Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Fuse aims to make App Store simpler for game developers

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| Dean Takahashi

Fuse is launching a game publishing company on the App Store today with an interesting proposal for game developers: deep data-driven marketing and proprietary real-time analytics.

The Toronto company promises its developers real-time analytics that can be easily interpreted with a dashboard full of metrics. That says a lot about what is important when publishing apps on the iPhone. Fuse says the ability to respond to user patterns on an hourly basis is key to success.

That’s different from a lot of analytics companies that deliver their metrics once a day or in a not-so-timely manner. Fuse enables developers to publish their games on the iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) and then monitor it.

“It’s difficult to be successful in the App Store,” said Jon Walsh, chief executive of Fuse. “We know because we’ve lived it. We believe in the iOS game platform and decided early on to make the investment required to understand the marketplace.”

The company built a full suite of publishing tools and services. The company tries to take luck out of the equation in helping games get noticed in the overcrowded App Store, where there are already 51,450 games, according to 148 apps.

On the analytics front, Fuse competes with established rivals such as Flurry, which has thousands of developers using its metrics. Fuse also helps developers acquire new users,  with tools that allow a developer to change in-game advertisements, modify incentive offers, and control a game’s performance in real-time. Fuse says that its suite of tools is more like combining the efforts of Flurry, Appfigures, AdMob, Mobclix and Tapjoy into one tool.

On the publishing side, rivals include companies such as Chillingo (now part of EA), Electronic Arts’ mobile division, and Gameloft. Fuse argues that its control dashboard for developers helps set it apart, as it updates its data hourly and allows Fuse developers to take actions more quickly when something needs attention. The dashboard collects data on downloads, player behavior, bugs, in-app purchases and lets developers control community engagement features. The latter includes push notifications,  life pop-up notices, ratings requests, email support forms, news and updates.

With the dashboard, developers can activate or deactivate promotional campaigns such as display ads, banner ads, “more games” recommendations and offer walls.

Developers will likely care about this because they can more easily discern what users want in a game and give more of that to them. They can offload the creation of the tools for analytics to Fuse and focus on making their games better. Once Fuse builds a lot of clientele, it will be able to cross-promote games from multiple developers to a network of game players.

The company was founded in 2009 and it has ten full-time and part-time employees. The company has raised money from its founders and an early stage seed-fund accelerator. Full told, it has raised less than $1 million. The company has published games such as Jaws. The Fuse dashboard helped drive the game into the top 30 paid apps in less than 48 hours. Walsh has been in games for more than 15 years and started Groove Games in 2001. Co-founders include Yung Wu, Fay Wu and Gary Kosinsky.

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