How long does the evaluation take?
The evaluation process can take up to 14 business days. You’ll receive feedback about your game(s) regardless.
What does a publisher contribute?
We basically assist potential developers by providing them with services that they usually have no access to, or are unable to maintain on their own (servers, backend, full QA services and Localization). More importantly, we invest a lot of money in marketing and user acquisition (each title is allocated an initial $2M in UA when certain metrics are hit). Combining this with our knowledge in analytics and marketing, we can help with launching the game and driving users in.
What kind of games does Playlab Publish?
At this time, we are open to free-to-play mobile games with in-app purchases.
Are you open to any genre?
Our strength lies in the Casual / Midcore genre, as these are the categories our own games have found success in and we have strong experience in! We’ve had success in Match-3 and other puzzle games, Casino games and Pet games. But we are open to accommodating other genres and take it from there.
Does my game need to be made using a particular platform?
We would prefer Unity3D for easier integration but we are open to games developed in any platform.
I have an awesome game idea! If it sounds interesting, will Playlab invest in developing it?
We not only invest in a game idea but also in a great development team. The great idea has to have a build we can play to support a publishing decision. So if you only have an idea, find a team who can bring it to life and come back to us!
At what stage does Playlab consider making a publishing deal?
We usually begin introductory talks when the game has a prototype. We can begin negotiations when the game is at a Minimum Viable Product or MVP stage, where the game is just about ready for soft-launch. This usually would already include a good and well optimized build, good monetization features. Social features are optional at this time. The idea is to have enough content upon release to keep players playing for 30 days after launch. Alternatively, if we are not completely sure of a title’s ability to monetize from the build, you can do a test launch to get retention and monetization data and if it adheres to our KPI standards, we can discuss the potential of a publishing deal.
What does Playlab evaluate?
When a game is submitted by a developer, it enters Playlab’s Game
Evaluation and Analysis Pipeline, which usually takes 14 business
Criteria we look at:
- Mobile free-to-play
- Casual / Midcore
- Strong Content Pipeline
- Is there an avenue to include tons of new content
with eventual updates to the game?
- Art quality and low amount of (known) bugs found
- Good grammar use (if game is in English)
- Gameflow is intuitive
- Visual cues and effects are sensible and necessary
- Wireframe should make sense with icons rightly
Meets KPI Standards (for soft-launched games)
- Retention Rate is 50/25/15 (D1, D7, D30)
- ARPDAU dependent on genre
Good Monetization Model
- Caters to both spending and non-spending players
- Gives strong incentive to purchase
- Various IAPs to spend on
What are the numbers Playlab considers good for the soft-launch terms in terms of retention and revenue/user?
An average game would have retention of around a 30/15/7. A minimum retention for a game that will earn modest revenue is 40/20/10. For Playlab, we would prefer that it be at least 50/25/15. This is what we consider our sweet spot before we launch globally. ARPDAU requirements are dependent on genre, retention and how viral/social the game is. Don’t worry if your game has not yet met those metrics. We usually work with developers to increase those metrics over subsequent updates.
In which countries does Playlab prefer me to do the soft-launch?
You can do a retention test in any country you can get either free users or has cheap user acquisition. For example, at Playlab we sometimes do it in Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia. For a monetization test, we can do it in a country where spending patterns are similar to the US – Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Scandinavia or Australia are some good candidates.
My game is great and has had promising soft-launch results. We are now evaluating which Publishers we should go with. Why should I publish with Playlab?
Playlab is a small independent publisher and developer. At most, we launch 1 game every quarter and are not looking to launch more than that. As a developer, we know how hard it is to develop a game, let alone one that has good chances of success in the stores. Instead of having a large portfolio of games we throw to the market in the hopes one of them works, we instead are very selective in the games we publish and put as much passion and effort in ensuring that game’s success as we would our internally-developed games. We find out what areas developers need help with and see how we can help. And of course, we put our money where our mouth is, and would not publish a game without a guaranteed marketing spend.
In which countries does Playlab publish to? Is the deal exclusive for all countries?
We localize in 6 languages (English, French, Russian, Italian, German, Spanish) and would generally want all countries and markets that we localize the game to. We can talk about other languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and other Asian languages – Bahasa, Thai) at a later date if the game performs well in the original territories we launch in. This is on a case per case basis though in case you want some countries to publish for yourself, but the main English speaking ones (US, UK) are what we would need at a minimum to proceed with a publishing deal.
Is there a specific budget Playlab plans to invest for promoting the game? Or does Playlab specify a minimum number of acquired users?
We allocate an initial $2M budget for user acquisition, as long as your game’s LTV90 can recover the CPI cost.
Could Playlab consider paying part of the development cost? Who will pay the running cost of adding new levels and enhancing the game?
Though we have paid for development costs in the past, it is unlikely we will do so for most games we publish. Cost of game maintenance should be paid for by revenues of the game and the revenue share the developer is getting and future updates will be part of the co-development agreement. If the game is not doing enough revenue, then we should not be maintaining it. We will, however, cover other parts of co-development (marketing, servers, QA, etc).
What’s the revenue sharing formula Playlab usually offers?
Our base revenue share is 50/50 computed after taxes, platform fees and UA costs and any out of pocket expenses. The revenue share rates also depend on how much work either party does.
How about 3rd Party APIs?
At the minimum, we ask that developers integrate an analytics plug-in such as Swrve
(or you can build your own but we do not recommend that), a mobile advertising analytics plug-in such as Appsflyer
and Facebook Connect for social features. The first two does not have to be right away but preferably prior to soft launch. We can help select other plug-ins later such as those for video ads.
Can I send more than 1 game your way?
Yes, you can! Just fill out the form for each of your game.
Who will own the IP?