Usually, game players have to pay to unlock content in free-to-play games. However, it appears that Tinyloot has a different strategy with its products, one that could reward players in more ways than one.
The company is looking to pay players a small amount of money for taking part in its game sessions, an idea cooked up by digital game marketing expert Oliver Kern and former IT head at Booz Allen Hamilton Micha von der Meer.
With the Tinyloot platform, players are actually paid for taking part in game sessions, based on the time they spend playing the game. This is a change of pace from the usual way that free-to-play games work, especially when it comes to the involvement of advertisers. “The majority of networks couldn’t care less about the developers and very often do not deliver what they promise,” Kern said. “I have been working in exactly this space and have worked with many of them. Some are good, many not so good for games.”
Through the Tinyloot system, developers and publishers would spend less funds on ads, with the money instead going to players. Those who enjoy playing the games can invest the cash in their game experiences, if they choose. “This would change the value chain in free-to-play mobile games,” said Kern in an email. “We are getting great feedback from players who sometimes can’t believe it’s true.”
The app works for all those involved, as developers can acquire other team members at a low financial rate, while also rewarding players who turn into long-time fans of their games. “This is good for the community of free-to-play mobile-game developers who are struggling with ad networks that take and earn a lot of money without providing real value,” Kern said. “Tinyloot mitigates this risk, and it delivers engaged players at a significantly lower cost if it’s a good game.”
App stores would also benefit from purchases by players. “The price for a mobile user is going up (every month),” said Daniel Hasselberg, chief executive of developer MAG Interactive, which is planning to use the platform in the future. “By the end of 2014, even the majority of the top 300 mobile publishers will not be able to easily afford user acquisition. We are waiting for Tinyloot.”
“Mobile user acquisition is clearly broken. What Tinyloot is seeking to provide will help preserve a commercially interesting space for mobile developers,” said Shaun Rutland, head of Hutch Games.
It’ll be interesting to see if this business model works out. What do you think? Would you be interested in getting paid to play games?