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#Pocketgamer: #G5 Entertainment, a multiplatform mobile developer

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Following a recent article which highlighted G5 Entertainment as the best performing mobile gaming share in 2012 (http://nordicinvestor.net/2013/01/07/pocketgamer-g5-entertainment-mobile-game-share-2012/),  Pocketgamer (www.pocketgamer.biz) is out again with a new article, this time exclusively about G5 Entertainment. It is always nice with some well deserved attention. The future looks bright for G5!

Here is the Pocketgamer article:

“At a time when Supercell is reportedly making millions every week with a portfolio of just two games on one platform, it’s interesting to see Russian publisher G5 Entertainment attaining success with just the opposite technique.

The company promises its users one new mobile game each week, and it covers a wide range of mobile and tablet platforms – including iOS, Android, Kindle and Nook.

In fact, the company is particularly keen to expand its presence on platforms other than iOS.

“It’s wrong to ignore the rest of the market,” said G5 CEO Vlad Suglobov in 2012, explaining his belief that iOS’s position will eventually settle at 20 percent market share.

With these words in mind, we thought now would be a good time to evaluate the company’s multiplatform approach, examining G5’s presence on the platforms that other publishers often ignore.

Oft forgotten

G5 Entertainment currently has a whopping 285 titles listed in Apple’s App Store. On competing app stores, G5’s portfolio is smaller, but impressive nonetheless.

On the Amazon Appstore, for example, G5 Entertainment boasts 51 titles.

Meanwhile, on the Nook app marketplace, G5 Entertainment has 34 apps – although, interestingly, G5 eschews its usual free-to-play model on the Barnes & Noble platform.


Dark Arcana: The Carnival

In a previous Charticle, we noted that Amazon Appstore users seemed to enjoy hidden-object games more than the Google Play userbase.

This trend is not borne out by the data Amazon provides today, but it’s worth noting that G5’s games on both Nook and Amazon tend to enjoy strong user reviews.

Graph-time

If we turn our eyes to Google Play, there’s a great deal more information for us to sink our teeth into.

App Annie allows us to survey the grossing chart performance of a selection of G5 Entertainment’s hidden-object games – the genre that the company is perhaps best known for.

The rankings attained by these games are decent, although not as high as one might think.

For instance, Dark Arcana: The Carnival launched in mid-December 2012, entering Google Play’s top grossing games chart for the US at #487. The title subsequently rose to #284 before slowly sliding down the rankings – although a recent boost has seen the game peak at #264.


Analytics graph (courtesy of App Annie) showing the grossing games chart performance of Dark Arcana on Google Play.

Nightmares from the Deep is another G5 hidden-object game, although this one launched a month earlier, in November 2012.

The game entered the grossing games chart at a similar position – #460 – and once again climbed higher over the next few days.


Analytics graph showing the grossing games chart performance of Nightmares from the Deep on Google Play.

A December surge saw Nightmares from the Deep peak at #100, and today it rests at #289.

Free-to-sample

At this juncture, it’s worth mentioning the fact that – in many cases – the free-to-play model that G5 Entertainment uses is fairly unsophisticated.

The company’s hidden-object games are usually free demos that present players with paywalls once they’ve completed an introductory act, rather than true freemium games.

Perhaps this fact suggests that G5 Entertainment has room for improvement when it comes to monetisation. Or perhaps the company has determined that its hidden-object audience monetise best this way.

Whatever the case, it seems that the relatively low cost of producing these static-screen games allows them to remain very profitable without riding high in the grossing charts.

Chutzpah

In fact, questioning the monetisation methods of G5 Entertainment seems a little presumptuous, considering the company is predicting annual sales for 2012 of $12.3 million.

Furthermore, G5 Entertainment – which is publicly listed on the Stockholm stock exchange – was the joint top performer in the PocketGamer.biz 2012 round up of mobile games industry shares.


Nightmares from the Deep

So G5 is clearly growing its business successfully, even if its monetisation methods run contrary to industry wisdom. One area where the company’s strategy does align with popular opinion, though, is cross-promotion.

Promotional materials

G5 is no stranger to the practice, and its Game Navigator is available on all of the mobile platforms it supports.

On Android, the app has been downloaded somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 times, despite offering little more than a list of G5 games and tabs for the company’s social networking pages.

What’s more, Game Navigator has been available since 2011, suggesting that G5 may have been ahead of the curve in realising the importance of pushing games to its own audience.

The Russian publisher also uses the start up screens of its own applications to promote G5 titles. Full-screen interstitials offer links to dozens of similar games, while menus provide highly visible links to ‘more G5 games.’

Given G5’s position as a mid-sized publisher with an enormous catalogue of games, it makes total sense for the company to cross-promote heavily.

And given its continued growth, it seems that its high-output, cross-promotion and multiplatform strategy is working.”
Nordic Investor

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