We started 2 years ago with a mission to create valuable solutions for developers. When we looked at different kinds of developers we found that game developers have some areas where we can step in and create some interesting tools that will improve their productivity. We are developers ourselves. The kind of developers who appreciate open-source, community and culture. We always looked up to companies like Parse, Kinvey or Github because they always strive for perfection and want to provide cutting edge technologies to developers without compromising on quality or coolness.
So… Why In App Purchases?!
Try to go 2 years back. Try to remember how mobile games were making money that time. Do you remember those times where you had to pay 1$ to download a game from the App Store? Around the time when we started SOOMLA we found a trend that was emerging. It was (and still is) called Free To Play (F2P). In this model you download a game for free and you can play (try) it for free. The “problem” is that you only get a taste of the game and if you really want to succeed (or sometimes even to continue play) in it you’ll need to buy something. This is In-App Purchases and it was proven to be the better way to monetize a mobile game. We weren’t the only ones who realized that though. Apparently, a handful of gaming studios realized that and started creating games that operate in the F2P model. From “Candy Crush” to “Make It Rain”, from “Clash of Clans” to “Cut The Rope” (that has both paid and IAP versions), Tens of Thousands of games were converted to F2P or created as F2P.
As I said before, we’re developers for developers. So we thought what we can do for developers that’s related to F2P. How we can make game developers’ lives easier when they build their virtual economies or integrate with the on-device stores for IAP. This is how our first open-source project android-store was born. Not long after that, his brother ios-store came along and because we always have game developers in mind we had to create the native game-engine plugins unity3d-store and cocos2dx-store. Those plugins were the building blocks for the “SOOMLA Framework”.
The In-Game Store came and left …
So the SOOMLA open-srouce Framework was underway. The attention it got was increasing exponentially month after month and we started thinking “what’s next?”. We thought about an interesting concept that came naturally after we had a whole technology revolving around virtual economies: “In-Game Store”. It was a smart store that every developer could customize to his \ her needs and easily plug into a game. When the game was published, that store would send information related to the game economy to a server so developers could see analytics and analyze the performance of their virtual economy. We synchronized all virtual economy related assets such as: store images, coin balances, events and more.
As great as this solution was, we couldn’t fulfill the requirements of each and every single studio. After a while, we understood that the product that we planned to be dynamic and applicable for many games was only useful to a handful and we decided to “kill” it. Although it wasn’t easy to close the In-Game Store (we still think it’s a great product), we found something better that game developers can greatly benefit from.
Back to the future
The SOOMLA open-source Framework has became the de-facto way of creating game economies. Thousands of games that are played by hundreds of millions of users have SOOMLA inside. We looked back to the framework and realized that there’s something in this open-source solution that brings the value we want to bring. We know that we need to concentrate on that and make it better and richer. SOOMLA is going to provide more and more open-source solutions under the umbrella of the SOOMLA Framework.
The Store modules was the first one in SOOMLA. We’re on the verge of releasing 2 new modules: Profile and LevelUp. These modules concentrate on making the game design creation process simpler in addition to improving the way you socially engage users to your game. Like Store, these modules are developed to the major mobile platforms and game engines. We showed the new modules to studios that use SOOMLA and the reaction we got was amazing. Game developers really need these tools and we’re happy to provide them.
We’re not stopping there… SOOMLA is preparing more goodies. From Windows Phone integrations to a brand new game analysis services. All fro free, and open source. All for game developers.
2 years and counting…
We’re proud to be doing what we do. Every day in SOOMLA we’re fulfilling this company’s mission. Our products stands for themselves, we provide great value and we do it with flare and enthusiasm. This is what we’re going to continue be doing in the years to come.
We’ve just launched new websites to better explain what we do, what we plan to do and how we’re going to do it. Check them out:
Congratulation SOOMLA on your 2 years birthday 🙂