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Social Media Portal interview with Tony Pearce from TeePee Games

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 15 October 2012

Social Media Portal interview with Tony Pearce from TeePee Games

Social Media Portal profiled interview with Tony Pearce, Chief TeePee and co-founder at TeePee Games

TeePee Games logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What do you do there at TeePee Games?

Tony Pearce (TP): I’m the Chief TeePee and co-founder.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about TeePee Games (for those that don’t know), what is it and what does the company do?

TP: TeePee Games has developed an online portal and Facebook App to help consumers discover great games, which are hard to find across social networks and the web.

TeePee Games launched late last year and can be found at and a unique Facebook app at  TeePee Games is not a ‘chart’ driven games portal, instead we have developed a games discovery engine that recommends games specifically for you. It learns and grows with the user, building a detailed profile of what the user has played across different gaming platforms and in turn recommends the games content, selected for them personally.

SMP: Can you explain what a discovery platform is for those that may not know (why you decided to build around Geronimo)?

: Geronimo is the name of our games discovery engine.

The Geronimo Server is a J2EE based, carrier grade, software platform which provides high speed visitor behavioural profiling and filtering services over the internet. Geronimo learns and grows with the user, building a detailed profile of what the user has played across different gaming platforms and in turn recommends the games content, selected for them personally.
The Geronimo server supports an enviable suite of analytical techniques including Observational Behavioural Analysis, Behavioural Profiling and Predictive Statistical Analysis.
In summary it helps you discover great games that hopefully you will love to play!

SMP: When, how (private funding or investment) and why did you start TeePee Games?

TP: The company was founded in June 20120 and has private equity investment, the aim to build a fun destination portal to help gamers find games they love and solve the problem of games discovery. Did you know there are 35,000 games on Facebook? Most people can not name the top 5. There are 700,000+ apps on the iTunes app store but only a top 50 chart.

We provide gamers with fully customized game recommendations
TeePee Games is the only portal that uses social data, gaming profiles and behavioral analytics to recommend games

•    Targeting games on the Web, Facebook and Mobile
•    Fun, simple and user-friendly brand
•    Recommends games just for you personally!

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

: Our target audience is more casual gamers due to the style of games we recommend. It tends to be younger 16-24 year old boys/men for online flash games but older females for Facebook games and older men for Android games - so it’s quite a wide demographic.

SMP: How did you initially attract users to your site and games / services, and how do you do it now?

TP: We had 25k users sign up to our beta test and once fully launched we focussed on SEO, PR and Google Adwords to attract users. Last year we did our first Facebook ad campaign which was a huge success. In under four weeks the Facebook app had over 125k MAU’s and 85% of our unique visitors were playing at least one game. This is a massive conversion as most flash gaming sites would expect just 5% conversion. This showed that Geronimo was doing a great job in game recommendations.

World Telemedia Meet me in Marbella 2012 imageSMP: You’re guest speaking at World Telemedia Marbella 2012 (in Spain) – what and when is your session?

TP: I’m speaking on Thursday, 18th October 2012, 16:00 – 17:00 LEARN Games, gambling and live event, Mobile games – where are we now?

SMP: What are you most looking forward to about your session and what can your audience take away?

TP: Previously to setting up TeePee Games I founded a mobile games company called Player X which was acquired three years ago. I started in the mobile games business 14 years ago which is like 100 years in real time! During my presentation I’m going to look back a few years and show how things have changed in such a short time, talk about mobile gaming today and then give my predictions for the future – it will be fun!

SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities in the gaming space?

TP: Getting TeePee Games discovered ;-)

Discovery is always an issue as a start up.  Then once you have an audience, keeping them engaged and coming back is key. There are so many opportunities moving forward and I have some amazing ideas. That’s why I love being an entrepreneur, I have a great vision, I just need some clever developers to make my ideas a reality.

Photograph of Tony Pearce, Chief TeePee and co-founder at TeePeeSMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far?

TP: My Chief Squaw giving me hard time for not spending time hunting and gathering enough.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

TP: Launching on time was a high achievement. Then getting Turner Broadcasting to invest and launching a white label of TeePee Games with OK! Magazine.

SMP: What are the next moves for TeePee Games in terms of social media?

TP: We do a lot on Facebook, as we are a discovery engine for Facebook Games. We have lots of followers now on Facebook and a pretty engaged social audience. We are looking at expanding our games recommendations to other social networks such as Hi5 and Google+ and also some of the larger social networks in Russia and Asia.

SMP: What’s the next big step for social media and networks – and what impact could this have on smartphone games?

