The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets


A Year in Social Games – Part I: January to March 2011

By Regina Leuwer

January 2: Goldman Sachs invests $450 million in Facebook
The year started with a bang: Goldman Sachs invested $450 million in Facebook at a 50 billion valuation. As part of its deal with Facebook, Goldman is expected to raise as much as $1.5 billion from investors for Facebook.

January 14: RockYou acquires Playdemic
RockYou took over UK-based Playdemic, the developer of Gourmet Ranch. In November, RockYou decided to focus on core business and sold Playdemic back to its original founders.

January 20: Kabam raises $30 million
Social game developer Kabam raised $30 million in series C funding to fuel its aggressive growth plans.

January 24: Facebook announces that Facebook Credits will become mandatory
From July 1st, all social game developers on the Facebook canvas platform are required to process payments through Facebook Credits. Facebook keeps 30% of the revenue from virtual goods transactions using Facebook Credits.

February 9: Visa acquires PlaySpan
Visa acquired PlaySpan, whose payments platform handles transactions for digital goods in online games, digital media and social networks around the world.

February 21: enters the Facebook platform
Skill and casual game developer from Sweden made a move to offer its games and tournament system on Facebook. Today, is Facebook’s 4th biggest game developer with more than 23 million monthly active users.

March 10: Rovio gets a $42 million Series A investment
Rovio, the creator of the Angry Birds entertainment franchise,  announces a $42m Series A investment in the company to facilitate its strategic expansion. The funding round was co-led by Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures, the venture capital firm created by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström.

March 14: Zynga announces RewardVille
Zynga’s cross-promotion rewards program lets players earn Zynga-level points and zCoins, and unlock limited edition virtual goods across Zynga games. Today, the RewardVille app (renamed to ‘Zynga’) has 3 million monthly active users.

March 16: Wooga launches Diamond Dash on Facebook
Berlin-based Wooga released its puzzle arcade title Diamond Dash in March. By December, Diamond Dash is Wooga’s biggest hit and has 11,800,000 monthly active users.

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