Tag Archives: virtual goods

Sold for a Zong

eBay acquires mobile payments provider and microtransaction specialist Zong for $240 Million. The race to monetize the lucrative mobile/social gaming space is definitely in high gear. Articles and analysis from:

Wall Street Journal  ” Zong’s customer list is a who’s who of social gaming and virtual world companies, including Zynga Inc., IMVU Inc., Walt Disney Co.’s Playdom Inc., Stardoll AB, IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s Zwinky and Shanda Games Ltd.’s Mochi Media. Not to mention the company’s arrangement with Facebook Inc. to sell the social network’s virtual currency.” 

CNET  ” Zong provides a mobile payments platform that facilitates carrier-direct billing for digital goods and services. Users pay for their purchases by entering their mobile phone number and payment is billed to the customer’s wireless service account. “

Forbes interviews Matrix Partners’ Dana Stalder about the rationale for the acquisition.

” There is certainly competition. I think Boku is the most-known competition here in the U.S., but there are two companies in Europe of roughly equal scale: in MindMatics Germany and Allopass France. All of these companies are formidable, but Zong has built the best team with the most direct relationships with carriers and the most converting payment flows in the business. “

Learn more about the explosive Virtual Currency industry at VirtualCurrencyNews.com


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Filed under acquisition, gaming, mobile, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods

Virtual Globalization

BusinessWeek has an interesting article about companies like Playdom racing to to monetize their virtual goods in overseas markets. From the article:

” Internationalizing a game requires knowledge of country-specific traditions, architecture, holidays, and currencies—all crucial elements in games that are supposed to feel like simulations of the real world. “

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Filed under Disney, gaming, Mentez, Playdom, social games, virtual goods

Apple cashes in on Social Gaming

CNN Money discusses a report by research analytics firm Flurry that shows Apple iOS is kicking some serious butt in terms of ROI from social games. From the article:

” Of  the major platforms — Google, Apple, Facebook — developers make the most off iOS: between $14 and $20 per user per year. Google comes close with $18 per user per year, while Facebook lags behind with roughly $3 per user and Twitter claims $1 per user per year. (To give you an idea, if a social game claims a small userbase of say 1 million, that’s already $20 million in revenue a year.)”

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Filed under Apple, Facebook, Google, social games, virtual goods, Zynga, Zynga Texas Poker

Zynga announces blockbuster CityVille social game

Social gaming giant Zynga announces the rollout of their most ambitious social game called CityVille. The game is exclusive to the Facebook platform.

Video by IGN

Articles and analysis from:

USA Today “ CityVille is Zynga’s latest, and most ambitious, big bet. It plays out on the largest virtual board designed by Zynga and lets gamers not only create cities but contribute to the cityscapes of other CityVille users. A bevy of digital tools allows players to build skyscrapers, parks, roads, homes, railroads, monuments, shipping ports — almost anything associated with a metropolis.”

BusinessWeek ” CityVille borrows heavily from SimCity, the classic urban simulation game. Users pave roads and lay railroad tracks to create virtual towns; residents are little computer-controlled characters that walk and drive to and fro.”

Forbes “ Companies want to make sure their brands are where the people are. And so far, Zynga has proven to draw in the crowds.”

CNNMoney  INCLUDES VIDEO ” CityVille’s “more social” layer lies in cross-city communication: Players can interact with their friends’ cities by franchising businesses, sending over goods and establishing trade relationships. ”  

Gamasutra ” CityVille is where Monopoly meets Main Street,” says CityVille general manager Sean Kelly. “We are thrilled to bring the world our most social game to date – building on the best-of-breed gameplay that Zynga fine-tuned with FarmVille and FrontierVille.”

TechCrunch “ Zynga’s entry into this genre isn’t a surprise: Digital Chocolate’s Millionaire City has 12.6 million monthly active users, making it one of the top games on Facebook; other competitors include Playfish’s My Empire, Crowdstar’s Hello City, and Playdom’s Social City, along with many others.”

InsideSocialGames ” The last part of CityVille that’s core to the game is quests. It has become quite common for social games to use quests to guide players through a tutorial, but in CityVille they’ll be create an ongoing story that even experienced players can take part in, according to the CityVille general manager Sean Kelly”

MediaWeek ” Zynga doesn’t need brands to fund its games—according to various analyst estimates the company is poised to reel in $500 million in 2010. Yesterday at the Web 2.0 Summit, John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said “Zynga is the largest, most profitable, rapidly growing company…we’ve ever seen.”

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Filed under CityVille, Facebook, Facebook Credits, FarmVille, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods, Zynga

IMVU invades Europe

VentureBeat reports that virtual world and social entertainment company IMVU is entering into the European market. From the article:

” With IMVU, users create their own 3D character, or avatar, and can then meet people, chat, create virtual goods and share them, and play games.”

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The Games within the Games

Trialplay rolls out Dealspot, providing exclusive offers to players that are “in-game”. Articles and analysis from:

TechCrunch ” The company is partnering with Groupon, Tippr and Living Social for local deals, LOVEFiLM for subscription entertainment, branded retailers such as Yves Rocher and Lancôme for shopping, Rue La La and Mertado for flash sales and more.”

PRNewswire ” Monetization of social games is still in its infancy, with only 1-3 percent of the 300 million social game players actually purchasing virtual goods.  However, with DealSpot, publishers can now monetize users around virtual items and in-game events rather than hoping that players visit a separate payment page.

Learn more about the virtual currency revolution at VirtualCurrencyNews.com

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Filed under Dealspot, Facebook, Playdom, social games, Sorrority Life, TrialPay, Virtual Currency, virtual goods

Virtual Goods sales will pass $2 Billion in 2011

Inside Network releases findings from their Virtual Goods forecast report that shows Virtual Goods sales will be over $2 Billion in 2011. Articles and analysis from:

Bloomberg ” The market will jump to $2.1 billion next year from $1.6 billion in 2010 and $1.1 billion in 2009, the San Francisco- based research firm said today in a report.”

Forbes ” As in this year, 2011 will also see the dominance of social games in the sales of virtual goods. In 2010, social games accounted for $835 million, or around half, of the total market size.”

CNN International ” The term virtual goods refers to digital items that are purchased for use online, in games and on mobile phones.”

The New York Times ” The figures are especially significant because Facebook is pushing all its game developers to use Credits, its virtual currency.”

Financial Times ” Charles Hudson, former head of business development at Serious Business social games producer, said: “Hundreds of millions of dollars in venture investments have been injected into virtual goods so far. “

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Filed under Disney, EA Sports, Facebook, Facebook Credits, FarmVille, iPhone, Playdom, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods