Before the break, Geraldine Yong presented LeftRight Studios. LeftRight falls into the category of advergaming and are building a network where brands can engage consumers in a more meaningful and engaging way. They previously launched SmackBots, which broke into the top 100 for action and kids games, and are launching their second game, Katch-Up, today.
Like Zynga, they are a game studio – but rather than trying to sell the game itself or rewards points to the customer, they are partnering with consumer brands to use this as a marketing vehicle. They are building a library of games which brands can use as a baseline and apply their own skins and tweaks to game play, as well as standalone games which have sponsorship and affiliate revenue opportunities.
In order to make these compelling to consumers, Geraldine said these games must be fun and multiplayer but also must reward users for playing them. She also said that leaderboards are an important element in their success. Scores and leaderboards have an uncanny way to incentivize usage, even when they are not tied to any actual “reward” – but when you can win, for example, a free year of Heinz Ketchup for playing or discounts for reaching a certain level, it can be even more compelling.
They have 2 games live today and will be launching several more by Fall 2010. The next game to be released is Boutique Star, a sort of “fashion tycoon” game which will integrate coupons, followed by Parcel Toss.
Revenue comes from three primary sources: 1) building individual branded games, 2) recurring promotions, coupons and affiliate sales in their existing games and 3) building and running a white-label network as part of a consumer marketing campaign. They expect to break to break even next year and are projecting $12m of revenue by 2014. .
My only concern is whether they will be able to scale the business well. My suggestion would be to focus on the second revenue stream and enable a self-service model and perhaps de-emphasize the one-off marketing games. Geraldine says they are a good acquisition target by a media giant or current competitor; the focus of a short-term exit is perhaps indicative of the scalability challenges they will face.
LeftRight is currently seeking $300k which they will use to aggressively launch the branded network.