US firm Pocket Gems has notched up 90m downloads of its own iOS and Android games since its launch in 2009. Now it’s aiming to do the same for independent developers.

The company has announced plans to expand its business beyond its own games to publishing those of third parties, having already inked deals with dreamfab, Twyngo and WeRPlay.

“We’ve built out playbooks, processes, and technology to help our own games find and delight users while staying in the top grossing charts,” says CEO Ben Liu in a statement. “We want to share our expertise with the most talented developers so that they can focus on what they love most – making great games.”

Expect this to be a trend in 2013. It’s already abundantly clear that to have a real shot at success in the mobile games world, you need a network: a big community of players who are happy to take recommendations for new titles. And if you don’t have that network, you need to work with someone who has.

Pocket Gems is far from the only option here – Zynga, GREE and DeNA are all looking for such partnerships with indie studios, while monetisation networks like Tapjoy and Flurry are promising help from their perspectives.

These kinds of deals are also important for publishers like Pocket Gems. Its own games have tended to follow a pattern (Tap Zoo, Tap Pet Shop, Tap Pet Hotel, Tap Creepy Manor etc), and while its ability to stay on top of promotional trends to generate millions of downloads is undoubted, it needs some fresh game ideas coming in from outside to complement its internal roadmap.