Socialgamesobserver

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

22Dec/10

Atlas Interactive Interview: CEO Marco Priewe on Products, Goal and Publishing

By Sebastian Sujka

Marco Priewe, CEO of Atlas Interactve

The year 2010 was probably the most dynamic year in the history of the  gaming and payment industry. Before the start of the Christmas holidays and the concentration on the next year, we talked to Marco Priewe, CEO of Atlas Interactive about his eperiances in the year 2010 and why he thinks 2011 will be even more exciting:

SocialGamesOberver: First of all, how is your respective view on the fading year 2010?

Marco Priewe: 2010 has been a very busy, very exciting year. Not only for the payments and games industry but with ATLAS Interactive as well. We have seen an explosion in online games which has translated to an explosion in the need for suitable micro payment solution. Whether its Premium SMS, Voice or Web Billing, we have seen an increased interest in all three areas of payment methods.

SGO: It is not obvious for everybody that Kanzaloo belongs to Atlas. Can you explain the two brands and their individual focus?

Marco: We have received this question before and the best way for me to explain it that kanzaloo is an all-in-one payment solution that ATLAS Interactive offers. A lot of our competitors give there services or products a name and since we are able to provide all forms of micro payment into one easy to use solution we decided to give it a name that is memorable. You will see a lot more in terms of marketing and product development from the kanzaloo product in 2011.

SGO: You previously mentioned a strong interest in the publishing business. Can you elleborate on your plans in this industry?

Marco: The publishing industry has been trying to come up with a way to bring their services into the 21st century. They are realizing now that the subscription based payment model does not work. More and more readers are going mobile. What this means is that their readers are no longer purchasing their publications at newsstands/stores, but rather reading their content on their smartphones/tablet computers or online desktop browsing. At this moment the content is either free or they charge the users to download their app or maintain the subscription based model. With a micro payment service, such as kanzaloo, we are able to provide these publishers the means to charge the readers per article. So instead of buying the entire publication that less than 5% of readers read, the publishers can charge for the articles the readers want. So for 0.10€ an article or any other price point they are able to reach a broader market. In 2011 with the expansion of the kanzaloo product, ATLAS Interactive will be adding even more publishers to our portfolio of clients and continue to educate those who are still skeptical.

SGO: Which markets have been your strongest so far and which ones are you planning to tackle next?

Marco: The gaming industry by far has been our strongest industry to date and will probably continue to be so for some time. However, as stated in the previous question, the publishing industry is one that we have had our eye on and have been working with and see a strong future with. There of course are other industries as well that AIDE will continue to target and work with such as Social Networks, Gambling, and many more. On the other hand side, traditional payment service providers have started integrating kanzaloo™ in their existing portfolio of payment solutions. So far, we are the only micro payment provider that has integrated its mobile payment solution into the pay.on platform of Arvato.

SGO: Virtual goods are taking over the world, how are you involved now and what is going to change?

Marco: We are really the pioneers in this industry. We started over 15 years ago and have been consistently providing unbeatable coverage and solutions to all of our clients who have maintained a strong, loyal commitment to us. In 2011 we will only continue to provide the best services and solutions to our clients while contributing what we have learned through the years to this ever growing industry.

SGO: What do you have in the pipeline for the mobile and tablet market?

Marco: First and foremost we are a payment company and that is our main focus. However, we understand the latest trends and needs from our clients and consumers. That being said we are constantly developing our products for the mobile and tablet market and in 2011 you will some of these solutions make ground and become more of an extension to what ATLAS Interactive offers already.

SGO: It is Christmas soon, if you had one wish to address concerning the industries you operate in, what would it be?

Marco: The biggest concerns we get from clients and industry players is the need to improve carrier relations. This is something we are extremely proud of since we have been around for over 15 years we have personal relationships with all of these carriers and it is because of this we are able to offer unbeatable rates and terms. We are very upfront and honest with all of our clients and the one thing I would say to them this holiday season is “Don’t worry!”. That is our job. Enjoy the Holidays!

21Dec/10

Facebook News: New Photo Tag Features, Deeper Bing Integration and Planned Acquisitions

By Sebastian Sujka

Facial Recognition To Be Used For Photo Tag
A new photo tag suggestions feature has been announced by Facebook. The new feature which has begun to find its way to users is using facial recognition technology. Facebook users are currently uploading more than 3 Billion photos per month and the new feature should make it easier to tag friends and family. The feature will make suggestions based upon faces recognized in photos already uploaded and helps Facebook to stay ahead of the competition.

