Thursday, May 14, 2009

Artificial Life | The New Hotness In Mobile Games?

Artificial Life (ALIF) reported super-strong Q1 2009 earnings yesterday. The LA/HK based mobile games and applications publisher announced that they had ~3.5mil java/BREW + 1.2mil App Store downloads in the quarter...making it their biggest earnings quarter ever (significant since these guys pre-date the Moto StarTAC).

Revs = $7.1mil ^71% from Q1 2008
Net = $2.7mil ^9% from Q1 2008

The company was particularly excited about the iPhone App Store (like everyone else) where they currently have 3 paid and 2 free Apps. 3 titles are promo Apps...2 for Red Bull and 1 for BMW. A mixture of free and paid games/apps tied to major brands is the sweet spot for these guys. My guess is that not all of these titles are licensed in the classic some instances they are probably being paid as a marketing vendor (which isn't a bad model in the current environment).

I've gotta admit that I was (as is my nature) super-skeptical about these guys and some of their licensing/promo relationship choices...Braveheart, Tokio Hotel, Red Bull, etc. They seemed like a fluffy mobile marketing company (the type that approach studios/networks daily). But looking at their numbers (and some of their game reviews) I am happy to concede that I was wrong. These guys are on the fast-track to becoming a revenue leader in the 2nd tier of mobile game publishers, which features companies like I-play, Hands-On Mobile & Digital Chocolate...and to becoming more profitable than any mobile game publisher in the 1st, 2nd or any other tier!!! Sweet! to see some energy/excitement in the mobile games category.

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