I think from the number of invitations to games you get on Facebook, you can imagine. But still … The figure is impressive: 300 million players in Europe, 85% of whom are adults (!) Thanks to freemium games. So inevitably, the question of monetization is a real issue for game publishers…
So I went to meet Playtem, a startup “leader on the market for native advertising in video games” which has just raised 1.5M € with CapDecisif Management and FA DIESE. Their niche: monetization yes, but not at the expense of the pleasure of playing. Meeting with Laurent Conrad-Bruat, CEO and co-founder of Playtem.
Laurent, how was Playtem born?
Officially, we created Playtem in 2011 but its concept really saw the light of day in 2012. We thought a lot about the new adventure we wanted to live. After selling a previous business (in the real estate industry on the Internet), we wanted an adventure in line with our gamer’s DNA. We all had a special affection for this area, but we had to find a way to make it a business.
We analyzed the trends and we quickly found that Facebook games and Casual Games * were exploding. These mini-games have really democratized video games! Before it was mostly teenagers who played. Today it is women who play.
Freemium games have invaded the web and the question of monetization has arisen. So we wanted to combine our passion with our B to B expertise in order to help games monetize and make their platform profitable.
What is the differentiating asset of Playtem?
We are gamers ourselves. So we put ourselves in the players’ shoes and we make sure that the exchange is win-win. Our technology makes the announcer’s message pleasant to the player. We are rehabilitating this message so that it is non-intrusive and integrated into the player’s experience.
For example, during a game in the ancient city, a player who has taken a week to build her pyramid may receive a reward. Our servers will send her an ancient parchment announcing that, to congratulate her, the “3 Swiss” offer her 3 gold coins in her game, as well as the shipping costs on her next order.
Instead of shipping costs, we can also invite the player to become a fan of the Facebook page. We had examples of players who went so far as to thank the brand by leaving a note on their page. Beyond the game, there is therefore an invitation to interact, to engage with the advertiser.
What is the performance of this type of advertising?
It’s a very integrated solution and entirely dedicated to the game world. We have very good performances. For a classic campaign, we have between 3 and 5% click through rate. But some of our campaigns have gone up to 10%! Which is in the middle of very good indicators.
Do you have examples of companies you’ve worked with before?
3 Swiss, Caprice des Dieux, Studio canal… We also work with publishers such as: kobojo, iscool, feerik, etc.
I imagine you’ve come a long way since 2011. What has been or have been the biggest obstacles?
One of our biggest challenges was to be up to the technical level, because there is a lot of technology behind it (to dress the message, automatically send a personalized message etc.) worked a lot on it.
You have just raised 1.5M € from CapDecisif Management and FA DIESE. What matched between you?
FA DIESE is a fund of entrepreneurs. They bring funds, but also their entrepreneurial experience. An active person has joined us and works with us daily. It is precious to be able to benefit from his experience.
As for CapDecisif Management, they had a financial objective in new technologies. But what was above all decisive was the good contact we had. We got on very quickly.
What do you plan to do with these 1.5M €?
We are going to recruit commercial and technical forces.
There are also plans to accelerate our deployment to England and to locate in Germany and the United Kingdom.
We are also going to release a platform that is even more integrated into the game: better designed, more fluid and with more features (fan recruitment, videos, etc.). We would like to offer more interactive and more fun advertisements than today. Tomorrow the player can play with the ad.
Where do you see Playtem in 5 years?
I see us Leader in native advertising in video games all over Europe 🙂
Thank you Laurent! One last word ?
Yes ! We are recruiting! So if you are passionate about our field, we are looking for business developers for England and abroad (advertiser side) as well as developers and architects attracted by the big data field!
Find Playtem here >>
* casual game: or casual game is a game intended for the general public and whose rules are simple. It’s a game that you can play occasionally. It does not require involvement over time.