Scopely debuts new platform for independent developers

Steven Loeb · December 12, 2012 · Short URL:

Gaming platform will give leg up on distribution, monetization and technology

Scopely, the developer and publisher of mobile social applications, including the With Buddies franchise of multiplayer games, has debuted a new platform for independent developers, it was announced Wednesday.

The new platform, called LevelUp, will help developers with new distribution, monetization, and technology by providing the same capabilities as the largest developers and publishers on the market. The platform is not for every developer, though, as Scopely will only be partnering with a “select group of elite independent developers who have demonstrated an ability to create innovative and exciting mobile experiences,” Scopely CEO Walter Driver said in an interview with VatorNews.

The number of partners is being kept small, he said, to give the games a greater chance of being successful by giving each one more value and more time.

The benefits for developers being a part of the LevelUp platform says Driver, is that they will be able to reach a wider audience by gaining access to the server-side infrastructure that is needed to scale games to millions of users. It will also help them increase their revenue with integration from premium advertising campaigns into LevelUp games. Brand that will be intregrated into the games include Starbucks and VitaminWater.

“LevelUp helps developers reach a larger audience by leveraging Scopely's existing network of millions of daily active users and by using proprietary analytics to optimize all forms of user acquisition in near real time,” Driver said. “LevelUp helps developers earn revenue by monetizing non-paying users at extremely high rates and incorporating a sophisticated, multi-faceted approach to in-app purchasing.”

There has already been one game developed and distributed through LevelUp: Bubble Galaxy With Buddies.

"The platform's server side infrastructure and integrated social mechanics allowed Scopely to compress the development time significantly," said Driver, and the game became the top free game in the iOS App Store within six hours of its launch in October.  It was downloaded over one million times in its first week alone, with users playing an average of 10 turns per day. 

“The philosophy behind LevelUp is to enable independent developers to compete with the biggest developer/publishers in the world. We hope to level the playing field so that small, innovative teams can succeed in today's hyper-competitive mobile market,” Driver said.

Los Angeles-based Scopely was founded in 2011. The company raised $8.5 million in September from a number of notable investors including NEA, Anthem, Greycroft, The Chernin Group, Terry Semel, Aydin Senkut, Michael Lazerow and Brian Lee.

What makes Scopely different from other similar services, Driver says, is how it approaches its partnerships with developers.

“Scopely's approach to user acquisition and monetization with LevelUp distinguishes it from other gaming platforms, but at a higher level, it is the hands-on approach that Scopely takes in partnering with third-party developers that truly separates LevelUp from other services,” said Driver.

“Scopely is working with only a handful of elite developers, ensuring that each LevelUp game is a hit. Scopely's success is directly tied to that of our partners, and the overall quality of each and every LevelUp game is of the utmost importance.”

But, perhaps even more important, is the passion that the company brings to game development.

“Scopely is extremely passionate about what it does, and this is reflected in the partners it works with and the team it has assembled. We believe that we have only begun to explore what is possible in the world of social mobile experiences, and we are very excited for what the future holds,” Driver said.

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