Money through mo­bile will be a re­al­ity soon

Will be a re­al­ity soon

Alive - - Contents - by Ramesh Kumar Raja

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.

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