Socialgamesobserver

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

30Sep/10

New Roar Engine for Building Social Games Released

By Sebastian Sujka

Run With Robots today announced the launch of its Roar Engine social game building platform. Roar Engine is an industry first, providing a powerful and robust WebAPI toolset designed specifically as a one stop “backend” solution for cross-platform social game developers to build, manage, grow, and monetise online casual games, social games and websites. The core system is powered by a rich game mechanics engine, supporting rapid backend development of social RPG gameplay and appointment gaming mechanics, popular in many social network games. Using Roar Engine developers can create rich and complex items, quests and tasks, easily integrate badges, achievements and leaderboards, and earn real money through premium virtual currency sales. The powerful content management system enables updates of production volumes of game and player data, with analytics and reporting tools providing critical insights into game usage patterns to optimise engagement and player retention.

These industry leading, easy-to-use tools help solve difficult ‘backend’ technical problems faced by developers and provide a standardised approach to building and managing multiple games that was previously available only to the largest and most advanced game studios. Run With Robots, CEO Clint Walker said “Roar Engine gives developers a serious advantage when creating online games, enabling them to compete using the best technology right from the outset, rather than having to build complex server systems from scratch. This means more time spent making games fun and engaging, which translates into better games and improved revenue opportunities for developers.”

“When you’re creating online games, you should be focusing on making the games fun and engaging, not on building complex technical backend systems just to make your game work.” CTO, Michael Anderson said, “Roar Engine is free to try for any sized developer. And it’s the only system of its kind that allows developers to build rich game mechanics, including appointment gaming hooks, into their games and build them using any technology that can talk to the open web. This includes technologies like HTML5, Flash, Unity, and devices such as iPhone and Android. Developers can use Roar Engine to support multiple platforms, which all ‘talk’ to the same game backend.”

30Sep/10

AppStats: MySpace & NK

By Sebastian Sujka

App Name Developer nk.pl Gain in %
1.icon Icy TowerPlinga2.365.676+1.68%
2.icon Pet PartyPlinga1.846.644+4.04%
3.icon Happy HarvestElex1.824.849+3.35%
4.icon Maffia Newi-Jet1.441.652+2.74%
5.icon Crazy CharliePlinga886.737+2.34%
6.icon Moja Szkolai-Jet857.874+1.72%
7.icon General Hospitali-Jet827.915+2.04%
8.icon FuntrisPlinga788.357+2.31%
9.icon Turtle SquadPlinga678.218+2.50%
10.icon Swiat DanioDanio556.768+2.61%

App Name Developer MySpace Gain in %
1.icon MobstersPlaydom14.821.699+0.17%
2.icon Mafia WarsZynga13.398.293+0.03%
3. Tag MeBitRhymes8.289.857+0.39%
4.icon YoVilleZyngan/a.n/a
5.icon Zynga PokerZynga7.198.114+0.08%
6.icon SuperPokePetsSlide7.080.743+0.07%
7.icon MoviesFlixter5.867.673+0.01%
8.icon Cheers!!BitRhymes5.590.447+0.13%
9.icon VampiresZynga5.179.430+0.26%
10.icon Street RacingZynga4.636.623-0.03%
29Sep/10

Foreign Publishers Push on The VZ Networks

By Sebastian Sujka

The games section on the VZ networks is currently growing at an increasing rate. This week we find 105 games on StudiVZ and MeinVZ and 80 games on SchülerVZ, where restrictions for games are higher. As we keep waiting for Playdom games which, according to Playdom’s prior announcements, should have been live weeks ago, other publishers grow strong on the VZ Networks.

