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Twitter Gives Game Developers Another Tool

March 11, 2016, 1:52 PM UTC
Disruptor Beam

Twitter continues to expand further into the video game market. On the heels of the January launch of its gaming vertical, Twitter has introduced Fabric to mobile game developers. The mobile development platform supports the Unity game engine, which is used by over 4.5 million registered developers.

“Our goal with Fabric is to build a universal mobile development platform, and games are huge on mobile,” says Richard Paret, general manager of the developer platform at Twitter. “We’ve had tremendous success with native iOS and Android and we wanted to extend that support to another large group of passionate app developers crafting experiences that touch hundreds of millions of customers every day.”

According to App Annie, mobile games generated $34.8 billion globally in 2015. The research firm found that games accounted for 85% of the worldwide app market.

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Twitter (TWTR) has been working with top development teams on Fabric for months, which means hundreds of popular mobile games are already on the market with new services built in, including Dots, Threes, Game of Thrones Ascent, and Star Trek Timelines.

Hemal Shah, product manager at Twitter, says the company has always played a role helping game developers build and grow their games.

“Twitter is live, public, and conversational; our tools give game developers the ability to make their game a part of that conversation,” Shah says.

Shah says Twitter worked with hundreds of mobile game developers to discover the common challenges they face around installing and updating the services they use.

“We crafted a streamlined onboarding and updating experience through one unified Unity plug-in that gives developers time back each week to focus on building their game,” Shah says.

Fabric connects with MoPub, the monetization company Twitter acquired for $350 million in September 2013 to help mobile companies manage ad inventory.

The mobile game industry has followed the PC game industry in focusing on free-to-play games. Many of these support game play through advertising.

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Shah says Fabric integrates with MoPub so games can take advantage of all the major ad formats in mobile to create a customized experience that fits naturally with the content of their game. This system provides free ad serving for cross promotion or direct sales, free ad network mediation, and immediate access to over 175 demand partners through the MoPub Marketplay, a real-time bidding exchange for mobile advertising.

For gamers, Shah says the integration of Fabric allows anyone to sign in with a Twitter account and share what they’re playing with their social network.

“I’ve always enjoyed sending my friends my high scores so they can try to beat me—this just simplified that experience,” Shah says.

Mobile is currently the leading platform for virtual reality, thanks to the 5 million Google (GOOGL) Cardboards in the market and the 5 million Gear VRs Samsung (SSNLF) is forecast to sell this year. Fabric’s services work across any mobile app or game in virtual reality.