The mobile gaming space is exploding and everyone from Zynga to smaller-scale developers are flocking to iOS, Android and other smartphone platforms to capitalize on the growth in mobile gaming. Today, a new company, Lunch Money, is throwing its hat in the ring with a set of monetization and distribution tools for mobile game developers. In conjunction with Lunch Money’s debut, the startup is launching an iOS game, Recess, to showcase the platform.
Similar to OpenFeint, Lunch Money offers game developers an SDK to plug into games. The platform’s initial offerings (as showcased in Recess) include a social leaderboard and a token system. The social leaderboard doesn’t recreating the social graph, but instead leverages user graphs across Facebook, Twitter and Game Center. It’s simple a ranking of your friends’ scores.
The token system aims to simulate a real world arcades where you pay-to-play the game. The games are free to download and you will be gifted tokens, but when you run out of tokens you have to buy additional tokens to play the game. In addition to being able to buy tokens there are a variety of free methods for earning tokens, like inviting friends or checking into sponsored locations.
Recess includes all of this functionality and is a casual skill based game where there is a bully and the objective is to try to hit the bully in the head with a ball as many times as you can in a row. Co-founder Ari Mir tells us that you’ll also be able to take your tokens and money from one Lunch money game to another. Th startup plans to open its iOS SDK to the public in the next few months and is also considering launching a move to Android.
This isn’t the first startup for Mir and his co-founder Amos Elliston. Mir was president and cofounder of in-image ad platform GumGum and Elliston was the CTO and cofounder of Geni and enterprise social networking application Yammer.