Yesterday I took a Skype call from Jussi Laakkonen, the CEO of Applifier, after he told ArcticStartup he had something awesome to show us. The Skype video pops up with him on his walking desk. I should mention for those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it's similar to a standing desk, except that you're slowly but constantly moving on a treadmill, rather than just standing (or sitting) all day.
"Greg," he asks. "What is the most powerful way for you to discover a new game on your iPhone?"
If any of our readers do a lot of negotiations over Skype, I have to recommend you put your camera right in front of a walking desk, because it looks like he's slowly coming after me.
"Uhh, recommendations from my friends?" I respond.
"Exactly," Laakkonen says, and goes into a smooth pitch of Everyplay, Applifier's new cross promotion product that should seriously shake up mobile games. At its essence, Everyplay is an in-game social video network that enables players to share replays from their mobile games, complete with a video of their face, voice from the mic, or just the action on screen. Today Applifier is announcing Everyplay's beta with a select group of developers.
This isn't a separate app that gets pulled up, although they may be soon releasing one for power users who want to view lots of videos. Everyplay is pulled up in the app itself. Say a user gets a game over screen, the app will then prompt them to see if they want to view their instant replay. The user can watch it right there in their game over screen, and then tap to share it. The front recording camera is opt-in, meaning that the app isn't watching you by default.
Everyplay then allows users to crop their videos to just the meaningful bits, an also allows users to add or remove their voice and/or video commentary. Videos are automatically shared through the Everyplay network, but users can then share the videos through any social networks they are connected to.
For developers, the benefits come from game discovery and player engagement. By providing an easy mechanism for players to record and share content, it builds a community and unlocks game experiences from just happening to individual players. And players love to show off high scores, game tips, and compete on who can beat games the fastest. But before this, it's been overly difficult to share anything happening from a smartphone.
Developers can also curate and highlight videos on their game's main Everyplay page providing a best of the best. The rest of the videos can be found by searching for the game, or by tags.
I don't have any numbers in front of me, but my gut says that a sizeable chunk of the gaming market only buys a game after checking out a narrated "Let's Play" style video on YouTube. There you get to see actual gameplay (rather than cutscene footage that game designers want to show you), and you can pick up a lot of things from the narrator's natural reactions to the game.
There have been a lot attempts to make mobile games more social, but this one stands out of the crowd for its method of tapping into how users are already recording their favorite desktop games. Applifier built a name for itself for its Facebook cross-promotion platform that boasts over 150 million monthly active users, which it says it is still working hard on.
Here's the official video:
And also check out a demo Everyplay video of Laakkonen not taking the puck to the net on Ice Rage. Trash talking is exactly what Everyplay is trying to enable.