This week a team from WildTangent is in Barcelona to attend Mobile World Congress, the industry’s largest mobile-focused tradeshow. We’re there to meet with partners and developers to share details about WildTangent’s rapid growth in mobile and discuss the opportunities they have with us in gaming.
WildTangent is celebrating its 15th year in the gaming industry and I’ve served as CEO for the past six. While the dramatic shift to mobile disrupted the gaming industry, our core technology and long-standing industry partnerships have enabled us to remain resilient. Today, our Games, Media, and Studios businesses are laser-focused on mobile and WildTangent has experienced solid growth.
I’m proud to say that WildTangent and its network partners create the third largest mobile games network in the US and the world’s largest cross-platform games network. WildTangent can now reach more than 168 million total monthly unique visitors globally cross-platform (comScore, Media Metrics, January 2014). This position, and our efforts to focus on mobile helps validate that we are on the right path. As we attend Mobile World Congress this week, I’d like to provide updates on WildTangent’s progress and discuss where we’ll focus in the next year to maintain our growth.
We introduced the WildTangent Games mobile service and Android app in 2011. Since then, our service has grown steadily. Unlike app stores, which are racing toward a million apps, we target quality games over sheer quantity. With this approach, great games are easy to find and enjoy. Additionally, we draw rave reviews from those that matter most to us – our customers. Premium quality games on a premium games service – this is our difference and our focus is paying off.
Partnerships with hardware manufacturers and mobile carriers to make the WildTangent Games App for Android available worldwide have keyed our growth. In 2013, we added new device partners Sony and ASUS, and mobile carrier partners AT&T (US) and EE (UK). With these partnerships, the WildTangent Games mobile service took tremendous strides:
- We experienced an eightfold year-over-year increase in mobile gameplay.
- We doubled the number of mobile titles in the WildTangent Games mobile service and today we have more than 400 premium titles.
Our Media team leads an effort to connect leading brands and advertisers with gamers through our patented mobile and digital advertising platform. WildTangent offers brands a range of premium advertising products and solutions, including BrandBoost, which operates on the principle of value exchange. As gamers, we are sensitive to interruptive ads and know the harm they can do to the gaming experience. With BrandBoost, advertisers offer gamers free content, such as added gameplay or virtual items, and gamers choose whether to interact with top brands.
BrandBoost has proven itself with advertisers, developers and has received continual approval from gamers. For instance, our research indicates that 66% of gamers want more opportunities to earn in-game goods via advertising. This is a positive sign that our approach works, and you’re going to see more of this from us moving forward.
As the world’s top cross-platform gaming company, the advertising community has taken notice and our ad business hit its stride in 2013:
- Last year we increased our mobile advertising impressions almost sevenfold year-over-year.
- We expanded our premium mobile advertising offerings for brand advertisers with the introduction of a full-screen mobile BrandBoost ad unit to help further enhance the quality of our advertising.
- Additionally, we were thrilled to have the WildTangent Games App for Android recognized by the advertising community’s Mobile Mafia as the Most Innovative Publisher, based on our approach to mobile advertising in gaming.
We opened our Seattle-based WildTangent Studios in late 2012 to create high-quality games for mobile platforms. Last year, we launched our first two mobile games, Penguins! Escape and a mobile update to our Polar Bowler franchise, Polar Bowler 1st Frame, which has surpassed one million downloads. Also, in January this year we launched our latest title, Word Science, a blitz-style word spelling game. All of these games are family-friendly, BrandBoosted and provide hours of fun and challenges. And, there will be more to come in 2014.
I’m pleased with our mobile momentum, but we recognize that much work remains to reach our goal of becoming the top mobile games company in a rapidly evolving industry. To remain on our current path, we will leverage our technology and years of gaming experience to grow in several key areas:
- Expand our premium mobile games catalog with a focus on adding free-to-play titles.
- Enhance our Games service and offer gamers more incentives to continue playing games on WildTangent.
- Develop new partnerships with global mobile carriers and introduce our service to more gamers, particularly through expansion in Europe and new markets, including Brazil and Latin America.
- Launch new premium advertising solutions so brands can reach engaged audiences on our services.
- Develop new mobile titles, including a return from our beloved inner tube sliding polar bear.
We look forward to meeting partners and developers at Mobile World Congress. If you’re in Barcelona this week, visit our booth in App Planet (stand 8.1F70, Hall 8.1) and say hello.