It had always been just for Android, and despite tackling just this one particular demographic, social gaming network Papaya Mobile managed to grow to 25 million users earlier this summer. It’s a 940 percent increase since early last year. Now, it managed to yet again grow to 30 million users, and we can’t help but expect further intensification as it tackles iOS.
As Papaya Mobile expands its gaming platform, the company is making its social development toolkits available to iOS developers as beta release. This will connect users on both platforms for in-game features such as challenges, game invites and leader boards. Those who develop their social game via Papaya’s Social Game Engine will be able to export games to both platforms using a single code base.
The Papaya network will deliver new games to their network as iOS releases. This includes X-City by Aidi Game, Contagion by 2Clams and Burger Joint by Arctic Empire. In addition, all developers will have access to PapayaMobile’s new Gateway to China program which localizes, distributes and promotes Western games in the Chinese market. China is a lucrative demographic considering the size of its crowd.
Papaya’s been on a tear this past year, in part thanks to its sum total of $22 million in funding. The latest was an $18 million Series B round led by Chinese venture firm Keynote Ventures and DCM. The company will also be one of the initial startups to receive an investment from DCM’s $100 million Asian A-fund.
The A-fund is allocated for early-stage startups tackling Android, each company receiving $250,000 to $5 million. The fund is in partnership with gaming giant Tencent, Japan’s largest mobile gaming social network GREE and Japan’s second largest mobile operator KDDI.
As mobile games woo more users onto their platforms, the more support they receive. Berlin-based Crowdpark, a social game genre that allows users to bet and compete against each other in betting events using virtual currency, raised $6 million in funding from European investors Target Partners, and existing investor EarlyBird Venture Capital. Rockstar Games also decided to expand to the mobile scene with Grand Theft Auto 3.
Thanks also to the growing number of feature phone users switching to smartphones, mobile is more than just talking and texting–it also means mobile web browsing, visiting social networks and playing games. Mobile gaming revenue is expected to reach $2 billion this year, presenting a great opportunity for companies like Papaya.