Especially i-Jet Media keeps launching new games every week. This week i-Jet launched the airport simulator “Flughafen” same as the car selling simulator “Crazy Autos”. Those two games are currently the fastest growing games on the thre networks, closely followed by Treasure Odyssey by Hexify. Other new games that should be mentioned are Feerik’s MMO “Eredan GT” and “Walhalla Bingo”, a game from Spil Games’ Zapapa Portfolio. Below, you can find our weekly Top20 list of game installs:

App Name Developer StudiVZ MeinVZ SchülerVZ VZ Total Gain %
1.icon Frohe ErnteElex556.1041.171.5961.075.8532.803.553+0.07%
2.icon Brain Buddieswooga558.898755.107849.7032.163.708-0.47%
3.icon Bubble Islandwooga224.176521.100441.7161.186.992+0.09%
4.icon Frohe Ernte 2Elex132.133392.365342.061866.559-0.25%
5.icon Monster Worldwooga130.692370.463350.748851.903+1.06%
6.icon Frohe Ernte 3Elex107.041332.525224.446664.012-0.13%
7.icon Mein FischHappySNS81.908259.090317.834658.832+0.37%
8.icon Icy TowerPlinga80.285142.837433.758658.832+1.13%
9.icon Goodgame FarmerG.G. Studios80.279244.600315.218640.097-0.49%
10.icon Pet PartyPlinga61.662180.933367.650610.245+1.63%
11.icon Wobbix QuizQuiz-Fabrik160.232223.530216.649600.411-0.89%
12.icon Turtle SquadPlinga94.035140.828333.006567.869-0.50%
13.icon Crazy CharlyPlinga60.719137.642333.689532.050-0.53%
14.icon TraumstadtElex58.077175.540241.528475.145-1.17%
15.icon Cute PigElex57.386193.624212.778463.788-1,32%
16.icon Cool FishElex46.410133.916223.728404.054-1.75%
17.icon GoodGame MafiaG.G.Studios47.378106.449245.895399.722+1.80%
18.icon Glücklich SyltElex41.561145.544187.371374.476-1.23%
19.icon Quiz RennenQuiz-Fabrik68.625135.194151.892355.711-0.71%
20.icon Goodgame CaféG.G. Studios40.652134.947131.509307.108+2.14%
28Sep/10

Social Gaming Meets Career Advancement

By Thorsten Bleich

PAC Labs today announced the global launch of GILD, where social gaming meets career advancement. GILD provides technology professionals an engaging environment where they can compete in competitions, connect with peers and employers, and advance their career through certifications and job opportunities. Through GILD, technology professionals can earn industry-recognized certifications and credentials, and showcase their status to leading employers, such as Sapient, Oracle and eBay. PAC Labs was selected as one of only 25 companies out of 500 applicants from around the world to unveil GILD onstage as part of TechCrunch Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

Built for technologists by technologists, GILD is the future of professional advancement and personal promotion, and enables members to access career opportunities and engage with top employers. For companies, GILD provides access to the world’s best talent. “GILD empowers technology professionals to stand out from the pack. It’s a way for professionals to take control of their career and finally answer the question: ‘What am I really worth, and how can I advance my career?’” stated PAC Labs CEO Sheeroy Desai. “Currently, employers are overwhelmed with hundreds of applications for a single job opening, and no way to quickly identify the best talent. We are launching GILD to help employers bridge that gap more quickly and cost effectively than ever before.”"GILD enables us to identify and engage with the best technology professionals around the world,” stated Sapient CEO Alan Herrick. “With Sapient’s rapid growth, we must have the top talent at our fingertips. GILD provides a solution where traditional hiring methods fall short.”

With GILD’s proprietary ranking system, professionals no longer have to wonder about their qualifications, or feel lost in the shuffle. GILD members can constantly monitor their status and ranking among other job candidates and peers. GILD’s scoring and ranking system is based on the PAC Examinations, developed by PAC Labs, and trusted by leading employers worldwide. The PAC Examinations cover a broad spectrum of capabilities, including a professional’s personality, aptitude, technical and communications skills. Since its beta launch in May 2010, GILD has drawn more than 60,000 registered professionals and top employers.

