Keela Robison is the VP of GameHouse and is responsible for distribution and storefront businesses at the company. GameHouse is a division of Networks and operates leading PC casual games app stores, including GameHouse.com, Zylom, and Atrativa. GameHouse also markets and distributes multimillion-dollar casual game franchises in all the leading mobile app stores, including Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and carrier app stores.
Sramana: Keela, let’s start with a bit of background on GameHouse. How would you introduce GameHouse to our audience?
Keela Robison: GameHouse is a company that has been around in the casual game space for over 10 years. We started out distributing PC downloadable games. We distributed games as a third-party title, and we also created games in-house as a studio. That business continues today. We have three different PC website portals. The largest is GameHouse.com, which is focused on North America. We also have Zylom.com, which has a collection of European sites. We also have Atrativa, which is focused on Latin America with an emphasis on Brazil.
Those PC downloadable sites continue to have millions of visitors a month. They are focused on players who enjoy playing on PCs, including touch screen PCs on Windows 8. In addition to that, we take both our own titles and partner titles into mobile app stores. We have a catalog of over 100 games that we have brought to iOS and Android. We own the IP and we are the developers on those games, which helps us to hone our skills as well experiment with paid acquisition, app store SEO, and other monetization strategies.
We apply what we learn there to our publishing business. In our publishing business we work with developers who are confident in their ability to build a great game but don’t have as much focus on the marketing and distribution side of games. That can span everything from building a great description with fantastic screenshots to paid acquisition and cross-promotion between games. We have great cross-promotion capabilities through the GameHouse Promotion Network, which is a system we have developed in-house. We have opened that up to partners.
Sramana: Let’s talk about PCs first. What is the sweet spot of the PC gaming business?
Keela Robison: On PC our audience is the casual gaming audience. Those are players who enjoy gaming as an escape and something they like to do to relax. According to our internal surveys, this audience is 60% female. The market demographic skews from 35 to 65 years old. I consider myself a casual gamer, and my mother is as well. That is atypical from what a lot of people expect. This is an audience who enjoys gaming in addition to the other things they do in a very balanced way in their lives. They are not players who spend hours and hours a day playing.
Sramana: How much time does this audience spend on gaming?
Keela Robison: On average, when our players engage, they will play 30 minutes to an hour. There is a range when it comes to frequency. There are people who will use gaming as an alternative to TV and will play every night. There are quite a few who will play 3 to 4 times a week. Increasingly our players are playing in a multi-platform way on PCs and mobiles.