February 4th, 2013 | By Tom Christiansen
Announced today, Gamestop’s new mobile Developer’s Program, is ready to help burgeoning developers finish their game and successfully promote it with help from the company’s networks. The program is focused on developers working on creating free-to-play mobile games. With $10 million in funding ready to be used, and the resources of Gamestop at the ready, this program could be life changing for many developers.
Panayoti Haritatos, former general manager for Zynga and founder and CEO of Urbansquall (Battalion: Vengeance/Ghosts) was selected to manage the program. Haritatos understands the influence that Kongregate exposure can have for a game’s popularity, and knows the difficulties developers face in getting their games discovered through app stores. While he faced challenges when managing Urbansquall, Kongregate helped his games succeed, leading to Urbansquall’s acquisition by Zynga in 2009.
The $10 million funding will provide assistance to developers finishing up their titles (final build and integration expenses), and will also provide free consultation in the vein of creative services, game testing, competitive research, and quality assurance. Having worked with 17,000 game developers in the past, the consultation team knows a thing or two about game promotion.
Games selected for use in the program will receive the radiating spotlight that comes with being aided by Gamestop. The video game retailer, which boasts 6,500 retail stores worldwide, will work to get the games into the hands of game journalists, promotion on various app stores, and of course, hosted within Kongregate and Gamestop’s mobile network.
Kongregate CEO, Jim Greer, responded to a bit of harsh criticism about the decision to hire a former manager from Zynga, a company which has become notorious for making unethical business decisions.
“Urbansquall was the studio [Haritatos] started, that Zynga then bought…they made a really good series of strategy games,” Greer explains. “Unfortunately those games didn’t make a ton of money, so they accepted Zynga’s buyout offer to make sure that everyone had a job. Once he was there Pany learned a lot about game monetization, but ultimately wanted to come back to Kongregate to apply that…”
Developers interested in applying for this new program should check out the official website for the Kongregate mobile developers program.