Socialgamesobserver

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

19Aug/13

Who is Who in Europe: Playforia

By Camilla Noon

This week we look at Playforia, the social game developer from Finland that publishes casual games on Mobile, Facebook and Web platforms. Here’s what they had to tell us:

Developer Name: Playforia Oy

Where founded and office/s location/s: Helsinki, Finland

Founded by: Pasi Laaksonen, Janne Matilainen, Asmo Halinen

Founded in (year): 2001

Funding: 4 m€

Number of employees: 35

Number of games published: 48

List of games published: Bubbles IQ, a Facebook app and multiple games under playforia.com web service

Describe what you do in one sentence: Playforia develops casual social online games into multiple platforms

Bubbles IQ Screenshot

Where games are published: iOS, web (Facebook, Playforia), Android

Publishing games in which languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Russian, Norwegian, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Polish, Hungarian

Game genre/s: Casual, Puzzle, Fun

User demographics (gender): Women 65%, men 35%

User demographics (location): America, Europe, and Australia

Best-selling virtual item: Bubble Pack 0,9 €

Most expensive virtual item: Pro Combo 10€ for Bubbles IQ

What do you see as the current most exciting trend in the industry: Multiplatform mobile games

12Aug/13

Who is Who in Europe: Playdemic

By Camilla Noon

Playdemic, a cross-platform social game developer based in Manchester, UK spoke to Social Games Observer this week and we learnt more about who they are. Their newest and biggest game, Village Life, has been praised for its original gameplay. Let’s see what they had to tell us:

Developer Name: Playdemic

Where founded and office/s location/s: Founded and based in Wilmslow, Manchester UK.

Founded by: Paul Gouge & Alex Rigby

Founded in: 2010

Funding: Yes

Acquisitions: Ideas Pad

Number of employees: 65

Number of games published: 6

List of games published: Village Life, Gourmet Ranch, Kingdom Quest, Crossword Buddies, Quiz Buddies, Eye Spy!

Village Life Screenshot

Describe what you do in one sentence: We create high quality, incredibly fun games that really matter to our players.

Where games are published: Facebook, iOS

Publishing games in which languages: Village Life is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Turkish and Portuguese (Brazilian)

Game genre/s: Virtual world, puzzle games

User demographics (gender): Male and female

User demographics (location): Worldwide

Best-selling virtual item: Gems – Village Life

What do you see as the current most exciting trend in the industry: The transition of the mainstream games industry into a free to play service model.

1Aug/13

Plarium Launches Soldiers Inc. For Facebook

By Matteo Carli

Plarium, one of the world’s fastest growing developers of social and mobile games, has announced the worldwide release of the massively multi-player, real time strategy game, “Soldiers Inc.” for Facebook.  The title introduces an unprecedented level of quality to the social platform and an evolution of the game dynamics featured in Plarium’s hits “Total Domination” and “Stormfall: Age of War,” already enjoyed by millions of users daily.  The war has begun and players can start building their own army by visiting: http://bit.ly/17EUZj4.

Set in 2019, Soldiers Inc. takes gamers into a realistic near-term future where international corporate powers struggle over dwindling resources.  The search for the world’s largest deposit of minerals in the Former Republic of Zandia has launched a black ops corporate free-for-all waged by a new breed of legal mercenaries.   Players take command of elite private military contractors in a conflict where navigating complex alliances is key and war is big business.

“From the deeper, darker storyline and immersive gameplay to Jesper Kyd’s new soundtrack, Soldiers Inc. outdoes anything we’ve ever offered on Facebook,” said Avi Shalel, Plarium’s Chief Executive Officer.  “With Soldiers Inc., we wanted to offer everything gamers have come to expect of Plarium games while pushing the production value even further in a non-conventional game world.”

Soldiers Inc. also features:

Core Quality

  • Top-quality artwork and character modeling with the level of detail demanded by hardcore players
  • Classic, intuitive, real time interface accessible to all levels of RTS gamer.
  • Regular updates, new content, missions, and characters fuel an ever expanding plotline.

Screenshot: Soldiers Inc

AAA Caliber Voiceovers and Original Music

  • Fully-scored soundtrack and sound composed and produced by BAFTA award-winning composer Jesper Kyd.
  • Players learn the basics of command from their Syndicate handler, Mr. Black. His fully-voiced tutorial will guide them through gameplay essentials like contracting, combat, and joint operations.
  • Fully translated and voiced in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and Turkish.

