Reflection is offering in-depth mobile data to games developers for free. What's the catch? MCV asks founder and CEO Gustaf Leksell
Tell us about your company.
Reflection provides free and accurate revenue and download intelligence to the development community. At my previous job as an app developer, we couldn't afford intelligence, so I thought: ‘Why don't I do it myself?' Two years later, we have just started our beta with a couple of really successful partners, such as Miniclip, Sega and Bossa. We have developed this really lovely system that shows revenue and download information to developers.
So what's the methodology?
We collect two different data sets. The first data set is public, we are partners with Apple, so we get all the rank information, the ratings, the icons, everything you see online, we collect on a daily basis.
Then, for developers to get access to our systems and get free intelligence, they have to link their accounts. So all of our partners have linked their store accounts with us. And we take specific transactional data, store it securely, and use that for our statistical forecasting. So in short, if we know what No.1 is making in the ranking, and No.100 and No.200, we can then fill in the gaps.
How are you making any money from this?
Data should be free for developers, and then we have a premium feature – about $150 per licence – and that drives insight into the data we provide.
"The mobile market is immature. The fact that
chart data is not readily available attests to that."
Gustaf Leksell, Reflection
How do you expect this to evolve?
The first aim is to do iPad and iPhone really well, across all countries and categories. We are starting in Europe, and then expanding. After that we will add other platforms, like Google Play and Apple TV. But it will always be based on the need of developers. You give us your data and you will get intelligence back. That way we can open up everywhere.
Why is this data so important?
It is becoming very crowded on the App Store, so to understand the market you are in is really a no-brainer. If you want to release a paid-game in the UK, and then you know you only need to make 500 to be at the top... then that might impact your decision on whether it's worth releasing it. It's important to know what number of downloads are required to be in the Top Ten. In the UK, to be in that list, that is a significant number of downloads. What markets should you release in first? If you have a strategy game, is it better to release that in the UK or Russia?
What's you view on the current state of the mobile market?
The market is quite immature in a way. That this type of data is not readily available attests to that. But we are seeing it mature, and the next step is developers finding out where to market their apps, because the App Store and Google Play are not really the answer.
How hard is it for smaller studios now? It seems like it's all King and Supercell.
Those are the money makers right now. But that shifts over time. In the market today, you can still be a little guy and succeed. And that isn't one in a million either. If you look at the paid-list in the UK today, you need less than a 1,000 installs to be in the Top Ten. So if you have 200 friends to install it, then you are already up there. You see new games getting up the charts quite regularly, but the trick is to stay there. And that all relates to quality. If you want to stay in the top grossing list, you need to make a lot of money and that is all big company stuff. But if you want to stay up in other lists, if you're good, like Fireproof Games' The Room, then you can be No.1.