Today the social game developer Playdom announced that it would partner with Moblyng to release versions of its top games Mobsters, Sorority Life, and Social City for Android and Palm's webOS. The Android version of Mobsters is currently available. Moblyng also announced that it had raised another $2.65 million from existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures and Deep Fork Capital, as reported by TechCrunch.
For Moblyng, this deal marks a major point of transition. Previously Moblyng has developed and released its own games as proof of concept for its multiplatform technology. Going forward, Moblyng intends to cease development of new apps and instead begin working primarily on mobile conversions of major social games. Upcoming clients include LOLapps.
"We built our own apps to make some money, but we wanted to prove this stuff would work," said Putney. "There was a lot of skepticism a year ago about HTML5 games. When Playdom embraced that, it clearly validated what we're doing. Most of our work going forward will be with existing Facebook developers and holders of strong IP."
Moblyng CEO Stewart Putney makes it clear that his company is betting high on the impending success of the HTML5 standard. Since HTML5 is compatible with mobile Web browsers and the virtual goods model is taking off in mobile gaming, Putney foresees social developers working primarily with the HTML5 standard within a year's time.
By publishing mobile versions of major games, social developers can achieve two different goals. They can monetize better by making sure the most committed power-users for a given game can keep playing and buying virtual goods around the clock. As the DLs from power-users send a social game up a mobile platform's popularity ranks, the game will begin to acquire new users.
Moblyng's ports will use Facebook Connect where possible so that users can log in to pre-existing accounts on their Android headsets. The Android versions of the games will feature full support for virtual goods and microtransactions. Putney says that Moblyng currently plans to bring most of Playdom's games to Android, though he can't comment on specific titles.
Putney says a particular strength of Moblyng's methods is that they can use a game's original assets and backend when building its HTML5 conversion. This also allows Moblyng to keep the mobile versions roughly in sync with the Web versions. Social games are typically updated weekly on the Web, sometimes even hourly, as new virtual items and features are introduced.
The future Putney foresees in social gaming is one where there is no true divide between Web and mobile as platforms, thanks in large part to HTML5's potential as a development platform. Current mobile browsers already support HTML5, with support announced for the upcoming iteration of Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9.
"Games you see about a year from now will simply work wih all platforms," said Putney.
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