Hardcore MMORTS Gameplay

  • Gameplay is geared towards hardcore players with a passion for deep strategy. Victory goes to those who choose their friends wisely, but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty solo. Allies and enemies can change at the drop of a bullet casing.
  • Team up in one-on-one partnerships, dive into clan-style warfare in large Tactical Combines, and participate in global Joint Operations.

Build Your Base of Operations

  • Exploit, steal, trade, or borrow the war materiel needed to turn a small outpost into a sprawling fortress.
  • Build defenses by deploying automated gun turrets, artillery, tank traps, and more.

Command the Most Lethal Forces on the Market

  • Players can hire and deploy over 30 realistic units, mercenaries, and battlefield systems from the world’s most modern arsenals.

Soldiers Inc. is available now on Facebook and those ready to join the ranks can learn more by visiting: http://bit.ly/15jJjlZ.

22Jul/13

Who is Who in Europe: From The Bench

By Camilla Noon

This week we profile a developer from Spain, FROM THE BENCH. This Spanish company is one of the top 5 Spanish developers in its market, basing its success on the creation of exciting experiences on mobile devices and other platforms. From The Bench develops sports games with appealing design, random game-experience with users from around the world. Their game, Fantasy Manager Franchise, is present in more than 10 countries with more than 16,5 million users. They just released their next game Be a Legend:Football. We spoke to them to find out more:

Developer Name: FROM THE BENCH

Where founded and office/s location/s: Elda, Alicante, Spain

Founded by: José David Poveda, Felipe Alonso Simarro, Santiago Pérez Castaño, David Cremades Beltrán

Founded in: 2008

Funding: self-funded

Acquisitions: no

Number of employees: 40

Number of games published: more than 25 games

List of games published: Fantasy Manager (Real Madrid C.F., FC Barcelona, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, A.C. Milan, AS Roma, Chelsea F.C., Liverpool F.C., S.L. SL Benfica and more than 20 clubs around the world), MotoGPTM, Starscup, Liga Evolution and Liga Fantasy.

Describe what you do in one sentence: Specialized in the development of sports oriented multi-platform social games.

Where games are published: Platforms: iOS, Android and web. Stores: App Store, Google Play, Facebook and Amazon(coming soon)

Working with publisher: yes

Acting as a publisher: yes

Publishing games in which languages: Spanish, English, Italian, Catalan, German, French, Portuguese (PT) Portuguese (BR), Chinese, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Greek and Indonesian

Game genre/s: sports, strategy, manager, casual games

User demographics (gender): men and women

User demographics (location): Worldwide

Best-selling virtual item: Football players

Most expensive virtual item: Football players

What do you see as the current most exciting trend in the industry: Borderless Crossplatform Gaming Experience

17Jul/13

AppFlood Aims to Give Developers Total Control Over Their App Marketing

By Camilla Noon

AppFlood, the commission-free cross-promotion network for buying, selling and exchanging mobile app traffic, today launched a series of updates that provide never-before-seen levels of transparency, accountability and control for developers seeking to monetize or promote their mobile app or game. New features include the Open Direct Deal Network, Multi-Dimension Analytics and Ad Network Mediation.

The new AppFlood features directly address the lack of transparency that is still an issue with mobile advertising, with many developers finding it difficult to fully understand how best to monetize their apps and where their budgets can be most effectively spent. By providing the accurate, in-depth insight they need to create and manage app marketing campaigns that achieve the best possible results, developers and publishers can be confident of getting the best return on their investment.

Unlike other networks, AppFlood is neutral and doesn’t take any revenue from either direct deals between its users or network-bought traffic. It therefore offers a level of openness and transparency to customers that no other advertising network can match.

CEO Shi Shen 2

“AppFlood’s new features raise the bar for visibility, openness and accountability in the mobile app cross-promotion space,” said Si Shen, CEO of PapayaMobile, the company behind AppFlood. “Transparency has become a vital competitive advantage in mobile advertising, but so far traditional mobile ad networks can’t deliver the visibility developers really want. AppFlood now has the openness developers need to deliver app marketing campaigns that are targeted, flexible and effective.”

