There are several things that make Bunchball unique in the casual online gaming industry. The first is that we’re a service provider – we provide multi-player casual gaming as a hosted service to site owners like Lifetime Television, the Indianapolis Colts, and NBC Sports among others. We don’t have a destination site of our own that we’re trying to drive traffic to like many other game companies.The second is our complete focus on community enhancement with our games. Everything we do is about trying to connect your members to each other in interesting and meaningful ways so that your community can grow larger and stronger. We started this company with the realization that play and socialization were two fundamental facets of human nature, but that something had been lost in the translation to the online world. In the real world when you play games, you play with your friends and family. In the online world that’s really hard to do, and instead you end up playing by yourself or with random strangers most of the time. We wanted to make it easy to “play with your friends” online, so we built a service with that in mind. And we built it as a service because we wanted people to be able to play on the sites where they’re already going and spending time, rather than trying to drive them to a new site.
And finally, our customers really like our ability to quickly re-theme games with their brands and to enlist their users to help “build” games, and not just play them. The Photographic Memory game at LifetimeTV.com is a nice example of this – it’s a simple memory game, but all the photos used in the game are submitted by LifetimeTV.com members. Thousands of photos were submitted in the first week alone, and it’s really fun to play the game and get a look into the lives of the Lifetime audience. The trivia games running at NBCSports.com and Colts.com are another great example, where all the questions for the trivia games are submitted by visitors to the site, who then review each other’s questions as well. The site owners then have a moderation interface where they can approve highly rated questions for inclusion into the actual 2-8 player trivia game. And we can even capture the name of the question submitter and then display it with the question in the game. So now users are constantly creating new content for the game and earning some fame if their questions are used. They feel invested because they’re creating the game, not just playing it.
So as you can imagine, it’s a pretty compelling offering to site owners – branded multi-player games that can be integrated anywhere into their site in minutes. We’re currently the only company offering this solution.