Eric Johnson

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Chartboost Expands Platform Offerings to Include Real-Time In-App Commerce Updates

Store screenshot-1Developers seeking to monetize their mobile games have a handful of options, but in recent years the clear winner has been F2P-IAP. For those of you who speak English, that means free-to-play games supported by in-app purchases, or virtual goods like new levels, characters and bonuses.

Regularly updating these stores has become a necessary component of keeping a game fresh, according to mobile game business platform Chartboost, but it’s harder for smaller developers who lack the resources to push real-time updates to players. So the company is announcing a new product, Chartboost Store, which purportedly levels the playing field for the little guys.

The new product, launching into a closed beta for iOS, Android and Unity, is a step removed from Chartboost’s past offerings, which have been focused on cross-promotion — that is, interstitial advertisements for games, within games, that can be targeted at the players who are most likely to download them.

Store screenshot-2Like its existing advertising products, Chartboost Store operates out of a dashboard that lets customers modify and organize their virtual offerings via a click-and-drag menu. And, of course, it reports back to those developers how well different items sell.

CEO Maria Alegre told AllThingsD that about 95 percent of players still generate revenue for developers through exposure to these ads. However, the five percent or so that spend money on in-app purchases account for about 90 percent of the actual dollars and cents rolling in. She characterized Chartboost Store as a natural response to developers’ business needs.

“Every day, (in-app commerce) is more and more relevant for game developers,” Alegre said.

Indeed, 48 of the Top 50 games on the iPhone’s closely-watched “Top Grossing” games chart offer in-app purchases. That tally includes a couple of games that are not free-to-play, though that is not the norm.

That said, Alegre said she still expects developers to find success in “balancing” both interstitial ads and in-app commerce, as many have in the past. She also noted that, in the near future, but not on day one, the Chartboost Store will be able to tell developers how much the users of games in its network have spent on in-app commerce, which will help inform cross-promotional purchasing decisions.

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