Gamee, a new mobile-first casual gaming social network, wants to provide gamers with a platform full of free games while vehemently opposing any IAP shenanigans. In an interview with The Next Web, Bozena Rezab, Gamee‘s CEO, talked about the new network’s vision and goals. According to Bozena, Gamee‘s games are written in HTML, which means they can be played anywhere on the web and mobile (unlike other similar services like EA’s Pogo, which is distinctly oriented towards web browsers and whose mobile presence is quite underdeveloped). The main target of Gamee is casual gamers, but Bozena insists the term is somewhat misleading; while casual gamers don’t play “hardcore" games, according to different surveys, casual gamers spend up to six hours a week playing, which isn’t that different from those we would call “mid-core" gamers. Still, the target audience for this service are those who mostly play on the go, while commuting or waiting in line for a coffee.
What I found interesting is Gamee‘s vehement rejection of IAPs, to the point that the company created the #WeQuitFakeFree hashtag and made a video to go along with it. Bozena sees IAP-based games nothing but a way to rip players off through simple and dumb game mechanics while turning gaming more into gambling. Instead of going the F2P route, Gamee is working with brands that can sponsor an existing game or create a new one in order to engage with their audience in a more interesting way than simply displaying an ad. It appears that unlike a service like Pogo, Gamee looks like it wants to build ads within the network rather than impose them on top of the network.
The social network has soft-launched in Australia and Turkey to test the platform in a “Western" market and a “developing" one. The soft-launch period, according to Bozena, taught them the value of localization as translating the app in Turkish raised registration rates from 15% to 92%. Also, Bozena was surprised to see many tablet users, especially during evening play, which suggests that people use mobile phones on the go and switch to tablets while at home. Bozena didn’t announce any release date, but so far Gamee sounds like a strong network for those who enjoy casual games but not the IAPs that often come along with them.