So very much data. And what to do with all of it? San Francisco’s Flurry has its mobile analytics in 190,000 apps on Android and iOS. And as the mobile app ecosystem has matured with Apple now paying a cumulative $5 billion to developers, Flurry has used its data to power everything from mobile video ads to pay-per-install. Now the company is dipping its toes into game publishing.
The company is partnering with an arm of Activision, which is behind the Call of Duty franchise, to publish mobile games. Activision, which is better known for its visceral console and PC games, has yet to make a big move into mobile gaming. But this looks like it could be part of it.
Activision brings its game design know-how, while Flurry brings its distribution power. “With the advent of free-to-play games and microtransactions, games have become more like service rather than products that you buy,” said Simon Khalaf, who is Flurry’s CEO. “It’s more about managing a service 24-7 and continuously optimizing it.”
Having watched the performance and retention of literally thousands of games, Flurry says it has unique insights into what makes certain games sticky while others quickly rise and fall.
Activision and Flurry will split the publisher’s revenue share. “The indie developers will make the lion’s share of revenue and whatever is left will be shared between Activision and Flurry,” Khalaf says. They’re not disclosing the split. Developers also get to keep full intellectual property rights for their games even though the titles will be published under the Activision Mobile Publishing brand.
Activision Publishing is part of Activision Blizzard, which made $384 million in net income on $1.2 billion in revenue in the first quarter of this year. The company doesn’t break out its revenue by platform, so it’s hard to tell how large its mobile games business is. Call of Duty’s mobile apps have fared reasonably well on the charts though.
As for Flurry, the company is better-known for its analytics. But it has also built out a mobile app distribution network over the last several years, involving video ads that reward users with virtual currency and pay-per-install. They also do re-engagement ads to lure users back to apps they’ve already downloaded.
Flurry has raised about $26 million to date in three separate rounds, including investors like Draper Fisher Jurvetson, InterWest Partners, Union Square Ventures, First Round Capital and Menlo Ventures.