Social networking site Ibibo has launched its game developer platform, ibibo Open, for developers to make social and multiplayer games on ibibo targeting Indian audiences. The company intends to aggressively promote the platform to local and international game developers to develop, publish, and monetize their games on its platform. Recently, mobile social network Mig33 also opened its platform for gaming.

Ibibo’s expansion in this direction is not a co-incidence. Tencent, which has a minority stake in MIH India (which owns Ibibo) and has the option to acquire half the company, is one of the worlds largest massively multiplayer online gaming platforms, and has a thriving virtual goods economy. In the first quarter of 2011 itself, online gaming accounted for RMB 3572.7 (around $500 million) for Tencent.

According to the company, five game developers have already launched their games, namely Howzatt cricket from Game Ventures, Singapore ; Tower Of Babel by Kingnet, China ; Junkyard Mahem by Games2Win fromIndia ; ForestStory by Perfect World Studios, China and Pet Story by Plinga, Germany. Besides these, ten more international game development companies, who according to the company are the biggest names in the international market, have signed up on the platform and will be releasing their games in the next 2 months.

Undoubtedly, Ibibo’s relationship with Tencent would have helped the company get participation from gaming companies, particularly from China and South East Asia.

Monetization & Incentives

ibibo says it will provide the following:

– Promotion: Ibibo will enable the distribution of new games to the games community on its platform and offer developers (paid?) featured listings, and cross promotion from its existing social games such as Teen Patti, Mumbai Underworld, Parking Wars. It will also offer game promotion via dedicated inventory on its extended Ad-Network, and operational support through in-game and offline events. So, monetization for Ibibo comes in through gaming companies looking to promote their business among Ibibo users.

– Analytics: Analytics on Daily active users, monthly active users, Peak concurrent users, repeat users etc.

– Monetization: Interestingly, monetization of the games will be through virtual goods sold via ibibo’s payment platform, PayU. The platform enables users to make micro payments through mobile operator billing, premium SMS, ibibo Cash Cards, Cash pick Up and credit/ Debit cards. Ibibo has also introduced an iCoin distributor program wherein the game community member can become a reseller of the virtual currency.

– Revenue-share: According to the terms and conditions, the developer shall be entitled to 70% of the net revenue generated from the services during the term of the Agreement. Net revenue is calculated as gross revenue less VAT, Service Tax, if any, less any charges and/or fees incurred by payment to service providers. Download the terms and conditions here (via ibibo Open)

Performance-based Incentives For Game Developers

For games that start performing based on certain metrics like Daily Active users (DAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU), game developers would be given performance linked bonuses. Game developers can earn bonuses ranging from $2000 to $100,000 in a month, and

– if a developer achieves 25,000 Monthly Active Users, the company will give a bonus of $4,000, offer 50,000 guaranteed ad-impressions, free for two months, and will promote the game on its Game homepage and via its e-mailer.

– If a developer achieves 50,000 Monthly Active Users, the company will give a bonus of $10,000,offer 100,000 guaranteed ad-impressions, free for two months, and will promote the game on its Game homepage and via its e-mailer.

– If a developer achieves 100,000 Monthly Active Users, the company will give a bonus of $25,000,offer 250,000 guaranteed ad-impressions, free for two months, and will promote the game on its Game homepage and via its e-mailer.