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Interview: SpicyGaming about their adult gaming platform
New ways to showcase your games in Naughty List News #55
I’ve seen a lot of buzz about SpicyGaming.net lately, which is a blog focused on adult games. But behind the scenes they’ve been working hard to refresh their platform over the past few months, adding tons of new functionality.
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I was curious about their plans and motivations for the new platform, so I poked Spicy, the owner of the website, for an interview via Discord.
His answers have been edited for clarity.
Mr. Hands: Thank you for agreeing to do an interview with me.
Spice: No problem at all! I love what you’ve been doing with your newsletter and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about SpicyGaming 2.0.
Mr. Hands: Can you tell me what you’ve been up to with SpicyGaming?
Spice: We’ve really rebuilt SpicyGaming.net from scratch. It was just a blog before because we were just testing the waters of the adult gaming industry. We already had our website, our Patreon, and our YouTube channel, but we wanted to take it much further.
We figured there is still room for a platform focused solely on adult games and we wanted to give developers a place where they could really showcase their games. Most of them are already on platforms like Patreon, SubscribeStar, Steam, etc. but they usually don’t have a home base for their games. We think this is what we can provide as SpicyGaming 2.0.
Mr. Hands: When will the new site be available?
Spice: We are looking to launch no later than the end of this week. (Editor: It’s live now!) We are a small team and we’re working very hard on our launch and so we ask for a bit of patience. We’re polishing as much as we can, but we’re dealing with over 100,000 lines of code. Even if there are still some bugs present, we want to release SpicyGaming 2.0 sooner rather than later.
We also appreciate any feedback people might have. We already got tons of suggestions from developers that we’ve used to make our platform even better.
Mr. Hands: What makes SpicyGaming different from the other platforms?
Spice: On platforms like Steam your game can really get lost among a sea of others. Even on something like itch.io you can get lost in the crowd. We’ve looked at all the adult games currently released or in development and we counted over 10,000. That means there’s enough space for a platform that sticks to adult games only.
The platform is really intended as a hub for adult game developers. A lot of games are made by a single developer but we know that it’s a lot of work. We think the whole adult games industry can benefit from increased collaboration so that’s what we want to provide as well.
Developers will be able to showcase their games for free in a dedicated space and link to their existing pages or even post download links to their games directly. Whatever you want, it’s your space.
Spice: The games that are shown on our site right now we mostly added ourselves. We are actively reaching out to the developers of these games to claim their space for themselves. We want them to take charge of their pages.
And to be clear, we’re not looking to host the bigger AAA games like The Witcher 3 that happen to have some adult content. We are interested in games that are focused on adult entertainment and we want to stick to that niche.
Mr. Hands: And what does the platform provide for players of adult games?
Spice: Players will be able to browse through games on our platform and search for them using keywords. They can follow game pages for updates and even follow the developer themselves. So when a developer uploads a new version of a game, players will be notified and can download it from an existing Patreon page, Itch.io, or somewhere else.
Mr. Hands: Is the notification system available already?
Spice: No, it will take us about another month to complete it. Most of the backend is done, but we’re still looking into automatically sending e-mails to subscribers and we want to integrate push notifications as well.
Spice: All of this will be opt-in, of course. Players can customize what kind of notifications they want to receive and for which pages. We definitely want to avoid spamming our users with messages they’re not interested in!
Mr. Hands: Do you think these notifications will add value to finished games too?
Spice: Yes, because we’ve seen that adult game development really works differently from other types of games. Most of the games that are out there are actually not completed when they go to market. Developers put out an initial release to test the waters and then hope to build an audience for their game over time. We’ve seen games that have been in development for many years and these games are constantly evolving with new content.
So we take this kind of development process seriously and want to build support for it in our platform. That’s why we think developers will love the notification system we’ve built because it allows them to reach out to their fans directly no matter where they are.
Mr. Hands: Do you intend to sell games directly from SpicyGaming as well?
Spice: Yes, we are looking for ways to allow developers to sell their games directly from our platform. This has proven to be a complex feature to integrate because there are a lot of legal technicalities that we have to take into account. We plan to integrate the shop early next year.
You’ve written before about how OnlyFans is facing resistance from payment processors and that’s exactly what we’re running into. So we won’t be working with processors like MasterCard and PayPal and instead look into using cryptocurrency for payments.
Mr. Hands: Does that mean that players will have to buy games using cryptocurrency on your platform?
Spice: No, players will use in-store credit to purchase games. All of the prices in our store will be in local currencies like euros or dollars. Customers will be able to use their regular credit card, but they’ll use it to buy cryptocurrencies on the backend and we’ll give them in-store credit in return. They can then use this credit to purchase games.
We’re also talking to the bigger players in adult entertainment that are using cryptocurrency for payments. We are still in discussion to join them in a unified network. We know that other sites are looking for solutions because they’re facing issues with payment processors as well.
For developers, this means that when they want to withdraw payments, they’ll have to do so from a cryptocurrency exchange. We’re still working on the details and we hope to get some clarity on this process soon.
But the advantage of using in-store credit like this is that we could also give out credit as player rewards. Developers could even give out credit based on player actions in the game.
Mr. Hands: Are you looking into other ways to monetize the website?
Spicy: Yes, we already have our Patreon of course, but we’re also getting paid via advertisements. We’ve been denied monetization on our YouTube channel due to the adult content we put out so we wanted to avoid those issues on our own platform.
We are only looking to advertise adult games and we’ll be hosting the ads ourselves, including video ads. This means we’re not dependent on an advertising network and our ads won’t get taken down. This system is already live right now on the site.
Developers will also be able to pay to be featured on the home page and get a higher ranking in the search. But the search results will still be relevant to what the players were searching for. So when they are looking for adventure games, for example, they will be shown featured games with those tags first. This means that developers can really get a targeted audience for their games.
Mr. Hands: How do you get on the platform as a developer?
Spice: The process is really straightforward. When you sign up on SpicyGaming.net, you have the option to go to your profile and select that you want to become a content creator. You then have to go through our verification process.
Mr. Hands: And what is the verification process like?
Spice: Because we’re just starting out, we will be approving each account by hand. While we don’t want to put limits on the types of content we allow on our platform, we do have to respect the law. That means we will be checking for obviously illegal things like child pornography because that could definitely get us in trouble.
Once a developer has been verified, they gain a bit more trust with us. It’s likely they won’t have to go through the process for every game they want to upload on our platform.
We know that this verification process won’t scale very well once we have hundreds of developers signing up for our platform every day, but we have some ideas about that too. We will put a team of moderators in place to verify developers that want to join our platform.
Mr. Hands: That’s all the questions I had. Thank you so much for your time!
Spice: You’re very welcome! Let’s hope the launch goes well, haha.
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Until next time!