Founded in San Francisco in 2001, Glu Mobile is a mobile games publisher for smartphone and tablet devices boasting titles such as Blood & Glory, Frontline Commando, Contract Killer, Big Time Gangsta, Bug Village, Eternity Warriors, and Gun Bros. They also have new games launching regularly and recently launched their casual hit title, STARDOM: THE A-LIST. In addition to participating in the Free App of the Day program, Glu was part of Amazon’s In-App Purchasing beta program. Mike DeLaet, VP of Global Sales & Marketing, remarked on their experience:
What drove you to participate in the beta test for the Amazon SDK and In-App Purchasing API?
Glu offers freemium mobile means – which means that they are free to download and play with the additional opportunity for users to purchase in-game virtual goods to improve the gaming experience. Amazon’s in-app purchasing functionality was a perfect fit for Glu and the type of games that we offer.
What types of monetization do you use (e.g., ads, in-app purchasing, subscriptions, upgrades)?
The majority of our games monetize through the use of in-app purchasing, though we do provide regular updates and upgrades to our games.
How did you come to the decision to monetize your apps?
Glu decided in early 2010 to focus our efforts on creating high quality, high production value freemium games. We set out to provide users with the best experience possible, while making our games free to download and play. Because we were confident that users would find our games fun and engaging after downloading, we believed that they would be willing to spend money to enhance the gameplay experience. However, users aren’t required to spend money if they choose not to.
How has your experience with Amazon compared to your expectations and/or experiences with other Android marketplaces?
Our experience with Amazon thus far has been great. Amazon as a company truly understands effective merchandising and has an enormous user-base with which to cross-promote. We look forward to seeing how our business develops over the coming months and years with Amazon.
What advice do you have for other developers? Any tips for how developers can leverage in-app purchasing to grow their businesses?
Every game is different, so analyze the results of your game and make sure you are providing what the customer wants. One of the most basic things we look at is what our customers are buying and what they are not buying within each game. This helps us create more of what people want versus what they don’t and we can keep our stores filled with the right content. Building a freemium game is a constant iterative process. The best monetizing games require you to be fully committed!
Have you received customer feedback on the Amazon experience?
We keep a close eye on customer reviews for all of Glu’s games on the Amazon Appstore and so far they are excellent. One of our recent releases, Blood & Glory, has over 7,000 five-star reviews and our other freemium titles are showing similar results. This is proof to us that we are creating fun, engaging games that people enjoy playing.