Flash Marketplace Shutting Down

A very brief history of FGL

When FGL started – almost 10 years ago now, as FlashGameLicense – it was a marketplace for the Flash gaming industry.  Flash game developers could find sponsors for their games, and publishers could search through thousands of games to find great content.  The site and community grew very quickly.  I don’t think it’s boastful to say that FGL was ubiquitous in the Flash game industry.  If you made a Flash game, you knew about FGL.

But things have changed. There was a time, years ago, where we would see developers using FGL making over $400,000 a month with Flash games.  Last month, we saw closer to $5,000.  Partly this is due to changes we’ve made, but mostly it’s due to the changing market.  Mobile gaming grew at a startling pace, and the PC gaming market has become more accessible than ever.  When you add in browser companies’ desire to limit (or eliminate)  3rd party plugins like Flash, you can see where the Flash gaming industry (and web gaming in general) has taken quite a beating.

Luckily, FGL has always been about developers – not about any specific technology.  When we saw mobile gaming getting more popular we started adding new services to help developers on mobile.  Some of those didn’t work out: Flash on mobile-web, the mobile app marketplace, and HTML5, for example.  But others did extremely well: our Mobile Platform, where we help developers monetize and market their mobile apps, and most recently Enhance, where we help developers integrate with third party services with no need to implement SDKs.  In fact, this year we will make developers more money than we ever have in the past, and that’s with almost no revenue from Flash games, which was our sole source of revenue just 5 years ago. FGL will continue to be about developers.  So if another technology or market comes along, we’ll be there to help developers. That said, right now we believe focusing on mobile makes the most sense.

The FGL Flash Marketplace

A little over a week ago our Flash bidding Marketplace went down due to some server issues.  As we dug into the issues we found that it would take considerable work to get things back up.  Also, we noticed that there wasn’t a large outcry.  If the Marketplace was down for even a couple of hours, 5 years ago, my email inbox would be full of concerns and complaints.  Now… I think in total we received a dozen inquiries.

We built the marketplace nearly 10 years ago, and much of that code hasn’t changed.  And much of it was built for the hardware it ran on.  Hardware now that is so out of date it isn’t supported by updated versions of the software running on it.  As an example, when the “heartbleed” bug came out we weren’t at risk because our system is so old it had never introduced the update that carried the bug!  So, when the server recently went down, and we determined it couldn’t be brought back up we found we were in a really rough spot.  We’d have to re-write much of the code that was written nearly a decade ago.

When we considered this, and looked at the lack of use and lack of money flowing through the Flash marketplace, we decided that we would not bring the marketplace back up.

Honestly, the writing has been on the wall for some time.  And I think many other companies would have taken the site down much sooner, especially since we are doing so well on mobile.  But, there’s nostalgia there for me.  I’m extremely biased because, 10 years ago, Adam and I started this whole thing with that site.  I wrote the first bits of code for the site in my living room.  My developer account is still the first one listed in our database.  I think I remember every developer and sponsor who signed up in the first months, if not year, and I can remember every single game that was uploaded.  In fact, Adam and I were the very first Game Reviewers, so we played every game – good or bad! – that went through us.  I’ve easily played thousands of Flash games 🙂 So, you can see why I might find reasons to delay shutting down the Flash marketplace.  But, the time has come.  Bittersweet as it is: we can no longer support the Flash marketplace, but we are helping mobile developers make more money than ever.

The Good News

The good news is the community is still as lively as ever.  Our forums went down briefly when the marketplace went down, but we have them back up.  Unlike the marketplace, we received lots of complaints about the forum being down.  You can find the forums here.

We know that there are still Flash developers and sponsors and we want to support them as much as we can. So we will also still support Flash developer and sponsor interaction through the forums.  Feel free to make deals and meet each other there!

Also, if you are a mobile developer, or are thinking of making a mobile game, as I’ve mentioned we are seeing a lot of great success there.  I suggest you check out Enhance.

And, we’re always open to feedback.  Feel free to email us at info@fgl.com

Best,

Chris and the whole FGL Team

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Mobile Platform Success Stories

FGL Mobile Platform Success Stories – an update on the Mobile Platform

Back in July we shared a success story from our Mobile Platform. Since then, we’ve had a few more games break the top 10 on various Play categories such as Top Free and Top New Free.  We intended to update everyone on these individual successes, but things have been growing so rapidly that we decided to do a larger write up instead.

