One of the biggest hurdles mobile game developers face is finding a dedicated user base, especially in free-to-play games. Developing larger games carries risk, and if they don’t acquire users, losses occur. Looking to provide a solution to this dilemma, Chinese tech company NetEase announced the launch of Success Fund, a program dedicated to securing funds for indie game developers to both minimize risk and provide advertising.
The new initiative, announced last week, awards up to $500,000 in funding to qualifying independent, free-to-play mobile developers. Other than funding, the company helps with advertising and marketing. Designers retain their creative rights and licenses in their entirety. In that way, NetEase wants to distinguish itself from traditional publishers.
“There are so many developers with games that have great potential, but are constrained by rising user acquisition costs,” stated Ryan DeSanto, director of business development at NetEase North America. “Our goal is to create an alternative to the traditional mobile game publishing model, where developers can gain access to the resources necessary to scale their audience without giving up control of their business.”
The company has no preference for particular game genres or types. Developers can apply regardless of what stage their game is in, whether it’s an early concept or a more advanced build. Also, once a certain agreed revenue cap is hit, NetEase no longer gets shares of the game’s profits. This page has a short Q&A and links to contact the firm to begin cooperation.
NetEase is one of the leading firms on the Chinese App Store, securing a two million concurrent user peak with mobile game Fantasy Westward Journey. They are also Blizzard Entertainment’s partner in China and are responsible for operating their online games in Asia. Recently, NetEase opened up an office in San Francisco, CA., a stepping stone for the company’s expansion into the North American market.
For more information, head to their website.