Since its release earlier this month, Meta’s Threads has quickly gained widespread recognition. After only one week of operation, it had more than 100 million users globally.
Recently, the site attained one-fifth of Twitter’s global weekly active user population. Now, a business by the name of Artie is looking for new opportunities for the platform by integrating gaming.
The Los Angeles-based firm aims to offer “app-quality” games to Threads and other cutting-edge social networking platforms. Its backers include the Winklevoss twins (Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss), former TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, and Zynga founder Mark Pincus.
The startup originally intended to provide games through web browsers, but that strategy has changed, and Threads has taken precedence.
Artie’s strategy is comparable to how Zynga’s FarmVille and Words with Friends were formerly distributed to Facebook users.
“What makes Threads really special for us is we can get back to the idea of playing games with friends in 2023,” said Artie CEO Ryan Horrigan in an interview, adding that the Meta-owned platform allows users to have all their friends that they have accumulated on Instagram over the years — along with celebrities and other users.
“That is totally dissimilar to Twitter. Most Twitter users are more interested in business, politics, news, or sports, and they follow individuals they don’t know, according to him.
By clicking on the relevant links in a Threads user’s bio or post, users can access Artie’s games. They can click this link to go straight to the game on the social media platform’s built-in browser.
Additionally, there will be alternatives for players to connect in with their social media handles, email addresses, or phone numbers and play with their friends and family.
According to Horrigan, there is a middle ground and a hybrid strategy where you can really stream the game to your phone and have social apps’ browsers render it in real time.
Artie discovered that its target market, those between the ages of 18 and 35, typically do not download any apps in a month. The business has chosen to use a download-free approach as a remedy.
Artie has cleverly avoided paying Apple and Google’s app store commissions in this way. Its games are also exempt from any platform-specific rules or regulations, such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency.
Horrigan asserted that the startup does care about privacy and complies with international legislation such as the CCPA in the United States and the GDPR in Europe.
“We are more like an e-commerce business on that front as we sit above the fray and on the web, which is to our advantage compared to other game companies,” he claimed.
However, if users would rather not access the game through their social media account each time they want to play, they can save Artie’s games as a progressive web app and save them on their homescreen.
By logging into their social network account or using cookies, users can also preserve their game progress. Additionally, as the games are browser-based, customers benefit from cross-platform multiplayer that works on both Android and iOS devices.
A new experience has 150,000 people hooked already
Artie has started testing its Pong Legends experience in the United States, Brazil, India, and Southeast Asia. On the social media sites TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, the game is being advertised.
Over 150,000 players have joined the experience in the most recent few months, according to Horrigan. Users typically invest 30 seconds to each video on apps like TikTok, he continued, but spend seven to ten minutes every session playing the clash game. The business also discovered that 15% of gamers play the game more than four times every day.
Additionally, he added, “We are seeing virality or K-factor that is two to three times greater than the typical mobile game.” “Most mobile games have a K factor below one, so they don’t add an entirely new player for each paying player, according to research.
For every paid player we add, we already add one to one and a half more players.
This fall, gamers will be able to access Pong Legends’ public beta. It will provide multiplayer tournaments and a dedicated private gameplay mode so users may play exclusively with their pals.
The business also has two more games planned for release in 2019, one of which will be sports-related and debut in the first half of the year.
Although Artie wants its games to be playable on all current social media sites where testing is taking place, Threads and TikTok will be its two main places of concentration.
In terms of the platforms we are testing, TikTok has so far shined out, but Horrigan pointed out that Threads appears to be a special offering that none of the others have in terms of reaching buddy circles.
Artie doesn’t have any ambitions to launch a new genre, in contrast to the newbies who are eager to start from scratch, as Horrigan points out that it is challenging to produce new genres.
The business however plans to look for new concepts to revive some current genres that have previously been tried and true. On apps like Threads, it also searches for collaborations and intellectual properties that are socially important.
Additionally, the business intends to make money through in-game payments, such as those for virtual goods and vanity items or to enable gamers to advance more quickly.
Lessons from recent industry developments
Artie is not the only one using social media’s expanding reach with its games. In actuality, major social media platforms like Snap and Meta attempted to go in the game direction. Just a few years after its debut, the former just fully removed the feature.
“Those games are not very deep; people play them for a few weeks or months and then typically stop playing them,” he added, adding that the majority of their income comes from ads.
Because instant games are technologically limited, “we can cross the gap into these casual and mid-core games and deliver them over the top in a way that instant games have not been able to do.”
The executive added that Meta and Snap’s actions fell within Apple’s authority and that these businesses were unable to monetize the game in-app through transactions without paying a fee to the iPhone manufacturer.
With a workforce of almost 50 individuals, the firm has earned $36.5 million in seed and Series A funding. After some success with its initial game, it hopes to generate more money.
The long-term goal, according to Horrigan, is to generate income and develop into a successful, self-sustaining company over time.