The Facebook paradox is that the larger Facebook the more dependent social game companies become on Facebook. Enter Viximo, a company that offers a platform to distribute social games on social networks beyond Facebook. We talked with CEO Dale Strang about their product and partnerships, the challenges and opportunities of growing your social game beyond Facebook, and the future of social games.
What is Viximo and how does your product save the world (or, make life easier and better for game developer and players)?
Viximo makes it easy for game developers to bring their games from Facebook to other social networks all around the world. For those sites we deliver a selection of top quality, high monetizing social games that are optimized to take advantage of that network’s specific social features.
Before you were in the business of connecting social game apps with social web networks, you were in the virtual gifts business. How and why did you make this huge transition?
Virtual gifts were among the earliest versions of virtual goods delivered via social networks, and Viximo was one of the first companies to help make that happen. The explosion in social games adoption, with virtual goods as a primary monetization source, was a natural opportunity for Viximo. We had already built our commerce and distribution platform, and that made us a perfect fit for the beyond-Facebook distribution and monetization opportunities our partners were excited about.
What are the major web sites and games you can play on your platform? How many sites, games, and users do you hope to add by the end of the year?
We have over 15 social games available on our platform, featuring high quality titles like Farmandia, Resort World, Backyard Monsters and the newly-announced Ravenwood Fair. Our site network includes leading social networks (about 20 in all), whose total monthly audience exceeds 100 million users. Viximo’s network features geographically and/or demographically-targeted sites such as IMVU, Quepasa, Tuenti, VZnet and Bebo whose audience are both large and highly engaged.
We are adding new sites and developer partners each month.
Every social game developer wants to diversify off of Facebook but they don’t because it’s hard. What do you do to make integration for game developers and web sites easy? How do you and everyone else make money?
To successfully diversify, a game developer needs to find sites whose audiences will respond to their content. This poses a challenge as most companies need to test several sites—and sometimes several game titles—to determine whether there is a fit. It gets even more challenging when a developer tries to integrate with a social network’s platform to take full advantage of the native features that are so critical to a game’s success; each site’s integration is different and frequently changes, which is a huge resource drain for both the site and developer.
With Viximo, a game developer integrates once with our platform, and is then ready to deploy to any site in our network. We go to great lengths to make that process simple, easy and quick—our APIs are designed to mimic the familiar Facebook API we are replacing, and we dedicate integration engineers to help with the process.
We save even more trouble for the social network sites we work with. Our integration with their sites connects to all of their native social graph, notification and promotion features so that when they add one of our games it’s a very quick and easy process. We also devote dedicated account managers for each to help promote, analyze and optimize each game’s performance.
We make money when our partners make money—we all share the revenue that is generated through the sale of virtual goods within the games.
Looking into your crystal ball, what future trends do you see in the social game space?
We are convinced that we are still in the very early stages of the social games market’s development. The games are going to get better—richer, deeper and more immersive—and will begin to appeal to a broader section of the online population. More social games will be marketed across platforms (mobile, tablet, web); more big brands will appear in and around social games; applications that apply the “fun” aspects of social games will become much more commonplace.
Any final words for your fans out there?
Yes! If you are a social game developer, or a social network and you want to learn how you can generate more revenue and usage for your game and site, contact Viximo!