Why it Pays to Self-Publish, Own IP – Part 2

Why it Pays to Self-Publish, Own IP – Part 2

My prior post analyzed the vote of the public on the App Store and asked the question:  Is anybody dominating? Well, yes. I saved three companies to discuss here.  These are the only companies that have at least 10 of these 200 slots of shelf space and at least five owned self-published intellectual properties (IP) with at least one or more that the public had to buy. It is a special club with perhaps one big surprise.

Electronic Arts – OK, here we go – they have 16 slots out of these 200. A good chunk of this strong performance is relying on regular featured placement by Apple, which of course is not scalable. And 11 of those are brand licenses owned by others such as Hasbro. To continue to perform this well, EA has already invested tens of millions and will have to remain the high bidder for these rights, which will shift significant value to the owners of the brands. I don’t find it surprising that Hasbro brands would do well in the early stages of this new platform, especially with all the featuring. Longer-term, the pendulum will shift to original IP. From that standpoint, EA has five slots out of 200 which are better than anyone listed before because some of them are earning high prices.

Gameloft – Here we have the current leader: Not only does Gameloft match EA with 16 total slots, the company does it with eight slots going to its own IP that reflects the most massive software development investment made by any game company on the iPhone. Gameloft is a big company with more than 4,000 employees that has made a tremendous effort on the iPhone and the results shine through. A whole lot of featured placement from Apple hasn’t hurt.

Oh, there is one more company to look at.  You guessed it, didn’t you?

Digital Chocolate – While we may not have the brands licensed by EA and Gameloft and we may not have thousands of employees, we do join them as one of only three companies with double-digit slots of shelf space. We have eight slots of these 200 that are occupied by our own IP and another two from licenses, so we are the only company other than EA and Gameloft with at least 10 shelf space slots in this survey and we are tied with the #1 leader with eight original, owned, self-published IP items. And the public has elevated Digital Chocolate, not Apple – currently, not a single product from Digital Chocolate is being featured by Apple. And this is hardly an isolated survey or sample: At times we have had as many as six games on the Top Paid 100 at one time, and as many as 11 of the Top Free 100 games. And 75% of the games we have published have charted in the Top Paid 100 at some point. We’re pounding these charts consistently and systematically and despite being much smaller we are in the discussion with EA and Gameloft. We’re also well ahead of the other 20,000 publishers, especially in what counts: IP that we own that the public has decided is relevant, and that is enabling us to develop our own brand awareness and future franchise value.

Editor’s Note: To read more articles by Trip Hawkins, be sure to check out his OMG blog.

About Trip Hawkins
Trip Hawkins is CEO of Digital Chocolate, a top publisher of social applications like Millionaire City, MMA Pro Fighter and Tower Bloxx. A new media pioneer for 30 years, Trip helped define the personal computer at Apple and founded industry leaders Electronic Arts and 3DO.

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