INTERVIEW: Why Fuse acquired mobile dev tools provider Corona

Jon Walsh discusses the future of the SDK and how it fits in with its monetisation services
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Earlier this month Corona became the latest games firm to be acquired thanks to the popularity of its Corona SDK with mobile game developers.

To find out more about the acquisition by monetisation firm Fuse Powered and what the deal could mean for the combined 10,000 game and app publishers around the world who use their tools and services, we spoke to Fuse CEO Jon Walsh.

What was thinking behind acquiring Corona Labs?
Fuse and Corona share the same philosophy, although with two different but complementary businesses.
Corona helps publishers make great games. Fuse helps publishers understand their audiences and make more money. We’re both companies with a vision to help mobile game publishers make great games and succeed.

With Corona, we realise a vision of the first one-stop, integrated platform that allows mobile publishers to be more successful with less hassle. Going forward, you’ll see us deliver some very innovative products and monetisation opportunities for developers.

What made Corona stand out ahead of other tools companies?
What made Corona really stand out to me from the beginning was the team. I’ve always believed that great teams build great companies. The entire Corona group, starting with Walter and David, are top-notch people that are real experts at what they do. For such a relatively small team they have accomplished a lot, which is also a testament to how well the team works together.

The second thing that made Corona really stand out is the incredible community of over 300,000 developers they’ve fostered. They’ve also done an excellent job engaging with those customers, which is remarkable for such a small team. I’ve had a chance to interact with some members of the community already, and they are highly motivated talented group of developers who are very open to expanding their toolsets to succeed.

How does this fit in with your existing suite of tools and services?
With Corona we’ve gained an incredible platform that’s completely complementary to our existing products. There’s no overlap at all. What we’re now able to do is provide mobile game publishers with the first available one-stop solution in the market, with tools to develop mobile games and apps, enhance their existing games and apps, and manage and monetise audiences.

The scale we achieve together Is noteworthy as well: more than 200 million monthly active users. We now support more than 10,000 mobile game and app publishers around the world. Adding this much engineering talent also means we can very aggressively accelerate the delivery of our next generation of mobile monetisation products.

What does this mean for the future of Corona SDK? Will development on the SDK continue as usual? Or will there be some changes in direction?
It means a better platform and more opportunities for Corona developers to monetise their games. Corona developers have come to expect a very high quality product. This won’t change. Corona will continue to develop and support Corona SDK and the Corona community, only now with more resources behind the Corona team.

In the near future, Corona developers will have access to Fuse’s IAP and ad monetisation solution, AdRally, to help monetise their apps and games in an easy way with less hassle.

A number of game tools companies have been bought or have been linked with acquisitions recently. What’s so attractive about the game development space right now?
I think what most people don’t realise is just how big the mobile market has become. It’s already a $13bn industry that analysts expect to double in the next two years. Mobile is also projected to surpass traditional consoles and be the largest segment of the gaming industry in the next year. Companies that can deliver value to mobile game publishers can grow to a significant scale quickly. As a result the kind of consolidation we are seeing on this side of the business will only continue in my opinion.

What would you say to developers who may be concerned by this acquisition?
I would say they shouldn’t be concerned at all. From day one Fuse has worked with game developers to help make them more successful. We started as a publisher and delivered some great games to the market before deciding that the tools we built for our own success could be delivered to many more publishers than ourselves. We now work with some of the biggest publishers in the industry and have delivered exceptional results for them. With Corona we will continue to refine our products so that we can effectively deliver them to an even larger group of developers, including the Corona community.

Our intention is to expand on the things we can collectively offer our partners to make their businesses better. Nothing will be mandated, but rather our publishers will be able to pick and choose what products and services they feel are appropriate for their games and apps.

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