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Startup Boosts Mobile Game Development Chartboost is helping developers drive adoption--and revenue--by harnessing the collective power of mobile gaming.

By Jason Ankeny Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With more than 730,000 mobile applications available for download from Apple's App Store, it's more challenging and expensive than ever for developers to grab consumer attention. W3i, a developer monetization and distribution network, reports that the average cost of acquiring new iPhone and iPad users grew in the first half of 2012 from 59 cents to 92 cents per install--a 56 percent leap in just six months. W3i credits the hike in part to increasing promotional efforts from deep-pocketed players like Japanese social gaming giantDeNA--companies with marketing muscle that small, independent developers simply can't match.

Chartboost thinks it has the answer to the dilemma small developers face. The San Francisco-based startup's platform enables developers to cross-promote their mobile games via interstitials (customizable, full-screen ads that pop up at launch or between game-play sessions), integrated into other titles in their catalog or into higher-profile games built by other firms. Chartboost users can cross-promote their own games for free. Each interstitial is seamlessly integrated and designed to minimize disruption of the user experience.

"We're a technology for developers to own their distribution power and use it across their games," says Chartboost co-founder and CEO Maria Alegre. "Now you can leverage your portfolio of games every time you launch a new game. You can have Zynga's reach even if you're just two guys in a garage."

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