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Goodbye and Thanks Mochi Media
by Steve Fulton on 03/15/14 05:05:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


On March 14th Mochiland, the blog that has been the mouthpiece for Machi Media since 2006, announced that the array of Mochi Media services for Flash game developers will go offline on March 31st.  Josh Larson wrote a logn detailed message to describe the situtation. Here is the most important part of it:

"It saddens me to make this announcement today–our parent company Shanda has decided to dissolve the Mochi Media business. The last day that Mochi Media services will be available is March 31, 2014."

Developers and publishers who use the service should read the blog post so they can find out what to do with their content, and what they need to do to get their final payments from Mochi Media.

As a long-time Flash developer myself, I know full-well the flack Flash got in the traditional game community, some of it deserved, and some of it not.  However, no one can deny that the Mochi set of services, from Mochibot (basic stats), through Mochi Ads, Analytics, High Scores, Game Fund,  Coins, content hosting, distribution, etc. were game changers.   Mochi's self-publishing model for indie game developers was the template for the current mobile games industry.    The Mochi set of services gave 1000's of bedroom and semi-professional game developers their first taste at the joys and pitfalls of what the indie game industry would become in 2014.   In that way, long before iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play,  Mochi services acted as a breeding ground for game talent where almost anyone could get an idea published at their discretion. The ones who had thick skins, and those who were not discouraged by low eCPM rates, kept making games until they were good enough to ply their skills elsewhere. 

It's not a mystery as to why Mochi Media has to close its' doors.  Most "Flash" game developers I knew from the halcyon days of Mochi services (2006-2010) have moved on to make games in  HTML5, Unity, and Corona for platforms like Android, iOS and Steam.   Some of them were lured out of their bedrooms to work on Facebook games for giant companies, and/or moved onto jobs in the traditional games and media industries.  Others just kept making games on their own.  Almost all of them are still working in the games industry today.

It's sad that Mochi could not find a way to extend to mobile and HTML5 gaming themselves.  While they did make some moves toweards Unity support, it was too little, too late.  Their inability to change with the times is a lesson for pioneers of new platforms.  Maybe if they did not sell out to Shanda so quickly, maybe if they did not rely on a single technology for their APIs, they could have survived and thrived.  

Maybe, or maybe not.

However, for myself, Mochi Media meant freedom. It meant I could finally break out and make the games I wanted to make, and publish them when I wanted to publish them: who cares if they were not good enough, or the types of games people wanted to play?  I could experiment with little consequence, iterate, and try again.  Mochi let me do that. For me, Mochi Media were the DIY disruptors of the the game industry.  

They were my indie "label".  

They were my punk rock.

And I will never forget them.


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Phil Maxey
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Sad Sad news. A quick story.

It was September 2008. In that year my marriage ended and I had spent most of it in dire financial trouble staggering from one late bill payment to another. I also spent most of it making little Flash games, games which although I thought were great made no money. Finally I got to the point in September where I made a decision. I'll make one more Flash game, if that's a success I'll carry on making games, if not I'll pack it all in and go get a 9-5 somewhere in London. At that point my life could of gone one way or another. I made a little game called Christmas Crunch, it was sponsored by and went live on the 18th of November, that first day it had some 55k ad impressions and made $51.46, and completely changed my life. Christmas Crunch went onto 194 million plays, and made me enough to pay all my bills for 3 years, and it was thanks to Mochi that it happened.

So farewell Mochi, thanks for everything and affecting peoples lives like you did.

Steve Fulton
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That's an awesome story!

Phil Maxey
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Thanks man :)

It will always be a mystery to me though why they didn't get into mobile, they were perfectly placed to do so, if they had done that I suspect they would be one of the biggest ad providers out there right now.

Steve Fulton
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From what I have gleaned from some of the people who worked there in the early days, after they were bought out, their R&D was stunted. At any rate, Flash was the perfect platform for what they did. It was like lightening in a bottle.

Lex Allen
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Yes awesome story. Tweeted.

Predrag Koncar
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Wow, Phil, I have almost the same story about Mochi at exactly the same date, except the divorce part. I've lost a job and decided to try what I always wanted - making games. I've discovered Mochi soon after that and the ad money (along with sponsorship) allowed me to keep making games up to now. Not to mention the great and supportive community.

I am sure there are many developers who can tell the same story.
Thank you Mochi and farewell!

Phil Maxey
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Continuing on from your post on the Mochi forums (I'm FlashGameMaker on thre) it's interesting actually just how little noise has been made about Mochi closing. I'm not sure that means most have moved onto other formats now or most people still don't realise what's happening.

Hubert Rutkowski
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Too bad, I really liked this passive income from ads, which kept slowly coming in.

I was making around half a dollar a day, from one game on Mochi. You say little, right? But that's around 180 dollars a year... times 3 (my currency exchange rate), gives me enough to buy ie. a good 256GB SSD drive.

I was also planning to release new games, and one of the exciting parts would be, that the passive income would increase. I'll have to find a new platform... perhaps Google Ads? They support ads in flash games, and from what I've heard have good CPM.

Phil Maxey
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My games are still making around $50 pm, which is all going to be lost I'm afraid.