Social and Mobile game developer Digital Chocolate today announced its coming of age as it surpasses 12 million monthly active users on Facebook. This accomplishment makes Digital Chocolate the only game developer to increase in size by such magnitude this year. The company gained 1.4 MMAUs on Facebook in just the last 7 days and is looking to go strong despite Facebook’s platform changes that are causing many indies to clean out their closet. Digital Chocolate also has a multi-platform strategy that its pursuing which seems to be working well as it releases freemium games across social networks, mobile devices and browsers. More after the jump.
Digital Chocolate, led by Trip Hawkins (former founder of EA), is focusing on international expansion as well as original IP across social and mobile gaming platforms and this milestone is one to cherish. We covered the launch of Millionaire City on the iPhone and MySpace earlier this month – a free-to-play title Digital Chocolate launched on Facebook back in May that currently boasts 8.4 MMAUs. The iPhone app is also doing well with over 500,000 downloads since launch.
Digital Chocolate has other unique titles on Facebook as well, including MMA Pro Fighter and its Nano titles such as NanoStar Castles and Siege. The NanoStar characters found in these games are unique collectibles that Digital Chocolate introduced to attempt a cross-game virtual goods model where players use the same virtual characters across all NanoStar titles. MMA Pro Fighter has also launched as a PC version and will soon see a companion iPhone app so players can play on Facebook, their browsers or on their mobile devices.
“We have stormed the Facebook platform by offering high quality games like Millionaire Cityâ„¢ and MMA Pro Fighterâ„¢,” said Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate. “We are pleased so many people are enjoying our games on Facebook, and look forward to providing them with some exciting new titles this year.”
Digital Chocolate’s cross-platform gaming efforts may pay off especially if it can spin its vast knowledge and platform into a publisher model. It can offer game developers both game design knowledge, virtual goods management, scalable technology infrastructure as well cross-promotional ability that span titles across Facebook, iOS devices, Android, Myspace and browser based PC games. It’s unclear as of now where Digital Chocolate exactly stands on this publisher model since we haven’t heard about them partnering with anyone yet.
Digital Chocolate’s experience with social and virtual goods began with the launch of its freemium title Fantasy Warrior Legends it launched in April with OpenFeint integration. Apparently the learnings from this experience are now being applied across all their titles. Freemium, especially for mobile, seems to be the solid trend companies should aspire to follow for their apps and was the overarching theme at Smartphone Games Summit last week in San Francisco. Digital Chocolate is in a good position, with its strong architecture, to create free-to-play and freemium titles that are adopted by masses and monetized with virtual goods – a model that seems to be giving ngmoco 10x difference in audience size – a much larger opportunity for monetization.