When you’re stuck on a level in a game, the first place you look for a solution is on the Internet. Finding the right answer quickly is hard, though, and GamerU’s speedy tutorials promises to make that easy. At the same time, game developers have a huge problem — how do you find players for your game, especially players that will stick with the game and spend money GamerU has managed to create a solution for developers, too, and combined both of these solutions into one site.
GamerU is a destination web site that provides high-quality, professionally created videos that help gamers with popular games, and these videos are short and to the point. The videos share hints on how to beat difficult levels, as well as skill tips to help players become standouts during battle. All videos are easily searchable, allowing gamers to find everything they need in one simple location.
GamerU also helps gamers find other games they might like to play by serving up suggestions based on viewing habits. Of course, that’s of value to game developers as well, helping games get discovered by the people who are most likely to play and enjoy the games — and therefore, more likely to spend some money on the game in the long run.
For developers and publishers, GamerU provides a way to help players and potentially generate more revenue with no up-front cost. Once a developer has partnered with GamerU, GamerU then creates original videos and promotes them. GamerU even provides a mobile app to make it even easier for gamers to find the videos they need.
The [a]listdaily spoke with GamerU president and founder James Sullivan about GamerU’s approach to helping gamers and game developers find the answers and the audience they need.
[a]listdaily: How can you help game developers with the difficult problem of player acquisition?
James Sullivan: We’re a user acquisition platform for game publishers. We professionally produce tips and tricks videos for a wide variety of games. We produce those videos in multiple languages —English, Spanish, French, and German. We then invest heavily in SEO in those various languages, and serve up suggestions to viewers on the games they may like. We will serve up suggestions based on your viewing habits. From an indie publisher’s point of view, they have a limited marketing budget. We pay for all production of the tips and tricks videos in the various languages, and we will integrate their videos into the platform.
[a]listdaily: That’s a useful service for developers, but how does GamerU make money from this?
James Sullivan: Our business model is a little different than the standard CPI networks. The problem with a lot of those is you’re paying an upfront fee for a customer whether that customer monetizes or not. In a lot of instances, they’re paying people for a customer that could be worth zero. For our revenue model, we take it from a different approach. We say, ‘You don’t have to pay us anything up front, and you don’t have to pay anything if the customer monetizes to zero.’ However, we will take a rev share instead. It’s pay for performance. We invest in SEO, and we believe our users are more engaged, they’re searching for this content, they’re searching for tips, they’re looking to get beter at the game. We believe our users are more engaged and they are more likely to convert as a paying customer. We’re willing to take the risk of pay for performance.
[a]listdaily: How exactly does the revenue share work?
James Sullivan: It’s based on the lifetime value of the customer within that game. We come from the poker industry, where user acquisition on a rev share model is very standard. We’re applying what we learned on the poker side to the video game space.
[a]listdaily: How long has GamerU been active, and what have the results been so far?
James Sullivan: We’ve been working on the business for well over a year; the site launched officially on April 15. The results have been very positive from both the publishers and the users. We’ve just launched with Atari’s new Minimum game this month. The response that we’ve had from publishers in our initial meetings and pitches has been very positive, and from the user point of view, likewise. There’s very little downside for the publishers because we pay for all production. We only get paid when we convert customers.
[a]listdaily: Do you have a relationship with all of the publishers for the games where you have videos, or do you just create some to drive traffic to the web site?
James Sullivan: Initially here for launch we did not have relationships with all the publishers. We are in the process of discussions with various different publishers. We will produce videos for games that are popular, games that people are searching for, just to drive traffic to the site.
[a]listdaily: What’s the future for GamerU? Where do you want the site to be in a year or two?
James Sullivan: The goal is down the road that we are integrated will of these publishers and we have our own user acquisition network with all of these publishers on a rev share basis. And, we launch a game in conjunction with when a publisher launches a game. The goal, and we just did this with Minimum, is the day that Minimum launched on Steam we launched with the content. We had early access to the game and we produced the tips over a two-month period prior to when the game was officially online.
We’re looking to grow our content library and forge relationships with publishers and drive traffic for their games. I view this as the future of the user acquisition model for videogame publishers.