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Skich starts out discovering mobile games, moves to third-party app stores


Skich started out as a mobile game discovery and recommendation app, and it has appeal in that regard. But it is now creating its own alternative app store as new rules for app stores come into effect.

Designed for the age of swiping left or right, this app lets you express your interest in a game. You can sort, collect, launch, and delete games as needed.

Skich can recommend you the best games of the week and try to find the best games.

Skich has attracted about 100,000 users and is growing organically at about 25% per month. The team has also launched a web-based product and is growing its audience organically as well.

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The small team always prioritized product metrics over audience growth because they knew distributing Skich as a store would be different than typical distribution for a mobile app, and the company needed to focus on creating the best product first.

“We can make it easier for people to give us permission to use their personal data,” Skich CEO Sergey Budkovski said in an interview with GamesBeat at the Game Developers Conference.

The idea of ​​setting up alternative app stores is interesting because the EU’s Digital Markets Act opened the gatekeeper door to allow developers to set up their own app stores without repercussions in the European market.

“Our goal is to change mobile gaming the same way Spotify has changed the music industry,” Budkovsky said.

The European Union recently fined Apple $1.9 billion as part of an antitrust investigation into its conduct in the music industry, which it said harmed Spotify.

“As you know, antitrust laws are starting to come into play,” Budkovsky said. “The new EU Digital Markets Act actually comes into effect on my birthday, March 7th. We’ve been developing this for several years, are we preparing for this? The market has changed. Before, we were like Just like browsing mobile games, guide users to the Apple Store or Google Play.”

The Skich store will open in late 2024. There will soon be plenty of competition. Epic Games said it will launch its store on iOS and Android this year, and Microsoft is expected to do the same.

“The good thing is the market is huge,” Budkovsky said. “We don’t have Call of Duty. We don’t have Fortnite. Our goal is not to push the audience attracted by our store to our games. Our discoverability will be more interesting for developers.” “

Swipe card

Skich wants to get to know your game character.

But now, the company is building its own third-party store that functions like a Tinder for mobile games. Swipe left or right, depending on whether you want a game.

“You can swipe left to add it to your wish list. If you don’t like it, swipe right,” he said.

Skich has a “Show Game Time” feature that shows you how long you’ve been playing a game. You can view your most played games and delete the ones you don’t play. Schicchi has 400,000 games to choose from, 30,000 of which are available for individual selection, but there’s one downside. Many games are unavailable, as there are 500,000 games on Google Play and over 1 million on the iOS store. But Budkovsky said that in a few months all games will be available for personal selection.

By viewing player recommendations, you can see what games like-minded people are playing, giving you a new way to discover games beyond those recommended by others. When you follow a friend, you can see what they add to their list over time. You can also see who is playing what game in real time.

In the app, you can view screenshots of the game you’re considering and see what other gamers or streamers have to say about the game. And can be downloaded directly.

Initially, the app is targeted at casual and hyper-casual gamers. But now the company has turned more of its attention to its core group of hardcore gamers.

Log in

Skich is a game discovery engine.

I downloaded the app, created a name and selected an avatar image. Then I started swiping my card. I immediately saw some strategy, sci-fi, and military games that I liked and added them to my wishlist. I downloaded one. So it immediately made suggestions based on my stated preferences, which worked really well.

It really wanted me to turn on notifications, so it sent me five requests to turn them on within the first few minutes. It also required me to invite friends, take a survey and rate it. Of course, I might want to do these things. But within the first five minutes of using the app? Um.

Still, swiping can be addictive, and this app has me starting to decide whether I like certain games or not. I’m looking forward to it understanding me better and making better recommendations.

The company owns players’ playlists, much like Spotify knows your musical tastes. Skich can then research game developer profiles to see which games are right for you. If you own a game from a certain game studio, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy another game from that studio.

Under the “Most Interesting” feature, you can see your friends’ activity and the games they’re playing. If you wishlist, review, or play games, your preferences will become clear and Skich’s recommendations will get better.

On Android, Skich can see the live games you play. When you download games, you can easily find them on Skich. In comparison, you might forget where to find the game on your smartphone screen. There are approximately 24 genres.

“It’s a very convenient manager that can find all your installed games,” he said. “You can find fun games, discuss the games with your friends and start playing together.”

Skich’s best metric is that 70% of Skich users have downloaded at least one recommended game. On top of that, Skich mobile gamers are downloading five times more games than before.

“We help them find great mobile games on iOS and Android,” he said.

origin

Skich started in 2020 as Budkovski’s pet project. In April 2022, the company raised initial funding and his team began working on the project full-time. Last fall, the company raised $1 million in a seed round. There are seven people on the team, and they release new content every week.

“We’re waiting for this opportunity to be a store,” Budkovsky said. “We are the best product on the market that matches players and games. We provide better solutions for game developers because we provide better solutions for games.”

Now the company’s focus will be on complying with EU law rather than adhering to some of the policies that platform companies are rapidly revising.

“I think things will change in the U.S. as well, the whole market will open up and things will change,” he said. “The growth of the music industry depends on Spotify. Spotify helps artists create interesting music and define their audience without a producer. We can find really good game mechanics. You can find an audience on Skich.”

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