Interview with Eberhard Schoneburg, CEO of Artificial Life

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artificial-life-bmw-experience-iphone1Artificial Life has a number of titles that are officially endorsed or co-sponsored such as Shooter, the film, BMW Z4 and Red Bull. AppCraver was interested in learning more about AL and its brand relationships, so we corralled Eberhard Schoneburg, CEO, for a chat:.

1. How do these sorts of arrangements come about?

ALife has been working on licensed titles since long before the launch of iPhone. We have an extensive portfolio of official titles for celebrities, TV shows, movies, etc. on the Java platform, which has now extended to the iPhone and other platforms. For some of the titles, the collaboration with the third-party branded partners was initiated by us, but for quite a few titles the partners sought us out after having seen the differentiating top quality of our launched titles.

2. What do you see is the value-add of these sorts of partnerships?

Being a part of such partnerships definitely brings us additional media and industry attention about our games and applications. They can also bring us the opportunity to reach new groups of gamers who are fans of our partners.

3. We're seeing more devs doing the same thing. Why do you suppose that is?

The iPhone is a very effective marketing channel and creating branded iPhone applications is an effective and non-intrusive way to reach target consumers. Take our BMW Z4 game series as an example. The series is a great entertainment title but at the same time, it promotes both the product and builds the brand awareness. Furthermore, the demographic of iPhone users make it a very attractive group for companies to target.

4. How do devs get attention in the AS, beyond getting reviewed in AppCraver of course!

The ad bricks on the Apple iTunes App Store are by far the most coveted promotional spots. However, as these spots are quite hard to secure, it has become increasingly important to maintain good relationships with the online gaming and review community. Being immersed and involved in the online blogosphere definitely helps to make sure that the right kind of attention and buzz is generated. With such an active and involved community, it’s great to know that many of the developers are getting the attention they deserve.

5. What's your impression about the acceptance/rejection process in the AS? Is it clear enough for you? Have you ever had an app rejected, and if so, why?

Overall, the approval criteria for the App Store are clear and consistent and our experiences with Apple have always been pleasant. Our communication with Apple has contributed greatly to ensuring that any concerns are addressed very early in the development and design of our titles.

6. What else do you have planned for the rest of the year in the way of titles? You can give general description for competitive reasons, if that's a concern.

We are very excited about the second half of 2009 as we have some very big projects scheduled. We have already announced projects with BMW Sauber F1 Team, Starz Media LLC , for Pandorum [movie] and Linkin Park and Warner Bros. Records.

7. If I wanted a refund, could I get one from AL? If yes, how does it work? If no, why not?

Apple has its own refund policy. However, end-users are welcomed to send us an inquiry to our customer service email for any sort of refund and/or other issues about our products.

8. What's on your iPhone?

I have loads of games and apps on my iPhone for research purposes, for practical daily use, and just for fun. This way, I get to know what’s going on in the market and observe the market trends.

9. Other than your own apps, what are your most used apps?

Various business and stock quote listing apps. Being a publicly listed company, we also need to keep an eye on the stock market of course and can’t just play games all day, however it is tempting!

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