China-based social game company FunPlus is looking to cut publishing deals with free-to-play mobile game developers via its new PublishingPlus initiative.
FunPlus says it's now accepting PublishingPlus applications from developers of games that are as "early as paper documents or as far along as geo-beta," and the company is making a show of laying out program details up front.
"In mobile and free-to-play, there is no recipe for success," FunPlus business development chief Greg Essig told Gamasutra. "A big part of the 'magic' in expert development comes from creative passion and candid conversation amongst the team; we are hoping to enable this by removing negotiation pressure."
Participating developers can expect to retain their IP rights (though the PublishingPlus terms give FunPlus exclusive rights to publish sequels) and split net revenue from their game right down the middle, in return for help with things like financing, localization and marketing in an increasingly crowded (and potentially lucrative) marketplace.
Essig knows a bit about that market, having worked at Apple managing the game section of its App Store prior to joining FunPlus. He says his time there taught him that F2P games are now the norm for the global market, because they offer quick, repeatable gameplay loops that players can easily fit into their schedules.
"My experience at Apple showed me the sheer scale of the mobile opportunity and how free-to-play services are changing the way people experience fun," Essig told Gamasutra. "I think a lot of the negativity around free-to-play is misguided."