Tapjoy kicks off $5M fund to jumpstart Android game porting

Tapjoy introduced a new $5 million fund earmarked to galvanize developer interest in porting games to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system. The monetization and distribution platform's Tapjoy Android Fund program includes both financial and developmental support, including full porting and testing services to guarantee the ports work on all premier Android smartphones. Developers also can leverage Tapjoy's virtual currency monetization engine, its game state virtual economy management server, its mobile analytics tools and related value-added services. Selected games also will score distribution campaign assistance designed to drive user acquisition.

Tapjoy Android Fund and porting program submissions will be judged on the quality of the gaming experience and the creative and technical skills of developer applicants. To apply, click here

The Tapjoy platform spans more than 1,000 mobile applications and 200 million consumers. Its efforts to foster developer attention on Android follow weeks after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) began aggressively rejecting iPhone and iPad applications that offer incentives--e.g., virtual currency--to encourage consumers to download other apps. Pay-per-install apps represent a substantial component of the Tapjoy monetization model--after recently surveying 496 iOS developers, Tapjoy found that two thirds of respondents credit the pay-per-install concept for generating 20 percent of revenues, with some saying PPI revenues account for more than 60 percent of their earnings.

Tapjoy adds that almost half of developers report an increase in user complaints concerning the absence of options to earn in-game currency by installing or engaging with other apps, with 25 percent indicating they are receiving "way too many" user gripes. In addition, more than eight times as many developers report a decrease in daily active users since Apple began restricting incentivized apps compared to devs indicating a DAU increase over the same period.

Apple began cracking down on incentivized iOS apps in late April, contending that the banned apps violated section 3.10 of its App Store Review Guidelines, which state "Developers who attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews, or any other inappropriate methods will be removed from the iOS Developer Program." Incentivized app installs were once viewed as a reliable launching pad into the App Store's coveted Top Apps countdown, enabling developers to create visibility and demand for their newest releases by promoting their efforts via existing iOS favorites. But while Apple claims a 30 percent cut of all in-app consumer purchases, it does not earn a share of pay-per-install app agreements: All money changes hands between developers and distribution platform providers like Tapjoy.

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