Sean Ryan, Head of Game Partnerships of Facebook discussed the current state and future of the social gaming ecosystem. This is an excellent overview of the current Facebook social gaming environment.
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Facebook updates its Open Graph platform to allow users to see their friends activities on a ticker (including social game updates). Will this modification create another uproar regarding unwanted “friend-spam”? Or has Facebook management struck the perfect balance of virality between genuine user interest and social gaming activity by friends?
Gamasutra Thanks to Facebook’s new Open Graph, users will be able to see the new “Ticker,” which Zuckerberg described as a “lightweight stream of everything that’s going on around you.” That stream includes friends’ social gaming activities.
Inside Social Games An interesting feature of the games activity surfaced in the live ticker is that the games stories appear to be for specific in-game actions. This is possible, Zuckerberg says, because every piece of content in Open Graph has a picture associated with it.
develop The ticker will display movies, music, games and applications that a user’s friends are currently using. It means that game updates will return to the front page and, the theory goes, bring back the viral success of early Facebook games without interrupting the main user feed.
A decent (sometimes annoying) overview of the new changes to Facebook including the new “ticker”.
ESPN the Total Sports Network, has rolled out its second social game in partnership with Disney owned Playdom called “Sports Bar & Grill“. This follows on the heels of their first social game called ESPN CollegeTown. Will strong brands like ESPN pull Disney/Playdom closer to Zynga’s massive user base? Articles and analysis from:
MediaBistro ” By earning more, owners can purchase enhancements to their sports bars to level up faster, including expansion, flatscreen TVs, the Samsung Galaxy Tab™ and TVs, posters, signs, arcade games, sports memorabilia, tables, chairs, bar stools and more. “
Mashable ” Players already familiar with the Facebook-friendly FarmVille-style of casual gaming should feel at home while playing ESPN Sports Bar & Grill — and they can expect the game to require their frequent attention and become more involved with more play. “
Social gaming titan Zynga’s recent filing for an IPO later this year has captured the imagination of Wall Street. It’s success or failure in it’s debut and as a public company will have a far reaching impact on the entire industry. The following articles examine Zynga’s postion within the marketplace.
The Los Angeles Times ” While Zynga has not yet priced shares for the public market, some investors are speculating that shares could be as high as $20 or more, which would give Zynga a market valuation of roughly $16 billion. “
Wall St. Cheat Sheet ” Zynga CEO and Harvard Business School Alum Mark Pincus is demonstrating a very cunning business acumen, also accumulating $1 billion in cash reserves v. $234 million in liabilities. Other impressive stats for the company are its 2,000 employees, 148 million users (across 166 countries), and the fact that none of its senior management is under 40 years old (contrary to the usual fare for tech startups). “
The Huffington Post ” Zynga sees its market opportunity in the context of: a) the growth of social networking; b) a culture of the “app economy” whereby developers have access to social network platforms; and c) A “free-to-play” gaming culture that allows users to play games for free, thereby attracting a broader set of users and a richer ecosystem for social interaction within the gaming environment. “
CNNMoney ” The big remaining question for Zynga is how underwriters and investors value the its IPO. Initial reports valued the company at $10 billion. It would be very considerate of Zynga to list at that price and leave money on the table, but it’s not going to happen. Remember that LinkedIn, which is expected to make $420 million this fiscal year, was worth $9 billion on its first day of trading. By that measure, Zynga could debut and see its value rise above $20 billion. “
Forbes ” Zynga’s valuation is high relative to its peers. While Zynga has yet to set an offering price, Zynga is valued at $15.4 billion on the SharesPost secondary exchange — more than Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (ERTS) — worth $13.5 billion and $8 billion, respectively, according to Bloomberg. “
Zynga’s filing to go public has allowed for a complete view of the company’s business model and various revenue generation channels. Articles and analysis from:
GigaOM ” Zynga completed seven acquisitions in 2010, according to the IPO filing. Together, the purchase prices of all those deals totaled $101.6 million; $35.2 million of that was in stock, and $66.4 million was in cash. “
The Wall Street Journal ” Though only a small percentage of players make up “nearly all” of Zynga’s revenue, the amount spent on its virtual goods is soaring. Revenue for the first quarter this year jumped 133% to $235.4 million from under $101 million in the year-ago period. “
CNET ” For one, Zynga reported that it has 232 million monthly active users and 60 million daily active users from 166 countries around the world. Every second, 38,000 virtual items are created in its wildly popular worlds. Each day, 2 billion minutes are logged in Zynga’s titles. “
The Wall Street Journal ” Also impressive is that Zynga isn’t paying lots to attract users. Unlike Groupon, for instance, which spends heavily on marketing, Zynga says it “acquires most of its players through unpaid channels.”
The New York Times ” By far, the founder of Zynga has the largest stake in the company. Mr. Pincus and his related entities own 91,385,846 class B shares — about 16 percent of the pool. He also owns all of the available Class C shares (20,517,472 shares). “
Social gaming gargantuan Zynga will file their S-1 for a future IPO today and will be looking to raise a whopping $1 Billion. What will the disclosures reveal? With massive revenues being generated by only 3% of their userbase, what will occur if they devise a plan to capture 6%? Articles and analysis from:
The Washington Post – includes excellent video interview with Nitsan Hargil of GreenCrest Capital Management.
All Things Digital – An excellent analysis from Kara Swisher.
The Wall Street Journal ” The SEC’s approval appears to open the door for Zynga to offer RSUs to more employees, directors and consultants in advance of the company’s IPO without regard to the 500-shareholder limit. It also appears to indicate that revealing in its S-1 filing that it had granted more than 500 RSUs would no longer be an issue for the SEC. “
Video – Ari Levy of Bloomberg discusses the precarious relationship with Facebook
Video – Bob Rice, General Managing Partner at Tangent Capital discusses the reasoning behind Zynga’s rush to IPO.