Gamee, Social Net for Casual Gamers, Shuns In-App Purchases

Casual gamers around the world have a new option for finding and sharing free ways to waste time, thanks to a new social network devoted to casual games, called Gamee. The Czech startup, which received an investment from the founders of Socialbakers, is unusual in that it is squarely against casual games that rely on in-app purchases to monetize game play.

Gamee members can use the mobile-focused network to invite friends to play, including people who aren’t members (you can play the games outside the network) as well as discover and share games, and boast to friends with leaderboards. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, it eschews in-app purchases in favor of brand sponsorships, allowing advertisers to deliver messages around existing games or create new branded games with help from Gamee’s developers. Games can be localized by translation into a variety of languages.

According to Next Web, Gamee has worked with brands including Lagardère, the global media company based in France, and Desigual, a Spanish clothing brand.

The announcement of Gamee’s launch is especially timely, in light of a recent report from eMarketer saying that marketers haven’t capitalized on mobile games nearly as much as they could. Noting that over half the U.S. population are playing mobile games, eMarketer also pointed out that just a fifth of game revenues come from advertising -- at least as of 2013, the last estimate available.

Meanwhile social gaming is on the rise. Last week Sony and Twitch partnered to create Live Screen Streaming, a new Android app that lets mobile users broadcast what’s on their screen to other mobile users, allowing you to live-stream your casual gaming victories.

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