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Beyond Facebook: Global Social Game Opportunities


November 9, 2010 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next
 

U.S. developers have similar opportunities in Russia and in Eastern Europe, according to Alexey Kostarev, co-founder, CEO, and general producer at Russia-based social media distribution network i-Jet Media.

Previously a developer, i-Jet, like Mentez, changed its business model and, this year, began distributing games to 20 or so local social networks not affiliated with Facebook, mostly in Russia and Eastern Europe. It currently has approximately 70 games in its portfolio that it expects it will be publishing to 30-plus social networks with over 60 million users by year-end.

Two of its success stories include Alawar Entertainment's Farm Frenzy and Evolution Games' Wild West Trains published on Belgium-based Netlog, Poland-based NK, and Berlin-based StudiVZ, MeinVZ, and SchulerVZ.

And, in August, it was reported that Playdom entered into a publishing deal with i-Jet to bring its games to Eastern Europe.

"About half of our business is in Russia and all major releases are made through the four or five largest social networks in Russia, like Vkontakte," says Kostarev.

"A few years ago, no social networks existed here. Now their business doubles annually and we currently estimate that they will finish the year at between $40 to $60 million. So it is becoming more and more attractive to U.S. developers who are searching for new markets to publish their games here."

According to Kostarev, i-Jet's goal is to "build the largest social media distribution network in the world. Considering the current phase of market development, that will require our distributing 100 games on 100 social networks with revenue from every single product at about $2,000 each month. Our strategy is simple -- more social networks, more developers, and more perfect platforms for their integration."

And so i-Jet is on the lookout to increase the number of developers with which it partners from the current 40 -- including Alawar, Akella, Drimmi, Evolution -- which means making it known the services it provides.

"We want to help developers earn more money than they are currently making on just Facebook," Kostarev says. "Which is why we examine their games, consider marketing and producing the best games, do localization and translation of games (with our own translators) into any language required, we tune monetization models, we hold negotiations with social networks, and then we integrate applications, and organize the technical support of users in many world languages. Then, of course, we distribute the products."

What i-Jet asks of developers is to "integrate their games using our own platform which is very simple and doesn't require any special knowledge," he adds. "After that, we have an opportunity to build the game on every social network we cooperate with without additional actions performed by the developer."

i-Jet's policy is to share revenues with distributors on a 50-50 basis. "We don't subtract any of our costs," he adds. "If we get $100 from a social network, the developer gets $50."


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