The growth of FGL’s Mobile Platform

When we started FGL Mobile in late 2011 our goal was to help game developers and publishers in the mobile space, or looking to get into the mobile space, to distribute and monetize their games.  Our first plan of attack was to get games onto smaller markets and OEM channels so that we could build up market share and spread traffic through cross promoting games.

We had great success doing this. We built a system to help convert existing popular flash games to mobile, and we then sold them as premium titles across Nook, Amazon and a few other stores.  As you can see from the snapshot below, taken this month from the Nook store, our success in this area continues to this day.   3 out of the top 6 paid games are from the FGL Mobile Platform.

 

 

However, we’ve always known that, if done right, most of a developer’s revenue would come from the larger markets: Google Play and the Apple App Store.

So for the last year we have focused heavily on Google Play.  Our particular focus is on free games supported by ads since many of the indie developers we work with are used to that model, and premium game sales are almost non-existent these days.

Our foray into Google Play has been extremely successful.  As you can see in the graph below, the games going through the FGL Mobile Platform have enjoyed healthy growth in their revenues thanks to our Google Play efforts.  The different colors represent the different ways we monetize the games: various ad networks, in-apps, premium sales, etc..

 

One of the strengths of our system is that we now manage a portfolio of well over 1,000 games, and we are able to use cross promotions between them to push quality new titles up the charts to point where they can be discovered.

Game Promotion

We wanted to share some details of how we promote games on the Platform.  Unfortunately, not every game has a shot at ranking up the charts, but we give a fair chance to all the games in our system. New games are given enough cross promotion to give us a good sample of data. We carefully look at the usage metrics and natural organic discovery trends to identify titles, new and old, that can succeed.  When we find a title that has potential we put the bulk of our cross promotions towards it as well as targeted paid UA campaigns to push the game up the rankings.

Below are a few examples of this strategy.  You can see how the games shot up the ranking charts from the efforts of the FGL Mobile Platform:

 

One recent hit is a F2P game that published by Tamalaki, Blackstone Mysteries.  It hit #2 in the top new Free charts on September 2nd.

 

And here are some more games we’ve helped top the charts.

 

 

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Currently we are looking for quality games that haven’t been able to achieve a significant audience.  If your game has an LTV per user > $.20 or averages over 6 sessions per install then please contact us.

For smaller games you will still need to go through a publisher but we are working on a self service platform which will open up the platform to all games in the near future.

We strongly suggest developers work with a publisher as we’ve found they can be invaluable to a game’s success.  We’d like to specifically point out Tamalaki (run by everyone’s favorite Martine Spaans) and Happy Planet Games.  Both have built out a huge portfolio with powerful cross promotion capabilities.

And, of course, you can use FGL.com to find a publisher.  Many publishers are willing to pay up front to get publishing rights to mobile games. And if you are a publisher interested in joining our Platform, please let us know! Our system is set up to publish games under a publisher name so you get the benefits of our system without sacrificing your branding.

You can find more information about the Mobile Platform here: https://www.fgl.com/mobile-platform/#devs

There are a lot of exciting things in the works.  Keep an eye out here for more news coming soon!

 

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FGL Mobile Platform Success Story – 3 Pyramid Tripeaks

Recently, 3 Pyramid Tripeaks (a game developed by Bram Schoonhoven and published by Happy Planet Games) used the FGL Mobile Platform to reach #10 on the Google Play app store for Top Free Games.  It also reached a rank of #1 in Cards and #28 in all Top Free Apps!

3 Pyramid Tripeaks was pushed through FGL’s Mobile Platform back in October of 2013 as a premium game on sale for $.99.  FGL worked with the developer and publisher to make the game free and monetize it with FGL’s ADsorb ad system which assured the game had the highest cpms possible.

FGL continued to promote the game and when it was apparent that the game had good organic growth FGL organized more specific promotions around the game, which helped raise it to #10 in the Top Free Games category on Google Play.

Said Kelly from Happy Planet Games, who published the game, “Working with the FGL Mobile Platform has been a great experience. I get to focus on finding developers and games while FGL takes care of all the behind the scene details that would otherwise take up most of my valuable time”

Bram Schoonhoven, the game’s developer, also had a great experience working with FGL and their Mobile Platform, saying: “I am very happy to work with FGL, they know what they are doing and always respond fast. I am looking forward to more mobile successes.”

FGL has enjoyed working with Kelly and Bram and we congratulate them on their achievements, and look forward to working with them on future games!

 

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