Joe Wee and Chris Byatte discuss the launch of their new 100% Indie initiative, which promises unparalleled revenue opportunities to the mobile games developer community.
To mark today’s launch of the new 100% Indie (www.100PercentIndie.com) initiative from Chillingo and Samsung, Mobile Entertainment was given an exclusive access to Chillingo founders Joe Wee and Chris Byatte to discuss exactly what the new programme will offer independent developers in the mobile gaming industry.
The 100% Indie project represents the culmination of a new partnership between Chillingo – the world’s most successful independent games publisher – and Korean manufacturer Samsung.
With an emphasis on helping to inspire and create opportunities for developers, not to mention offering them unprecedented revenue yields, the partnership is also aimed at further bolstering the Samsung App Store.
As of today, (March 4th) developers can register at www.100PercentIndie.com and submit games for consideration, which will then be reviewed by a select team to ensure they meet the standards required for the Samsung Apps store. Successful developers will then be supported in bringing the game to market.
So, without further ado, over to the boys…
Daniel Gumble: Why is it that Samsung selected Chillingo as its partner for the 100% Indie project?
Joe Wee: Samsung wanted to connect with indie games publishers with great heritage; that’s why they chose us. Chris and I have over ten years of heritage in mobile gaming and we are uniquely positioned to service this gateway for Samsung to reach out to the developer community. We really understand what drives the game-makers of today, and it’s really a case of leveraging Samsung’s strengths and our strengths to grow this ecosystem exponentially.
Chris Byatte: We’ve been making games ourselves for years, so we know exactly what it is to be a developer and we tried to imagine the best possible initiative to help the indies.
DG: Aside from the promise of unprecedented revenues, which we will come to in a moment, what are the other key benefits for indies looking to capitalise on the initiative?
CB: We want to shine a spotlight on the indie gaming scene and promote the great games that we see coming through the pipeline.
JW: We want the 100% Indie website to be a place where indie developers can share knowledge; be a place where we can celebrate the indie spirit. When we say ‘indie’ we are talking about the attitude, the passion, and the innovation of developers big and small. That’s why it’s called 100% Indie.
DG: Going back to the previously mentioned revenue opportunities, can you elaborate a little on what exactly developers submitting their games to 100% Indie can expect?
CB: To be clear, developers can self publish using this initiative. It’s not exclusive. They can keep all of the revenues for six months – that’s the golden period. From today (March 4th) for six months, developers can claim 100 per cent revenue from Samsung, so Samsung is giving up its revenue share. We convinced them to do that because it will really kick-start that great pipeline of developers coming through to them.
After that first six months, it drops down to 90 per cent for six months, and after that we have a further 12 months of 80 per cent. So, the full programme lasts for two years, before dropping down to 70 per cent.
JW: I guess that the call to action is ‘get your game up there quickly’ to make use of the high revenue share in the early months. So, if a developer makes millions and millions in the first six months, they keep it all.
DG: Will there be a limit to the number of games taken on as part of the initiative?
CB: No, there is not a limit per say, although there will be some light curation. This is to avoid anything that is inciting profanity or hatred. We are just filtering the very base stuff because we don’t feel there’s any value in that kind of thing for the consumer. We also want to ensure that the games work nicely on the Samsung handsets.
JW: Upon the passing of this curation, we will issue what we call an invite code, which happens per game. With this code, the developer can basically go back to Samsung Apps Seller Office – that’s the name of the developer dashboard – where they can use it and make full use of the 100 per cent revenue plan.
DG: Who will be on the team of curators assessing the games?
CB: The team that Joe and I are heading up are all avid game players, they love mobile and they are the consumers of the day. Many of them are people we have known for a long time in the industry, so we know they have a real passion for games.
DG: Why do you think Samsung has waited until now to launch such an initiative?
JW: I think hardware and software always go hand in hand; one will always drive the other. In terms of games, around 40 per cent of time spent on mobiles is spent playing games, so it makes sense to concentrate on building the portfolio of games.
DG: We’ve spoken about the benefits available to developers with 100% Indie, so what’s in it for Samsung?
JW: This whole programme will foster growth of the ecosystem for all of us; developers, publishers, consumers and Samsung. That’s the beauty of this programme.
DG: Do you think this kind of initiative is likely to be emulated by any of the other big players in the mobile ecosystem?
JW: It’s not really for us to comment on what other companies will do, but this is definitely an unparalleled programme in terms of the incentive it’s giving out to developers and to helping the ecosystem. For us it’s all about the developers and trying to foster the game makers of tomorrow and helping them to innovate and make better games.
CB: We’ve always felt that we were at the forefront of the mobile gaming world, and many companies have tried to emulate us. The same thing may happen here, but I think it’s fair to say that we are always one step ahead.