WildTangent Talk Browser Based Gaming

The competition for in-browser gaming is heating up. As the likes of Facebook make waves in pushing new content on eager users, so too do the dedicated portals have to up their game. WildTangent is one such portal looking to move into new territory in […]
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The competition for in-browser gaming is heating up. As the likes of Facebook make waves in pushing new content on eager users, so too do the dedicated portals have to up their game. WildTangent is one such portal looking to move into new territory in order to expand their audience, and Electronic Theatre was recently given the opportunity to discuss with the team just how they intend to go about this.

  1. 1.     There are many online portals that offer videogames covering a wide variety of genres. What differentiates WildTangent from the pack?

Some sites barrage you with ads before playing a game online or require you to purchase games after a thirty minute trial. There are subscriptions that give you a small selection of games for a fixed amount per month, and they hope that you are satisfied with what they have. With WildTangent, we offer a curated selection of premium games for users to play the way they want, as often as they want, and without the intrusions and limitations found elsewhere.

  1. What would you say is the biggest asset WildTangent offers to consumers?

Choice. Consider movies – there are some that you want to see in a theater. Others you want to buy on a DVD or rent, and some you simply prefer to watch on TV subsidized by TV advertising. Today, you need separate companies to provide all those options for movies. In games, however, WildTangent offers all these options and more. Whether you want to buy, play for free, or rent a game, the accessibility is there for users, as is in-game item purchasing. These are top quality games optimized for the most common platforms on the market today: Android, iPhone/iPad, PC, Web, and Kindle devices.

  1. 3.     WildTangent offers a system in which renting a videogame counts towards the ownership of that product. Can you explain how this works?

Renting is so popular because it allows users to pay a small fraction of the purchase price to play a game after free rentals are used by the consumer and maybe they haven’t made up their mind if they want to own the game.  Through the use of our digital currency called WildCoins, every coin you spend on game rentals also counts toward the ownership of the game. So, after 3-6 rentals, you own the game. You can buy WildCoins for as little as $3.99 and all amounts you’ve spent on rentals never expire toward ownership. To make it even more convenient, when a consumer wants to own a game, they can use WildCoins to buy it.

  1. 4.     What key principles define WildTangent’s audience?

Because we are pre-installed on 10’s of millions of mobile devices and PCs around the world, we have a wide range of audiences. We need to have quality games for a range of demographics but a strong casual base, which is where we excel.  We do offer some core games, but we know what our audience prefers. The types of games we offer include racing, three cross match, hidden object games, casino, MMOs and much more. Just like our business model, whether you’re six years old or a grandmother, we’ve got something you can play alone, with your friends and family, and without breaking the bank.

  1. 5.     WildTangent offers browser based and downloadable videogames, free-to-play and premium titles. How do you avoid confusion between each of these disparate options?

As I said earlier, we’re focused on providing gamers choice. Just like people understand the difference between movies seen on TV compared to Netflix, (rent, buy DVD or TV,) we categorize games to make them accessible. We want to make them available to a broad range of gamers. We think that consumer interest will expand over time, just like TV viewing habits change. Sometimes people want to watch comedies or dramas, and with that we provide games with certain channels and genres.

  1. 6.     Has it been a struggle to keep WildTangent relevant as the next-generation of console hardware has begun to arrive in consumer homes?

For us, it’s not about relevance at all.  Having been an established games company for 15 years, we’ve seen consoles evolve. We’re on millions of devices and continue to add new partnerships each year. We’re a technology company at our core and offer a diverse set of business models that allow us to remain relevant regardless of the latest console or game fad. We’re not pigeon-holed into core gamers as our only demographic like consoles. How many moms use D-pads?  We’re not competing with them. We focus on casual games. Most people can’t afford to pay £50 per game which defines a hard core, console gamer.  The fact is, we cater to a much broader audience because of the value we provide and the accessibility on whichever device is most convenient to consumers.  This makes us relevant now and will continue to propel us in the years to come.

  1. 7.     With increasing connection speeds and more consumers open to allowing videogames to become a part of their daily lives, portals such as WildTangent are in a unique position to capitalise on this growth. What steps have you taken to ensure WildTangent is at the forefront of consumers’ minds?

The WildTangent Games app for smartphones, tablets and Windows devices which is installed on over 100 million devices annually makes it easy to get a wide selection of games in one click. With download speeds increasing, consumers can and want to explore their varying tastes in seconds. We’ve developed patent-pending technology that allows us to seamlessly deliver multiple games to a device at a single time. This can happen while a consumer is playing a different game or whenever they want, the choice is up to the consumer. For example, if you wanted to get five games that are similar to the game you are playing, you could in one click with WildTangent. Remember when I said we are a technology company?  Well, this is a perfect example of how we look at things different.  Consumers don’t want to wade through huge app stores in the hopes of finding a quality game. The baseline is that consumers expect any game they find to be quality.  We do that through curation.  The next problem to solve was making it easy to get games to consumers.  We’ve solved that as well.  As a result, WildTangent is one of the world’s most trusted games providers with a customer base that is highly engaged.

  1. 8.     WildTangent supports a number of big name publishers, notably Electronic Arts and Activision, was it difficult to secure the aid of these companies and their products?

To partner with anyone these days, you must have trust. Whether you are a small indie developer or a large publisher, it starts with that.  For us, publishers of all sizes look at the value we provide, and the things we do that they cannot do themselves. This is how we differentiate and it has been one of our key strengths over our 15 years in the games industry.  Publishers quickly come to understand the value of our technology, audience and relationships, and that’s how we secure distribution rights for their games.  The results we deliver with our big name publishers has also led to an expansion in both quantity of titles we distribute as well as depth of relationship. This has accelerated rapidly lately due to the growth of our mobile business

  1. 9.     What does the future hold for WildTangent?

We are growing rapidly in mobile after many years online. With new carrier and hardware partnerships on smartphones and tablets, we deliver millions of premium games to more and more consumers and offer advertisers valuable reach to engage audience.  We’re growing internationally as well, like our most recent partnership in the UK with EE mobile.  You’ll also see our expansion around the world in places like Asia, Brazil, Russia, and Latin America. The WildTangent Studios, our mobile games development division, will continue to publish more great games, including our latest title, Word Science.

Keep an eye out for WildTangent in 2014.

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