Michael, from Mplayit.com, talks about their iPhone Arcade on Facebook
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Interviewer: I’m here at Austin GDC and with me today is a special guest. How about you introduce yourself?
Michael: I’m Michael Powers. I’m the Founder and CEO of Mplayit.
Interviewer: What is Mplayit?
Michael: Mplayit is social discovery for mobile applications. Right now, we are introducing our iPhone Arcade on Facebook which is the leading way on Facebook today to get your app noticed to your social audience.
Interviewer: Oh nice. Why was it started? What inspired you to start this?
Michael: I was an indie game developer, so I started in 2001-2002 writing games, games that were published on T Mobile and Nextel carrier channels, and I was one of the lucky few because after that the walls came down. We saw the mobile space get dominated by a few major game publishers, and I’m already seeing that happen again today with iPhone.
What indie developers need is a way to market their applications in a way that’s cost effective. You couldn’t do this if you wanted to today. We give you an alternative. We give you some control over your own fate to market your own application.
Interviewer: How do you exactly market that? I know you mentioned Facebook. Can you go into specifics on an indie game developer that actually wants to get their game promoted?
Michael: What we’ve done is we’ve built almost an alternate app store in the Facebook and social context. We’re on Facebook. We’re also on MySpace. You see a lot of traffic on Facebook, and that’s really working for us. Today Mobile Arcade on Facebook, our application, is featured by Facebook. We’re the number one app right there. If you search for mobile, we’re the number one app.
It’s getting us a lot of traffic, so we brought mobile interested users, iPhone interested users into our Facebook application where we show them applications and game apps, mobile apps and what we do with that is we make that available to the game developers. We let you take your application, list it with us and you get found. You get found by your audience about your application, but more importantly it can pay for placement with us. You can get listed. That gives you some power over your own fate.
Interviewer: Now, do the people who check out your app, do they get to play the games for free, or how does that work? Do they just get to watch it and then, maybe, watch a demo of the video? And is this through a PC or is this through their iPhone that they get to actually open up and see that Facebook app?
Michael: The second question first, so we are a web-based technology so we run on your PC. We have a great PC experience on the web. We have a mobile experience as well, but mainly what we do is our hallmarked plan is playable discovery. So, our applications, especially on the mobile side, you can play the games in the web browser, so on the mobile. You see, all those games are playable, and you’re playing in an emulator version as it will appear in your web browser.
On the iPhone side, it’s a little trickier because we can’t invent an iPhone in the browser, but we show videos. We have videos from most of our top partners, so you can actually get a sense that you can play a video and sense of what the game is about. But you really can’t do a more rich, more fluid, easier time saving experience really than the browser.
Interviewer: How long would it take for an indie game developer to get into your system, to get it listed and stuff like that?
Michael: It’s real easy to do. Let’s talk about the iPhone side. Right now, you just basically send us your application, and we can scrape all the data from the app store. As before, we’re scraping the whole app store. We’re going to get all the data. They’re our partners there and we can get the right data. At that point you’ll already be there and you can basically help manage your application, so who is using your application online. So, it’s real easy.
Interviewer: Is there anything else that indie game developers should know then about your service that would be beneficial?
Michael: Well, you should know that you need us. Being an online app store is not a bargain. You need to control your marketing, and we can help you do that.
Interviewer: How do indie game developers get started?
Michael: With us? Contact with us. So, you can visit us at Mplayit.com. You drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviewer: M as in Mary, then Mplayit.com.
Michael: Yeah, m-p-l-a-y-i-t .com. That’s the one.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.