The new features include:

  • Open Direct Deal Network – this new marketplace combines the transparency of one-to-one direct deals between developers and publishers with the range and reach of a mobile ad network – all in a single, unified platform. Developers buy, sell or exchange traffic like a normal ad network with the added benefit of seeing the performance of every other app on the network. Developers can then identify which apps are the best potential partners for publishing or cross-promotion campaigns, and then set up direct deals immediately.
  • Multi-Dimension Analytics – with this new feature users can identify potential opportunities to boost ad revenue and ROI from an app with AppFlood’s advanced data mining-driven analytics. Unlike other ad networks, AppFlood’s multi-dimensional analytics allows for comparison and cross-analysis across multiple variables: for example, developers could analyze an app’s eCPM based on “Country” plus “App partner” plus “Network X”, and then compare this to its performance for “Country” plus “App partner” plus “Network Y”. The comparative results provide new insight into how a developer can adjust their existing campaign for better results – something that’s not been previously possible.
  • Ad Network Mediation – developers can connect to and directly compare app performance with AppFlood partner networks including Appia, Cyberagent, Unicume, Clickky, Altrooz and Motive Interactive. It’s now possible to compare an app’s performance across the different networks from a single dashboard using one SDK, and adjust the campaign to improve results and boost revenue in seconds.

Unlike other most other networks, AppFlood provides visibility as to where traffic originates so advertisers can better determine which publishers to work with in order to optimize ­their traffic and ROI. Conversely, AppFlood also enables publishers to decide how to distribute traffic, easily ‘turn off’ any underperforming advertisers and directly negotiate pricing to maximize their return on traffic.

“By adding these new features, AppFlood is putting our money where our mouth is,” continued Shen. “We believe the visibility and insight now provided by AppFlood puts us well ahead of the competition, and finally gives developers the level of transparency and control they need to make the most of their app marketing investment.”

AppFlood’s new features are available now to all new and existing AppFlood customers. There is also an updated SDK available to developers and publishers to unlock this new functionality within their apps. Visit appflood.com for more information.

17Jul/13

Kobojo Unleashes Mutants: Genetic Gladiators

By Matteo Carli

Beware! Battling custom mutant warriors are here! Kobojo, the French developer creating engaging, multi-platform games with an artistic flair for mid-core players, has officially launched its latest game, Mutants: Genetic Gladiators. The free-to-play, multi-player game is now available on Facebook.

Mutants: Genetic Gladiators is a mid-core role-playing game in which users are provided several species (e.g., zombie, robot and barbarian) they can combine to create more powerful mutant fighters. These combatants have various powers and abilities depending on their combinations. Players from around the world pit their warriors head-to-head in famous fighting arenas located around the globe, all while collecting, breeding and producing their unique mutant species to create the ultimate gladiator.

“Everyone at Kobojo is excited to finally bring Mutants: Genetic Gladiators to the masses through our partners at Facebook. As a mid-core game, we think players from novice to hard-core will enjoy combining species to collect unique and powerful warriors,” said Mario Rizzo, CEO, Kobojo. “We look forward to bringing Mutants to Android and iOS on both mobile and tablet later this year.”

Kobojo already has more than 50M registered users playing games such as Atlantis Fantasy, Goobox, Pyramid Valley and Questionary. The company is passionate about creating accessible, artistic and engaging multi-platform experiences for the gaming audience. Kobojo also has another title in development, which will be announced later this year.

3Jul/13

metricsmonk Releases iOS Analytics and User Distribution

By Gary Merrett

The product’s new innovative “User Distribution” function increases granularity

Today metricsmonk releases the complete iOS analytics feature to complement their current data suite. Joining the already well-established Facebook game and app analytics, the iOS feature contains refined tools to scan how an application or game is performing within different markets.

Up until now, metricsmonk has provided an analytics suite spanning Facebook applications and games. The addition of the iOS feature to this suite ensures customers have access to a broader range of analytics across both the Facebook and Mobile platforms. User distribution is the key tool in this analytics offering. It provides a huge amount of granularity and lets customers scan how users of their app or game are also acting within the iOS market. This helps customers identify who they are competing against for users, thus helping them to adjust user acquisition costs and communication accordingly.

User Distribution Screenshot

The iOS analytics features include:

  • User distribution: the ability to see the distribution of users of a specific application or game over other applications or games
  • Rankings: to show overview of app/game performance within different appstores and categories
  • Item detail: for each app/game, customers can view its ranking across all appstores, the number of reviews it has and the average rating given by its users

“We’re really excited to be introducing iOS to metricsmonk,” CEO Sebastian Sujka enthuses, “I am confident that our clients will find the update a valuable addition to the service. The user distribution is a revolutionary new feature that we’ve been working on for a while and clients are reacting extremely positively to this update. There’s nothing else like this on the market.”

27Jun/13

King Partnership with Happy Socks Lets Candy Crush Saga Fans Put Their Best Foot Forward

By Mo Moubarak

King announces first-ever licensing deal for its wildly popular mobile and social game, Candy Crush Saga

King, the world’s leading cross-platform, bite-sized games company, today announces it has signed its first-ever licensing and merchandizing agreement with premium sock designer, Happy Socks.

