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Interview: Kongregate's Flash Games Head To Android With New Adobe Deal

No Apple Flash support? No problem. Gamasutra speaks with Jim Greer, CEO of indie web game site Kongregate, which struck a deal with Adobe to bring his site's Flash-based games to Android's growing mobile user base.
Apple's mobile devices don't support Flash, but popular indie games site Kongregate still wants to make its library of Flash-based games available for mobile gamers. Kongregate on Thursday announced a partnership with Adobe Systems on the beta launch of Flash Player 10.1, which allows for Flash-based mobile gaming on Google's Android 2.2 mobile operating system. Kongregate CEO Jim Greer told Gamasutra that Android's Flash support gives Flash game developers a viable alternative to iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. "I think Apple's decision [to not support Flash] is ultimately about extending its lead in mobile apps by making it as hard as possible for developers to target multiple platforms," said Greer. "Flash game developers and players have gotten caught in that crossfire." As part of the agreement with Adobe, Kongregate launched a mobile site, which currently has over 100 browser-based games optimized for mobile devices, all integrated with Kongregate's community features. Greer co-founded privately-held Kongregate in 2006. The website hosts almost 30,000 free-to-play games and boasts community features to add "stickiness." It generates one-third of its revenue through microtransactions and virtual goods sales, with advertising and sponsorships making up the rest. Developers using microtransactions get 70 percent of revenues after they recoup their advance. Kongregate said it has over 8,000 developers making games for the site. By launching Kongregate on Android, Greer said his company can help expand the audience for these web game developers, even without the support of Apple. "It's pretty clear that there's no place in Apple's world for a company that distributes games and makes them social -- they want to own all of that themselves," claimed Greer. "We're excited to bring the power of our platform and developers to devices that are more open. Android is already outselling iPhone, and it's getting better all the time." Earlier this month, NPD Group said Google's Android OS edged out Apple's OS to take the number two spot behind Blackberry developer Research In Motion's OS during the first quarter in the U.S., in terms of installed base. The tracking firm said Android captured 28 percent of U.S. market share during the quarter, followed by Apple's 21 percent. RIM's OS captured 36 percent. Greer noted that Kongregate actually supports any game that plays in a browser, but the vast majority of Kongregate games are Flash-based. He added that Adobe is continuing to improve the player and the authoring tools. While Kongregate is making a push to bring the site's games to Android, Greer said that the "desktop will always be at least as important as mobile" for his company. "The depth of social interaction is significantly greater [on desktops], and the total openness of the web means that there are tons of competition, which means better games." He added, "Having said that, we do have a lot of games that work really well on mobile, and developers are clearly enthusiastic about adapting the ones that need it -- not to mention creating totally new experiences." "We made the decision to push for 100 games at launch less than 10 days ago," he said. Kongregate's mobile lineup includes Assembler 3, Talesworth Adventure, Hexiom Connect and Straight Dice. "The fact that we were able to get so many mobile adaptations of games so fast really amazed us. There's clearly a lot of web game developers that have been hungry to get their games to mobile, and we want to work with them to push that further."

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