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Real Prizes To Draw Gamers In Indonesia

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Indonesian game developer, TouchTen, has been signed up as Gimmie’s exclusive game distributor in its country.

Gimmie is a start-up by former lead programmer at PopCap Games, Roy Liu, and David Ng, who led business development at ChinaCache.

The company employs a model typically found in fun fairs, which offers real prizes as rewards for playing. After a recent pivot away from Silicon Valley towards Asia—a move which resulted in Liu’s departure to join Chartboost—it looks like TouchTen is the first Asian partner that has come from this change in strategy.

Rokimas Soeharyo, who leads TouchTen with his brother, Anton, told us that monetizing games and apps in his home country of Indonesia has been “very difficult” because the country’s smartphone user base is young and based on a still-growing middle class.

“PayPal users and credit card holders are rare. Revenue for showing ads are low, and direct carrier billing with telcos involves the latter taking the lion’s share of revenue,” he said.

TouchTen just celebrated cracking the top 5 free games list of the US iOS App Store yesterday. Its game, Train Legend, is also available for Android phones.

TouchTen has about 5 million unique users in total across its various titles, and in the past 7 months averaged about 500,000 active users each month, Soeharyo said. Besides Train Legend, TouchTen produces titles Sushi Chain and Infinite Sky.

The games company was founded in 2009, and raised funding in 2011 from Ideosource, an Indonesian VC. It just broke even at the beginning of this year, he said.

Ideosource also recently funded Gimmie at the start of this year.