As part of this global deal Happy Socks and King have co-designed two stylish pairs of socks, both inspired by King’s hugely popular game Candy Crush Saga. One style is based on the chocolaty Color Bomb and the other a Striped Candy, the power-up players get by combining four in a row. Available for consumers to pre-order exclusively on the Happy Socks website (www.happysocks.com/candycrush) immediately at a cost of $12 (€8), these custom Candy Crush Saga socks will come in universal sizes for both men and women.

“Candy Crush Saga has become nothing short of a worldwide phenomenon –a game that people can play and enjoy anywhere, any time. With that in mind, it’s only fitting that the first licensing deal is with Happy Socks, giving all those who love the game the chance to revel in the fun of Candy Crush Saga, literally right down to their toes.” said Riccardo Zacconi, King’s CEO and co-founder.

“We are very excited to work with the creators behind the spectacularly popular game Candy Crush Saga to design these custom, high quality socks. The socks will be exclusively designed, not simply branded, and will reflect the quality both King and Happy Socks are known for delivering,” said Mikael Söderlindh CEO of Happy Socks.

Candy Crush Saga is the most popular overall application on Facebook with over 15 million daily players and one of the most popular titles on mobile (across Android and iOS) in many major markets, seeing over 600 million gameplays a day on mobile alone. To play the game now in anticipation of your new socks arriving, please visit http://www.candycrushsaga.com/

24Jun/13

Who is Who in Europe: m2p Entertainment

By Camilla Noon

This week we spoke to m2p Entertainment to get a better idea of what kind of games they are publishing and what they are looking forward to seeing more of in the industry. They’ve just released their new browser puzzle game: Parfum de Paris on their website. Let’s here some more from them:

Developer Name: m2p Entertainment GmbH

Where founded and office/s location/s: Bochum, Bochum

Founded by: Frank Ziemlinski, Björn Kaufmann, Markus Scheer, Peter Richter, Michael Bohne, Volker Richter

Founded in: 2012

Skat Screenshot

Funding: self financed

Acquisitions: none

Number of employees: 23

Number of games published: 38

List of games published: There are so many we’ve handpicked a few for this post. Browser games: Jewels2, Knobeln, Skat and our latest release: Parfum de Paris which fits into our Puzzle genre. On Facebook you can play Pool Billiard and Crazy Bunny Ludo.


Jewels 2 Screenshot

Describe what you do in one sentence: Running a skillgame plattform where you can play for free and real money

Where games are published: m2p.com

Working with publisher: no

Acting as a publisher: no

Publishing games in which languages: German, English

Game genre/s: Puzzle, Action, Dice-Games, Card-Games,

Knobeln Screenshot

User demographics: 55% female / 45% male

User demographics: DACH

Best-selling virtual item: USA cue

Most expensive virtual item: 10,00 Euro, FB Billiard

What do you see as the current most exciting trend in the industry: HTML5

18Jun/13

High 5 Games Acquires Electrotank Assets to Strengthen Social Gaming Products

By Camilla Noon

High 5 Games and Electrotank, Inc. announced today that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which High 5 Games will acquire substantially all of Electrotank’s assets and intellectual property. As a result of the agreement, High 5 Games will welcome the Electrotank team into the company.

“This move will allow High 5 Games to strengthen and finalize our upcoming Game Server Platform, which will allow our content to be real-time streamed to both regulated real-money gaming sites, as well as to social casino sites throughout the world,” said Anthony Singer, CEO of High 5 Games. “We are overjoyed to bring in the many talented individuals from Electrotank into High 5 Games.”

High 5 Games, a leading game creator in the casino industry, has worked with Electrotank in the past to move some of its popular land-based slot games onto Facebook’s gaming platform.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Electrotank,” said Michael Gold, CEO of Electrotank. “High 5 Games has a long history of producing highly successful content, and I am excited to see what the two companies can do together.”

Electrotank has licensed its server and platform technology to hundreds of companies during its history, and has developed games for a number of well-known clients, including Disney, MTV, Nickelodeon, Mattel, and Comedy Central. The company is recognized for its highly scalable game server, which allows for seamless concurrent play for a very high volume of players.

“We will continue to look for opportunities of this kind to improve upon our position as a premier content provider,” said Med Nadooshan, COO of High 5 Games. “High 5 Games’ growth strategy will allow the company to aggressively pursue potential new ventures and rapidly expand into untapped markets.”