TP: A recent survey by Appcelerator and IDC said that Mobile developers believe that a mobile-first start-up could disrupt Facebook. A resounding 66% of mobile developers state that it is “likely to very likely” that a mobile-first social start-up will disrupt the market for social applications on mobile devices and take market share from Facebook.

Watch this space!

SMP: What was / is the most challenging part of building on your brands and games presence in digital environments (including social media)?

TP: Keeping users coming back and engaged with the site or app. Users move on quickly if something better comes along. It’s our job to keep our site fresh and up-to-date with all the latest games so there is something new when they come back. We also offer our users the chance to earn different statuses the more games they play. When they first join TeePee Games, they start as a Villager and the more games they play the higher their status becomes. Then they can try and work their way up to the Wise One and become the Chief!

SMP: What’s going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology for the rest of 2012 and into 2013 (and how does mobile / smartphones games fit into this)?

TP: Social media will continue to play a big part in everyone’s life but it’s definitely going to be more on mobile, which is good for smartphones. There are approximately 5.6 billion mobile phones worldwide, this is compared to 1.5 billion televisions and 2.2 billion internet users. Soon, the cost of smartphones will decrease to the point where everyone can afford one. As a result, your game will have access to the largest market in the world – virtually almost everyone on the planet. Further, the market for mobile phone apps is expected to grow from $7 billion to $35 billion by 2015. Half of these are expected to be games.

SMP: What are your top five predictions for social media for the rest of 2012 and into 2013?

TP: To quote Master Yoda, ”Careful you must be when sensing the future.”

  • It’s Mobile. I hate to state the obvious, but you don’t carry your PC tower with you everywhere.

  • Marketing. Social Media will continue to be used by gaming companies as a key part of their advertising strategies. I firmly believe that 2013 is the year most business start to turn the corner on embracing and understanding social media marketing and using it more strategically.

  • Battle for the users. As the social media landscape becomes more crowded they will all be fighting for users. What used to be simply Facebook and Twitter is now Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (and who knows what’s next). On top of this, you have many specialty networks like Foursquare, Yelp, Instagram and Pinterest.

  • Photo and Video. networks will blossom. The New Kids on the block – Pinterest and TheFancy are gaining users at an incredible rate. There is more flesh on Instagram and Viddy and Tout than bones, and that enables the whole point of social networking—making and perpetuating connections and seeing the world through pictures and videos.

  • Advanced Analytics. are already key to the success of social games, but I believe new tools will become available that will tell a story of not only what happened, but also of why it happened, and to model and predict the future.

  • YouTube. will rise to the top. With the latest redesign, YouTube is cleaning up its Wild West image and coming into alignment to be a grown-up social environment. If your business is not there yet, make haste and set up your channel and start reaping the benefits of the second-largest search engine on the Internet

SMP: What are your top five tips for a great social smartphone game?

TP replies with:

  • Design. If you compete with major game companies in any other arena, they have game MoJo down to a science; however, mobile games are a completely different animal. Game play and design has been turned on its head.

  • Free to Play. The highest grossing games in the Apple App Store are now free to play. Revenue is earned from selling virtual goods/new levels/power ups etc within the game. If you are a games developer you must look at Free to Play in your strategy.

  • A good free-to-play designer looks for things that they want the player to do, and makes sure that they are rewarded – practically, emotionally, visually, aurally. It’s not about lens flare or high poly counts or nice reflective menus. It’s about fun and rewarding game play.

  • Social Hook. Social hooks such as those seen in Draw Something, or Words with Friends can cause a game to catch fire.

  • Tablets. Make sure you develop for iPads, Kindle Fire, and Android tablet, as sales are smoking hot and are taking a substantial bite out of the PC market.

SMP: Is there anything else we should know, or is there anything that you’d like to share?

: Watch out for our new product coming out at the end of the year. It’s called GamesGrabr  - think Pinterest for games… it’s amazing.

SMP: Best way to contact you and TeePee Games?

TP: Email tony.pearce @ and Twitter @teepeegames

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

TP: Buffalo wing sandwich.

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

TP: Hired them.

SMP: How many hours to you work a week?

TP: Never clock hours, a chief is always working.

SMP: If you weren’t running / working at TeePee Games what would you be doing?

TP: Hunting and looking out for a few new squaws to join the tribe.

SMP: Your best game ever (and why)?

TP: Doom - BIG GUNS and the game that started first person shooters.

SMP: Your best mobile / social game ever (and why)?

TP: Doodle Jump and Flight Control. Both just good fun games.

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

TP: Chiefs don’t go on holidays.

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

TP: Light a fire and smoke the peace pipe.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

TP: My Squaw and Tribe are the only super power I need.

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