross-platform with an emphasis on mobile. What do you wish you’d known a year ago to help you meet that goal?
Dale: What we know now is that Facebook can play a major role in application discovery due to the huge impact of the Facebook HTML5-app with Facebook->Mobile app discovery, which was launched in November. The logic is to build an audience on Facebook first and then release to mobile.