Mobile games network PapayaMobile has announced an accelerator programme for mobile social game developers. The Games Academy, due to start in early 2012, will provide developers with office space, support and advice from industry veterans, legal advice and an opportunity to pitch to venture capital investors.
Although all participants will have access to resources at the pariSoma innovation Loft in San Francisco – including classroom-style teaching and individual sessions – a winning development team will be chosen to benefit from a grand prize of 100,000 guaranteed downloads. Techcrunch reports that PapayaMobile feels it can promise these figures by running promotions and buying incentivised installs from mobile ad networks such as TapJoy.
The only requirement for developers to take part is that they use Papaya’s Social Game Engine in the development of their games. Papaya won’t offer developers seed capital or take an equity stake in those that join the programme.
The Games Academy syllabus will be devised by game development community Design3 while non-profit Applications4Good will be seeding development teams to create apps that serve a public purpose. A number of academic institutions that teach games-related courses will be provided with free and open access to Games Academy resources, while two Academy of Art University professors will be Games Academy instructors.
PapayaMobile CEO Si Shen told Techcrunch that the programme is a response to a market that is over-saturated by games investment funds. “Creating, marketing, and distributing successful social games that monetise well on mobile involves many different approaches. We intend to share our knowledge and bring about a shift in the industry,” she said.