Current state of Flash games on FGL
One of the questions we get a lot is “how are web Flash games selling on FGL?” And, especially since we’ve been pushing a lot on mobile and HTML5 games, developers are increasingly interested – and concerned – about the state of the web Flash game market.
So, we thought we’d put together a little write up about the data we see on Flash games that have been going through FGL in the last year.
First of all, we still see $150k – $250k a month spent on web Flash sponsorships and non-exclusive licenses of Flash games. One thing should be noted, though: some of this money spent is paired with the purchase of the Flash games’ mobile counterparts (sponsors are paying for both the Flash web game and mobile publishing rights together), but not a significant share.
The biggest recent change we’ve seen in Flash games is a significant downward trend in sponsoring high quality games for $10k+ up front. As an example, in the last 6 months we’ve seen 2 games go for over $10k for a primary or exclusive up front amount (though there were a number of games that came very close to $10k). In the 6 months before that time period, we saw 16 games over $10k! And currently in bidding there are only 2 games going for over this number. So, while it is still very possible to achieve these numbers, the likelihood is vastly reduced from just 6 months ago.
The number one factor for this change is due to the very large sponsors diverting their budgets to mobile. This is something almost every, if not every, large sponsor has done. Some to the extreme of leaving Flash altogether. What is interesting is FGL believes that sponsors are prematurely leaving the Flash game market. This is not something we say lightly because we ourselves are heavily invested in mobile and HTML5. In fact, most of OUR revenue comes from the other markets as you can see in our 1st Quarter sales stats (we take a cut of all the revenue developers make). So we have no real agenda in saying this. In fact, most, if not all, of these large sponsors are still working with FGL to acquire mobile games. Before we explain why we think sponsors are leaving the market too early, here’s a little more insight into money flowing through FGL:
Even with the major difference in top game spending, the total money flowing through FGL for Flash games isn’t so drastically different over the same time period. This is due to a couple of factors. 1) Mid-level bids have increased both in their amounts and frequency. The average bid amount for a mid level sponsor is higher over the last 6 months than before, and there are more mid level players. and 2) Non-exclusive licensing has gone up.
For item 1) much of this is obviously due to the big sponsors bowing out. It has created a buyer’s market and even allowed new players to come in and capitalize on the change.
Item 2) is a big reason we believe sponsors are leaving the Flash market too early. A main factor in why non-exclusive sales have gone up is due to companies who had previously left the Flash market, only to return when they saw revenues drop. In particular, one large company we work with redesigned their site to de-emphasize their Flash games, only to redesign it BACK and populate it with more and newer Flash games. Their initial change dropped their revenue significantly, and it rose back up with the change back.
FGL strongly believes all publishers, and developers, should be thinking toward the future, and towards having the biggest mobile presence possible. However, without an already present, and strong, revenue stream in mobile, we advise that you protect any current revenue streams you have with Flash. Furthermore, there’s no reason for these things to be mutually exclusive. In fact, our current advice for publishers is to maintain both a Flash and Mobile portal as well as invest in native apps. This is all very achievable with most publisher’s budgets. Drop us a line if you would like any help in accomplishing this.
In summary, we currently see Flash game sponsorships stabilizing, we seen non-exclusives increasing, and we think that many sponsors are prematurely leaving the Flash game market. It is possible there may be a resurgence in sponsorships from sponsors who don’t find success on mobile, or from new players taking advantage of the gap, but we suggest that developers at least tinker in HTML5 or porting their games to native mobile (or better, both!)