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Scoreloop secures €2 million funding to develop its iPhone social and analytics tools
Scoreloop, which bills itself as the “technology leader in mobile social gaming” has secured €2.0m ($2.8m, £1.7m) in further investment. I spoke to CEO Marc Gumpinger about how Scoreloop aims to help iPhone developers grow their business.
Any developer building an iPhone App needs to be answering the questions: “How can I get new players virally” and “what are my players doing with my App?” Scoreloop is one of the companies that provides the answers.
The company bills itself as an infrastructure player in the iPhone (and increasingly, smartphone) sector. “We don’t compete with the developers and publishers that are our customers,” says Gumpinger, “and nor do we intend to.”
Scoreloop claims to offer the whole package of infrastructure elements for iPhone developers, which to my mind break down into key areas: social gaming and analytics.
On the social gaming side, Scoreloop offers high score tables, buddy lists and the ability to “challenge” other players to play games head-to-head. Challenges can be issued to anyone who is in the Scoreloop community (which means anyone who has played a Scoreloop-enabled game), to a user’s Facebook friends and to the contacts stored in the phone itself. This type of seamless integration to a player’s social graph is only going to become more important as users start to expect social gaming as a matter of course.
I asked why a developer shouldn’t just use Facebook Connect, rather than Scoreloop. “Facebook Connect just opens the door,” says Gumpinger. “You still need someone to organise the party.”
Scoreloop currently has over 500 developers registered to use its technology, and there are 50 Scoreloop-enabled games currently live on the AppStore. The company also recently announced a partnership with Unity to integrate its social gaming tools into the Unity development kit.
The analytics package is, to my mind, equally important. As the iPhone market matures, those publishers and developers who can understand and monetize their users best will be the ones who thrive, and in the web world, analytics has been key to that. Scoreloop offers a range of standard metrics but also allows what it calls “larger publishers” to build their own datapoints, such as at which point players drop out of the game.
“For casual games, where the first 30 seconds of gameplay defines how well your game will sell, understanding the point where people stop playing will be hugely valuable.”
The capital raised comes from existing investors Target Partners and new investors Earlybird, both based in Germany. The proceeds will be used to expand away from the iPhone into other mobile handsets and to offer more support and services to bigger publishers. The company already has business development offices in the US and Asia, and these are likely to be expanded.