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Indie Hub (SMART 100)

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Indie Hub

This innovation initially came to life when…

…we were writing a news article on an indie game developer and noticed that their official website was a total mess. It had very limited pictures and no videos, and provided no effective ways to communicate with its existing and potential customers. Having browsed around in the iTunes marketplace we discovered a similar problem shared by many indie game developers: one- or two-man teams spend all of their energy on making a kick-ass game, and they don’t have the resource to build an awesome website to showcase the game. This inspired us to develop the Indie Hub.

WHAT & HOW

The purpose of this innovation is to…

…bridge the gap between indie game developers and its existing and potential customers. It offers a set of specialised tools in conjunction with an existing audience base to maximise the exposure of the indie games developed.

It does this by…

…providing a set of tools that will help indie developers in publishing, communication, picture and video hosting. Indie developers can use the Indie Hub to market their games to MMGN’s millions of visitors. The set of tools will also be accessible via a module available for iPhone applications.

PURPOSE & BENEFITS

This innovation improves on what came before because…

…Indie Hub is purposely developed to cater for the needs of indie game developers in terms of marketing and communications. It provides niche gaming features missing in today’s publishing platforms, such as WordPress and SquareSpace. It offers extensive interface customisations which are not available from Facebook Groups. The product also allows further browsing and filtering which are absent from iTunes.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

…taking the fuss away from making a great game website; providing the best marketing and communication tools through integration with Twitter and Facebook and personalised discussion forums; and immediately connecting indie developers to MMGN’s millions of visitors.

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

In the past, this problem was solved by…

…indie developers coding up a web site manually, or using a generic hosted solution like WordPress or Facebook Groups. The manual process is tedious, like reinventing the wheel every time, where the hosted solution is too generic, often difficult to customise, and doesn’t provide niche features like iTunes integration, application API etc.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

…Wordpress.com, Blogger.com and SquareSpace.com, which are generic hosted blogging platforms. They don’t service any niche particularly well. Facebook groups could also be considered as a competitor, but they don’t offer the customisation that differentiates game developers from chess clubs.

TARGET MARKET

It is made for…

…indie game developers around the globe. They are typically one- or two-man teams that develop casual, mobile games. Due to their sizes, they do not have the expertise and resource to develop a good website, the primary tool used to showcase their products and communicate with their customers. In the Apple apps market alone, there were 20 billion downloads from over 350,000 applications. The target market also extends to Android, Windows Mobile, Facebook, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, Steam and much more. The market is global, with annual 30% growth.

DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY

It is available for sale through…

…the Indie Hub web site. The basic package will be available for free, however premium services, like in-page customisation, analytics, and customised URLs will be available for a fee.

Our marketing strategy is to…

(1) contact the developers directly using the public details available on marketplaces like iTunes; (2) market to our millions of visitors on MMGN.com; (3) promote via global game and technology trade fairs like E3, WDC and GDC.

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