Tag Archives: virtual

Home is where the Virtual heart is

Sony modifies Playstation Home to provide a social gaming experience with free-to-play games. Will “Home” become a destination for online gamers? Articles and analysis from:

VentureBeat ” Home is evolving to become more of a platform for playing social games. The 230 titles available on Home are aimed at Home’s mostly hardcore fans, but they are lighter and more casual experiences than users would find in disk-based PlayStation 3 games. “

Financial Times ” With Sony providing core back-end services, Home is an attractive and easy environment in which publishers can develop, experiment and evolve their titles.  It is pushing a freemium model of free-to-play games with players able to buy virtual items. “

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Filed under social games, Sony

ZYNGA IPO: A Closer Look at The Financials

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). “

 

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

Real Virtuality

Playmatics raises $1 Million to develop social games based on real world surroundings and events. Articles and analysis from:

Gamasutra ” Founded two years ago, Playmatics has launched several online titles, including games for Disney’s The Kingdom Keepers books, AMC’s Breaking Bad TV series, and the New York Public Library. It has 15 employees, including CEO Margaret Wallace, CCO Nick Fortugno, and CFO Phillipe Trawinka. “

TechCrunch ” Initially a Facebook platform game, Shadow Government will use economic and sustainability data, and government-modeling software from the Millennium Institute to give players a chance to build and run, or destroy their own virtual countries. “

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Filed under Alternate Reality Games, Gamification, gaming, Playmatics, social games

Playdom launches its own Game Portal

Social Game developer Playdom which was acquired by Disney has created their own gaming portal separate from Facebook. The move mirrors a similar move that Zynga is doing. Articles and analysis from:

Gamasutra ” By launching a games portal independent of Facebook, social game companies can allow users to pay for game items and services through a variety of methods outside of Facebook Credits. Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of Facebook Credits revenue.”

Inside Social Games ” It could be that Playdom plans to add its entire games catalog to Playdom.com in the coming months. If so, it and Zynga have similar ideas about breaking away from Facebook to form their own social games networks. “

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Filed under Disney, Facebook, Facebook Credits, Playdom, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods

Bringing the Hammer Down

As widely anticipated, Facebook makes their virtual currency, Facebook Credits a  mandatory option for all social game developers that use a payment system.  Articles and analysis from:

The Wall Street Journal ” Facebook began testing Credits as a form of currency with some developers in 2009. It says they are now used in more than 350 applications from 150 developers, representing more than 70% of virtual goods transactions volume on Facebook.”

WebProNews “ Users and developers shouldn’t react with too much dismay.  Other in-game currencies will be still be permitted, and Facebook intends to let developers keep 70 percent of the revenue from transactions that involve Facebook Credits.”

The Street ” While some game developers have their own currency payment methods, most large app companies already use Facebook Credits.” 

GigaOM ” Facebook developers will have the option of using their own payment system in addition to Facebook Credits but Facebook will be offering incentives like early access to product features and on-site promotion to help get them on board fully.”

Forbes “ Forex traders and global conspiracy theorists take note: with close to 600 million people using the system, we could be watching a Dollar rival spring to life. To the bunkers! ”

TechCrunch “ This is about more than purple cows and gold coins, too — in the long run, Facebook has a strong incentive to maximize the number of users who are signed up for Credits. Right now the vast majority of Credits are spent on gaming, but it’s very likely that Facebook will eventually begin allowing third-party websites to offer a ‘Pay With Facebook’ option, and that may include everything from digital content to physical goods.”

Video: interviews with social game developers concerning the initial Facebook Credits announcement at the  f8 Conference (about 10 months ago)

Learn more about the virtual currency industry at VirtualCurrencyNews.com
 

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Filed under Facebook, Facebook Credits, gaming, social games, social networks, Virtual Currency, virtual goods, Zynga

(Virtually)Printing Money

The following are articles that discuss the explosive growth of Facebook Credits virtual currency.

Inside Social Games has an excellent article about Facebook making a serious push to get social game players to purchase Facebook Credits virtual currency in 2011. From the article:

” Facebook, then, seems to have prioritized moving all direct payments over to Credits before messing with the variety of alternative payment options. That progression allows it to get Credits in front of the bulk of paying users while giving developers more flexibility around the switch. “

The Independent offers additional perspective on Facebook Credits.

” But some analysts believe the growth of this could become far wider if Facebook created more of its own games. Some predict that eventually Facebook credits could become currency to buy actual real-world products via the Facebook network. ”

SFGate discusses Facebook’s recent 50 Billion valuation within the context of Facebook Credits “tax”.

” Unlike Google or Microsoft, Facebook won’t have to figure out how to diversify its revenue. It just has to sit back and wait for the next Zynga or Groupon, design a way to tax that business (the way it suddenly sprouted Facebook Credits when Zynga got huge), and profit from the tax. ”

AllFacebook discusses forecast that project Facebook Credits eventually(potentially) generating $8 Billion a year.

” That’s exactly what Albert Babayev over at Seeking Alpha has concluded, after developing a model based on the future projections of Facebook revenue, with him expecting Facebook Credits to eventually become an $8 billion a year business. :

Reuters discusses TapJoy’s alternative ads for virtual currency model and the potential impact of Facebook Credits.

” Facebook plans to migrate its entire system over to Facebook Credits, an official virtual currency for all the applications running on the social network. But that hasn’t happened just yet, leading Tapjoy to bring in its best month of virtual currency transactions yet in December, Jessup said. Tapjoy is already prepared for the upcoming switch over to Facebook Credits, and is used on a number of other social networking sites like MySpace and Yahoo. “

 Learn more about the virtual currency industry at VirtualCurrencyNews.com

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

Get in the Game

AdWeek has an article that discusses Wild Tangent’s  ability to integrate advertising into social games using videos and other techniques. From the article:

” The company has recently rolled out a new offering in which advertisers have the opportunity to insert virtual images or replications of their products within social games—rather than having to be baked into a game during its development stages.”

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Filed under Crowdstar, Facebook, FarmVille, gaming, social games, Virtual Currency