28Sep/10

e-Rewards Acquires Peanut Labs

By Gary Merrett

Peanut Labs today announced that it will be acquired by e-Rewards, owner of Research Now, the leading global online sampling and online data collection company. The deal is expected to close in October, the acquisition sum has not been disclosed.The deal establishes Peanut Labs’ market research surveys as the definitive form of alternate monetization in social media. Today’s acquisition increases by more than tenfold the inventory of market research surveys available to the publishers of social media applications and communities who earn money by allowing their users to earn virtual credits by participating in surveys.

“Peanut Labs will accelerate our social media strategy while enhancing the global capabilities we offer to researchers,” noted Chris Havemann, President and Chief Executive Officer of e-Rewards. “We look forward to working closely with our clients to utilize social media-sourced sample to best achieve their research objectives, maintaining our commitment to providing quality and transparency to our clients.” In a decisive move reflecting the monetization industry’s transition from CPA offers to market research surveys, following e-Rewards’ acquisition, Peanut Labs will cease to charge publishers for CPA offer monetization programs for the remainder of 2010. Peanut Labs will pay its partners 100% of revenue earned from CPA offer transactions.

“We know that users prefer market research surveys to CPA offers, and with Research Now’s global network of market research clients, Peanut Labs now has sufficient survey inventory to monetize all of our partners’ titles,” said Ali Moiz, Peanut Labs’ cofounder and Chief Executive Officer. “If a company remains interested in providing its users with CPA offer opportunities, we will provide those, but we don’t intend to make money on these transactions.” The announcement comes as social media users continue to express a preference for market research surveys over CPA offers. A November 2009 survey of over 11,000 online respondents found that social media users prefer market research surveys to CPA offers by a margin of 2:1.

24Sep/10

IMVU Enters Social Entertainment Arena

By Sebastian Sujka

IMVU, an online community where members use 3D avatars to meet new people, chat, create and play games with their friends, today announced that the company is expanding into social entertainment by offering casual and social games on its popular social platform. IMVU is expanding its entertainment features by bringing games to its growing community of more than 50 million registered users by partnering with leading games developers Viximo, Heyzap and OMGPOP. Through these partnerships IMVU is making its first foray into the lucrative casual and social gaming markets, and taking its popular social platform beyond its core 3D chat, play and dress-up to provide a broader social entertainment experience.

“IMVU offers great entertainment value by adding games to our 3D social experience,” said Cary Rosenzweig, CEO of IMVU. “From a business perspective, games combined with our social networking and virtual goods economy is the natural direction to take IMVU to the next level of growth.” IMVU community members can now log in to the IMVU 3D Chat or website to select from a wide variety of social and casual games. Here, members can find a diverse selection of more than 75 casual and social games that offer fun ways to meet new people and to engage with friends on IMVU like never before, including the ability to:

  • Purchase in-game virtual goods with IMVU credits while playing games like Top Modelz, an IMVU-branded version of Viximos Photo Market game
  • Easily customize a variety of OMGPOP games with IMVU-specific virtual goods
  • Integrate IMVU avatar profiles and add friends from within OMGPOPs games

“We are excited to be partnering with IMVU to introduce social games that allow IMVU community members to engage with one another like never before,” said Dale Strang, CEO of Viximo. “Many of our games, like IMVU-branded Top Modelz, integrate seamlessly with IMVUs virtual goods. This makes it possible for the millions of IMVU community members to personalize their fun in our games.”

24Sep/10

AppStats MySpace: Zynga Dominates

By Thorsten Bleich

Although the most installed game on MySpace is Mobsters from Playdom, the company dominating the charts is again Zynga. Half the games in the Top 10 have been developed by Zynga, amongst them Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker or Street Racing. The fastest growing game in terms of installs is Vampires, developed by Zynga.

