Money through mobile will be a reality soon
Will be a reality soon
The first of its kind mobile game that pits your knowledge against
time to win cash prizes.
Participating in a quiz is said to be one of the best pastime activities for children in schools which later fades away with time no sooner than you finish your higher education and get into the nitty-gritty of professional life.
Then, you hardly bother to relive those moments unless you find shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire that give you goose bumps to give it a try although everyone is not lucky.
However, you need not to worry now! With the screen size reducing as small as a smartphone, you have the leisure to play quizes anywhere anytime. Isle of Fortune is one such endeavour that gratifies your student-life interest to explore your base of general knowledge.
Isle of Fortune is, in fact, first of its kind mobile game that pits your knowl- edge against time to win cash rewards. The quiz app, which is slated to go live very shortly, will come with two games, a daily game with a USD 100 reward every day called “Isle of Fortune” and a weekly game with a USD 1000 reward every week called “The Grand Game”.
To discuss its technicalities and more, we talked to Arjun Rao, the MD of Isle of Fortune Pte. Ltd. Interestingly, Arjun happens to be a business and concept development professional in the sports and entertainment industry and his core experience lies in event management, sponsorship sales and ROI (return on investment) measurement. Excerpts:
Since you come from diverse professional backgrounds, when and how did the idea of Isle of Fortune strike you?
Completely out of the blue would be my answer, like most good things in life. My wife and I used to play a very engaging quiz game called Quiz Up on our mobile phones regularly. About a year ago, the thrill of beating each other in a quiz game wore out and the only remaining thought was “Wouldn’t it be great if online and mobile games had physical gratification. How amazing would that be?” That thought was the first step in bringing “Isle of Fortune” to life.
What’s special about this mobile quiz game app and how do you keep users engaged?
Isle of Fortune is the first mobile quiz game in the world that rewards winners with cash awards. You have to be the best to win and I believe it is the ultimate test of knowledge, skill and speed as you need all three to win cash awards.
The app be will launched with two games, a daily game with a USD 100 reward every day called “Isle of Fortune” and a weekly game with a USD 1000 reward every week called “The Grand Game”. Both games are 10 question quizzes and the winner with the highest score and best timing wins the rewards on a daily and weekly basis respectively.
User engagement is what every mobile gaming app is all about and unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any science to it. As we finish our trials and get into launch phase, we are considering multiple channels of advertising online as our primary focus to spread the word and then various incentivised offerings and customised content based quizzes to keep everyone’s interest alive.
I am sure that if we can create great custom content based quizzes, for example a 1-week Valentine’s Day game with an interesting reward, or a quiz on Christmas as a global festival will definitely attract people from all walks of life. The challenge as always will be in spreading the word to garner increasing mobile users all the time.
At which age group the app is targeted and how has been the response till date?
The app is targeted at all age groups. The app focuses on knowledge delivery in the form of a general knowledge quiz and there really is no age barrier to learning something new. Our intention is to “gamify” this process and make the process of learning new facts fun.
We have been live testing for several weeks, both within closed groups as well as 2 weeks live, where we have had several winners and paid out cash awards. The response has been quite amazing. We have already gotten some avid followers who have even helped us identify some bugs and issues, which is the primary goal of the live testing rounds. We plan to go live in the first week of July, 2017 and all our efforts are focused on making this happen on time.
How do you manage the cash awards, a key feature in this gaming app to attract users?
When a winner wins either the daily game or the weekly game, our system notifies them at midnight GMT time. The system also requests their banking details so that we can transfer their award to them.
What are the platforms where the app will be available and what’s your expectation about its retention on handsets?
We will be available on Android and IOS (Apple) on launch. During
our trials, we saw a retention rate in the high 60’s (percentage), but this would honestly not be any indicator of things to come since it was a limited release, there was no advertising to speak of and we were more focused on bugs and software issues. If we can hold on to 50-60 per cent of our users when we go live globally, this will be a very financially viable and popular mobile game.
What is your current user base, although it’s yet to launch? Where do you want to take it in the coming years?
During our live testing, we got approximately 2000 downloads, with approximately 10,000 games played in a 14-day span. We saw this initial numbers spiking once we started talking about our winners having received their awards. We believe that if we can effectively spread the word about our game, we will have very interesting user adoption numbers.
It is my belief that with effective global outreach, we would like to hit the 100 million download mark within 12-18 months from launch. The market is certainly large enough to sustain this kind of growth.
The confidence you display makes us believe that you are going to make it big in the given segment. So, what’s your plan for a true global presence?
As the saying goes, “from your mouth to God’s ears”. We certainly do hope we will make it big.
We will be launching in the top 20 markets around the world that are the largest mobile penetration markets. We have identified a target audience of approximately 1.2 billion mobile phone users, and we are working to get as large a percentage of this user base. Customised content, interesting awards and different game formats, unique delivery methods and a great game experience will hold us in good stead. We will be working to create strategic alliances with marketing partners to create new and interesting streams for us to tap into user groups.
China and USA being the biggest revenue generators as far as markets are concerned will be key focus markets for the expansion strategy. The challenge is always going to be about creating innovative and highly engaging game products for the mobile world, and then ensure that it is marketed well.
Who are your competitors? How are you making sure that you stay ahead of them?
As things stand today, we will be the only mobile quiz app that offers cash rewards to winners. While the first mover advantage will certainly help in the short term, we have been thinking and working on this for a long time now and our plans to grow and expand, both in terms of strategy and content as well as in target markets will hopefully ensure that we retain our edge.
What is the size of the app market these days? Do you think there is an overkill happening with the large number of apps being launched every day?
The Apple App Store today boasts of close to 2 million apps while Google Play has over 2.2 million apps. This number is expected to increase in the future. Among all app categories of the App Store, games have always been the biggest category and in 2016 it commanded 35 per cent of total worldwide downloads.
A recent IDC study showed that 80 per cent of spends in the App Store and Google Play stores were from mobile games reiterating the fact that mobile gaming is a huge opportunity, provided one creates mobile games that are engaging and exciting for the users, which results in these apps being commercially viable for the promoter.
With Apple alone paying out approximately USD 70 billion in payouts to app developers / promoters, which is led by games and entertainment in terms of top-grossing categories, we hope to be able to leverage their global scale and appeal to make our own niche within the knowledge domain.
According to a new report from Atomico, “Mobile” became the largest game segment in 2016 with more than two billion people playing various games across categories. It is estimated that “Mobile” will make 51 per cent of the gaming industries projected $129 billion revenue in 2020, which will then be worth more than the combined PC and console segments.
It is our hope and intention to work towards being a small part of this massive eco-system.
Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune.