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Mentez' Franco: Taking Social Game Global Can Triple Revenue

Juan Franco, CEO of Latin American social game publisher Mentez, tells Gamasutra that Facebook game developers focusing only on the U.S. "can double or triple thei
Juan Franco, CEO of Latin American social game publisher Mentez, sees his company's home region as a land of opportunity for U.S.-focused social game developers. "If you currently only have your game on Facebook, you can double or triple your revenue by working the international markets," said Franco in a new Gamasutra feature. He explained, "The U.S. is a very tough market that's dominated by two or three big companies. So it's very difficult for a smaller developer to compete in the U.S. on the Facebook platform these days." "I believe that, for those good developers with good skills and good ideas, exploring international markets could be the best way for them to succeed," Franco added. Mentez, which has offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Miami, publishes four out of the five most popular games on the Google-owned social network Orkut in Brazil and its portfolio reaches 22 million active users every week. One of those games, Colheita Feliz, a farming game, is the single most popular game on Orkut. But taking an American game and simply translating it and dropping it into Orkut won't work. Franco said U.S. developers need Latin American help when bringing a game to the emerging market. "Localization is difficult for U.S. developers without help," said Franco. "Many of their games are filled with cultural references -- like the Super Bowl and the Fourth of July and Halloween -- which mean nothing to Brazilians. So it's not as simple for U.S. developers as translating their games into Portuguese and dropping them onto Orkut." For more on international social game opportunities, read the full Gamasutra feature, which includes commentary from Russia's i-Jet Media and Japan's DeNA.

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