App Name Developer User Gain in %
1.icon MobstersPlaydom14.479.916+0.38%
2.icon Mafia WarsZynga13.334.485+0.10%
3. Tag MeBitRhymes8.257.409+1.19%
4.icon YoVilleZyngan/a.n/a
5.icon Zynga PokerZynga7.192.039+0.26%
6.icon SuperPokePetsSlide7.075.583+0.19%
7.icon MoviesFlixter5.866.847+0.00%
8.icon Cheers!!BitRhymes5.583.339+0.45%
9.icon VampiresZynga5.166.155+0.87%
10.icon Street RacingZynga4.638.097-0.11%
23Sep/10

MocoSpace Receives $3.5 Million for Gaming

By Gary Merrett

MocoSpace, the largest social entertainment destination on the mobile web, has announced a $3.5 million round of strategic funding from SoftBank Capital. MocoSpace will use the funds to expand its mobile browser-based social gaming offerings and management team. Previous investors in MocoSpace include General Catalyst, Pilot Group and prominent angel investor Michael Dearing.

MocoSpace is the largest entertainment destination on the mobile Internet, with over 14 million users and three billion page views per month. The company plans to use this round of funding for the development of its MocoSpace Games platform. The platform will provide game developers with a robust environment and mobile web reach via smartphone browsers, as well as access to the MocoSpace audience–which according to MocoSpace already plays one million games on the site per month. MocoSpace will be launching its own browser-based mobile social game, and is currently developing partnerships with mobile web game developers to provide a wide range of game titles on its platform.

“MocoSpace is uniquely positioned for massive growth at the crossroads of powerful trends in mobile, gaming and social, as well as appealing to one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, the Hispanic market,” said Fisher. “Softbank is excited to be an investor. MocoSpace has done a great job building an industry leading, profitable business, and we’re excited to help the company broaden its entertainment offerings and innovate in the social games space.”

22Sep/10

WildTangent Partners With MindJolt

By Thorsten Bleich

WildTangent today announced a partnership with MindJolt. With a footprint spanning Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Orkut and MindJolt.com, MindJolt reaches more than 20 million gamers across the web. WildTangent want to offer high impact video and rich media advertising on MindJolt’s game properties. “We’re excited to team with WildTangent to bring the largest brand advertisers in the world to the MindJolt game platform, exposing them to a captive and relevant audience,” explained Josh Yguado, senior vice president, MindJolt.

A Nielsen study released on August 1 finds that Americans spend a whopping 32.9 percent of their Internet time in social networks and playing online games. WildTangent’s advertising platform, which includes partner relationships, currently reaches nearly half of US online game players across social, casual and free-to-play MMO’s. This partnership now extends WildTangent Media’s reach on Facebook by combining the MindJolt audience with those of other top gaming apps like Bejeweled Blitz and Family Feud.

“Advertisers are clearly excited by the scale of social gaming,” said Dave Madden, executive vice president at WildTangent. “But they are finding it difficult to activate in the space due to cost and timing issues related to deep integration in top social games. We are offering an on-ramp allowing them to reach one of the largest social gaming audiences with video and engagement based advertising.”

22Sep/10

RockYou Powers “Deal of the Day” for Game Developers

By Gary Merrett

Leading social game developer RockYou and advertising solutions for social media, announced today they have been working with several game developers to integrate “Deal of the Day” within their Facebook games. DOTD is the industry’s first brand-sponsored in-game advertising unit that enables gamers to engage with an advertiser’s brand in exchange for virtual currency. Unlike offers that require e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and even credit card information, DOTD presents opportunities to engage with brands – for example, by watching 15-30 second videos, completing short polls, or playing mini-games.

“We are seeing a significant amount of demand from developers, users, and advertisers alike, for Deal of the Day – and we are very excited to be working with several more Facebook game developers to increase its availability,” says Sandy Diep, Senior Vice President of Advertising, RockYou. “Deal of the Day is a great way for game developers to monetize a larger percentage of their users. Advertisers want to reach social gamers, and Deal of the Day provides a clean brand experience that users feel comfortable returning to. This, in turn, provides game developers with a sustainable monetization tool that allows them to focus on making their games great.”