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Game Jolt expands its social platform to mobile with iOS, Android app launch

Despite its more developer-centric origins, Game Jolt's mobile debut places a heavy focus on community building for players and content creators

Social media platform and game marketplace Game Jolt has made its mobile app debut. The company launched apps on both Android and iOS today, and is notably leading with the social media side of the wider platform's offerings for that mobile launch.

Specifically, a press release brands the Game Jolt app as a "social media and creator economy platform for Gen Z," where avid players can watch and share content about their games of choice.

Developers not up to date with the latest social media spaces may be more familiar with Game Jolt for its sizable, and largely indie focused, game marketplace. Only recently, that storefront came under fire for suddenly, and somewhat unscrupulously at the time, banning games featuring adult content shortly after a $2.6 million funding round and only months ahead of today's iOS and Android debut.

However, that game marketplace isn't the central focus of the mobile apps, which instead double down on the platform's community-building offerings.

In the words of Game Jolt founder and CEO Yaprak DeCarmine, "It's clear to us that Gen Z is tired of generic social media and they want a place specifically for gaming that supports all types of content they're creating–art, videos, thoughts, and livestreams all in one place."

Expanding on that statement in a chat with Game Developer, DeCarmine says the focus on content like livestreams and art is simply Game Jolt embracing the ways that game communities already grow and interact through things like fanart and broader content creation.

"The types of content gamers are creating are influenced by the games themselves, which also tend to be a mix of media in the form of art, animation, music and even video," DeCarmine tells Game Developer. "We see this reflected in the user generated content on Game Jolt, the next generation of gamers are extremely creative and Game Jolt is their social platform."

DeCarmine goes on to explain that a mobile app has long been one of the most requested features from the wider Game Jolt community, which boasts 4 million monthly active users across all platforms. Ahead of launch, the mobile apps alone saw over 100,000 pre-installs, and around 50,000 users in the very first week of its TestFlight beta on the Google Play Store.

Embracing the Creator Economy

In some ways, the heavily social mobile app is somewhat of a departure from what we've seen out of Game Jolt previously. Years ago, when the Game Jolt Marketplace first launched, the platform's creators explained in a Game Developer blog that the addition of a marketplace aimed to further embrace Game Jolt's place as a community for game makers, and where those developers could connect with their communities.

In that 2016 blog, David DeCarmine, fellow Game Jolt co-founder and other half of the husband-wife team behind the platform, explained that he "wanted a place where any developer of any skill level could put up their creations and start working on gathering an audience: sharing new developments, interacting with their fanbase, bridging the gap between developers and gamers."

More recently, Game Jolt's focus has expanded to include the content creators surrounding video games in addition to the folks making games themselves. When asked about that steadily increasing interest in embracing "the creator economy," Yaprak DeCarmine told Game Developer that Game Jolt's focus is now more to help creators, be they game developers or game-themed cake decorators, connect with a community and build their own audiences.

"Over the years Game Jolt's user base expanded to be inclusive of all sorts of creators, not just developers," she explains. "Creators on Game Jolt range from Pokemon cake decorators to Mortal Kombat crocheters to Zelda game music cover bands. Creators have built their audiences on Game Jolt and their fans want to support them in all sorts of meaningful ways."

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