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Magmic Games, IG Fun target smartphone market

Canadian mobile entertainment firm Magmic Games Inc. and IG Fun LLC have partnered to make several popular IG Fun game titles available to smartphone users, the largest growing segment of the mobile gaming and entertainment market.

Per the agreement, Magmic has the exclusive worldwide rights to publish several IG Fun mobile titles for play on BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices. The titles will be marketed directly to consumers at Magmic.com and Bplay.com, Magmic's BlackBerry direct-to-consumer portal, as well as through Magmic's carrier and third-party distribution partners.

"For our company this partnership allows for us to continue to sign, deploy and development AAA-branded content into the smartphone market," said Nicholas Reichenbach, vice president of Magmic, Ottawa, Canada. "We release 4-6 games a month. This allows us to continue to feed the pipeline full of great content."

IG Fun is the publishing arm of Indiagames Ltd., an Indian mobile gaming company. The first IG Fun titles Magmic intends to publish for smartphones include the martial arts fighting game "Bruce Lee -- Iron Fist." Also coming up is NBC's "The Office Game," based on the television sitcom.

Both titles are expected to be launched in the first quarter.

There are currently more than 23 million smartphone subscribers in North America. Smartphone penetration last year doubled in the United States, according to a recent study by mobile media measurement firm M:Metrics.

"Our company globally has a large portion of the smartphone market," Mr. Reichenbach said. "Four years ago we made a step into supporting smartphones, while other companies went into supporting feature phones. They use different languages, porting process and distribution channels."

Mr. Reichenbach said the smartphone gaming market is still a little under the radar. Marketers should be aware of the opportunities that games designed for mature and financially independent audiences can offer.

"By converting enterprise users into consumers, rather than strictly business users, that helps to convert a business device into a consumer device, which enables greater market reach," Mr. Reichenbach said.

The target demographic comprises business users age 25-40 and 85 percent male.

Magmic is also close to announcing another partnership that will enable interstitial and in-game advertising on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, Mr. Reichenbach said.

"This will allow for a platform for marketers to bring their products and services into the smartphone market if they're focused around entertainment products like movie launches," he said.