In detail: The $15k mobile games contest

In detail: The $15k mobile games contest

By Rob Crossley

May 9th 2011 at 2:30PM

MoMinis vice president of community and content, Eyal Rabinovich, explains the contest

Mobile game developers have the chance to win a $10,000 grand prize in a new MoMinis contest, which is up and running today.

Entrants have to create mobile games with the easy-to-use MoMinis Studio [an editor] and supply a rough prototype to the company before July 10th.

Successful entrants will have on offer MoMinis’ global distribution network that can help make a game a global hit.

Develop spoke to MoMinis vice president of community and content, Eyal Rabinovich, to find out more.

For those less familiar with MoMinis, what are the most popular titles built through the Studio?
MoMinis has more than 150 games created on our platform, and many more are still in progress.

We also work with game studios to leverage their pc games to mobile and some of the games that we’ve mobilized are the original Bubble Shooter Game, Russian roulette, and Mahjong.

Some original MoMinis titles that have been distributed through our mobile operator partner’s stores are Ninja Run, Hoopz , Parking and a series of ‘Lulu’ brand games.
 
Is the Gamecast contest looking for all kinds of developers and games? Are there any specific aspects the competition judges are looking for?
The GameCast contest is indeed looking for all kinds of developers. The MoMinis Studio is an easy-to-use RAD environment and is meant for developers of all skill levels.

In addition to developers, game designers and graphic designers are adept with The MoMinis Studio as it is learned easily and having a design orientation in games is always extremely useful in creating games.

Developers who are used to programming for PC or Flash also learn to use The MoMinis Studio quite quickly and create high quality content based on their experience.

Regarding the contest judges, we are all looking for the same thing: quality and innovation (easy to say, harder to do). The games can be casual games of any type and genre (as long as they are not offensive).

Are the $10,000, $3,000 and $2,000 prizes in cash?
Yes, the prizes are in cash. In addition to cash prizes, the winners will also receive promotion on GetJar, SlideME and receive exposure from many publishing outlets and game publishers.

Moreover, MoMinis will distribute all leading games from the contest to our global audiences using our distribution partners, which include mobile operators and publishers in many countries. Key partners include NTT DoCoMo Verizon, Telefonica, Orange, Turkcell and Vodafone.

There are three winners but are you looking to sign distribution deals with more entrants too?
Definitely. We are looking, together with our distribution partners, for talented individuals to create original and addictive games for the platforms we support. We see a great need for quality content that can run on all the major platforms across the board. We often see developers innovate and create new games and gameplay on the super high-end devices, but there seems to be a lack of innovation for other platforms like Symbian, Blackberry and JavaME.

These platforms generate a lot of revenue and can be a great source of income, especially with the current monetization issues on the Android Platform.

We plan to distribute all leading games that are submitted in the contest through our global distribution channels. The cash prizes are nice, but there is much more to gain by distributing these quality games.

Android and Windows 7 support is already built in the MoMinis Studio, and I understand iOS support is scheduled to arrive. Is there an exact timeline on iOS support, and should GameCast contestants believe their game will arrive on Apple platforms?
MoMinis currently supports all Android, Blackberry, Symbian and JavaMe devices. Our next platform is Windows 7 and then iOS. Since MoMinis Studio is fully forward compatible, once we support these platforms, all the games will be able to run on them automatically, without any extra work.

How much can MoMinis assure its partners that ‘games can be deployed anywhere’ when the submission terms for Android, iOS and Windows Phone OSes are so different?
In MoMinis, we address two of the biggest pains developers have to deal with: device fragmentation and distribution fragmentation.

On the technological side, we make sure that the games run seamlessly all across the board on the various OSes and devices and eliminate issues that arise from device fragmentation.

On the distribution side, we help developers distribute their games using our global distribution channels. The problem they face today lies in the multitude of distribution channels, each having its own submission process, business models, promotional tools, content regulations. Some distribution channels such as operator stores and device pre-installations are not even accessible for developers. We have the business relations in place which allow our developers not only to distribute the games but also to get visibility and promotion – two very important ingredients if you wish to monetize your IP. We do our best to make sure that developer will get their games to the market easily and get paid swiftly.

Could you break down the revenue split between developers and Mominis? I understand it varies between 10-30 per cent. Please clarify.
In the standard business model, MoMinis gives 70% of the net revenue for games that are sold on our distribution channels. In these cases, we are also localizing the games, promoting them, and optimizing their campaigns.

If the developers wish to distribute their games by themselves, they are free to do so and keep 90% of the revenue. Under this scenario MoMinis takes care of everything on the technical side and provides the different executable files for the various devices.

The third option is to enter the ‘Promote Your Game Program’. Under this program, the developer publishes his game on our stores, which support global billing infrastructures. Then, by driving traffic and promoting a game himself, the developer can gain between 80%-90% of the revenue. The revenue share varies according to the billing provider and payment method that the end-user decides to choose when he pays.

Is that a wholesale revenue split? Is that before or after Android/Apple/Microsoft takes its own cut.
The developers get 70% of the net revenue which means 70% of MoMinis’ cut. However, we only publish games where we have a direct contact with the distributor and the ability to get our games promoted. If the developer wishes to promote the game himself, we get 10% of his revenue as well also after the distributor takes his share.

Which countries can MoMinis games be released in? How does this work?
We are working in Japan, The US, Eastern and Western Europe. Among our leading partners are: Verizon, Vodafone, NTT DoCoMo, Turkcell, Orange, TIM, MCI and many more.

After finishing the game, developers can publish it within the MoMinis Studio using a very simple process. Then, we test the games ourselves, send them to our partners and find the best suitable channels for each one of them.
All the data about the distribution of the developer’s game is assembled into one reporting system, and displayed on the profile of the developer on our website.

Do MoMinis developers, and indeed contest entrants, retain their IP?
Yes, of course, developers keep the possession of their own IP. They can also decide to distribute their games themselves if they wish to. We always make sure we form a relationship and work together because, after all, we have the same interest as theirs - seeing revenue generated by the games.

Is there scope to expand the MoMinis Studio to support other external tools?
Yes, we are planning to open up the platform to support external tools. We have to be very cautious about that because it could compromise the wide device support we offer when doing that. However, it is definitely in our plans.

GetJar will be the distributor of the contest’s winning games – how much revenue (from further sales) would they take from the developer?
GetJar’s business model is based in their promotional tools – which means that developers usually pay GetJar to get their games promoted. They are not taking any revenue from the developers.