Facebook Creates Change Log
In order to make it easier for developers to keep themselves up to date with new changes on Facebook, a new change log has been created, making integration of the latest features easier and ensuring that applications will function correctly. New changes made by Facebook will be announced on the Developers Blog as well as the Change Log feature. The new features will be presented two days before they are rolled out to the public, giving developers a bit of extra time to adapt to them.

Bing Gets Deeper Facebook Integration
Microsoft’s search engine Bing is ready to move into the social realm with even deeper integration to Facebook. At the Search Event in San Fransisco, Microsoft announced that Bing soon will be displaying which links have been “liked” by the surfer’s friends. This means that Likes will be integrated in the regular search area, rather than in a special box that has been the case until said announcement. The user’s Facebook activity will also lead to personalized search rankings, according to Microsoft.

Facebook Planning 15 Acquisitions In 2011
According to corporate development manager Michael Brown, Facebook is planning 15 acquisitions in 2011. According to Brown the acquisitions will be similar to the ones Facebook made this year, for example Hot Potato and drop.io.

New System For Third Party ID Identification Created
Facebook has developed a new system to let applications and partners accepted by the social network to verify identification, without having to share User ID. The third-party identifier created by Facebook can be assigned to users by developers via the Graph API. The new system will be in use by Januari 1st 2011.

Facebook Passes $1 Billion In Revenue
Last year Facebook, with its 1400 employees and over 500 million users world-wide, made between $600 and $700 million in revenues. This year the social network is predicted to earn between $1 and $1.1 Billion total, a massive growth. This growth can be explained by a combination of factors: Facebook has increased its growth in brand and performance advertising, making it possible to direct ads more cost efficient. The company’s virtual Credits system is starting to generate money, the user-base has grown and the company has taken steps to reduce hardware and software costs.

Facebook For iPhone Receives Update
A new update to the Facebook application for iPhone and iPod Touch has been released, providing users with a more stable Facebook experience. No new features are included in the updated version but mostly bug fixes and improvements to existing ones, such as Places, chat and messages. According to statistics there are currently 55.060.129 million people using the application.

21Dec/10

AppStats Orkut: Guitar Flash Breaks the 2 Million Barrier

By Kris Öst

Things are improving on the Orkut network this week with the majority of the games present gaining new users. “Guitar Flash” breaks the 2 million user barrier this week with its 2.24% gain; therefore the top 7 games on the list all have a fan-base with over 2 million users. Another game doing well is “CaféMania”; the title increases user levels with 1.29%. Biggest loser is “Bola Social Soccer” dropping 1.59%.

App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon Happy HarvestElex21.929.962+0.10%
2.icon Mini FarmVostu17.264.936+0.45%
3.icon Café ManiaVostu12.532.816+1.29%
4.icon Football LegendsVostu4.095.072-0.51%
5.icon Happy Harvest 2Elex3.860.207-0.65%
6.icon Vida RockColorCube Games2.109.466-0.38%
7.icon Guitar Flashgamesx2.007.665+2.24%
8.icon Resort TropicalPlaydom/Mentez1.915.268+0.08%
9.icon Bola Social SoccerPlaydom/Mentez1.848.744-1.59%
10.icon SlapsterGames2Win1.420.659+0.15%
11.icon HousekingBoyaa Interactive1.380.906-0.49%
12.icon MindJolt GamesMindJolt1.347.950+0.14%
13.icon GTA UndergroundMICOIA1.322.977-0.19%
14.icon Super Mario WorldMICOIA1.284.610+0.20%
15.icon Wheel Wheeladquick1.051.523+0.11%
16.icon GTA Vice CityMICOIA1.025.597+0.69%
17.icon OK Jogosgamesx961.432+0.29%
18.icon Cafe TimeElex940.560+1.27%
19.icon Super Mario FlashSrJogos926.078+0.47%
20.icon Happy Harvest 3Elex913.251-0.03%
21Dec/10

AppStats Grono: Constant Gain And Stable Growth

By Kris Öst

All games are growing on the Grono network this week and the games section appear to be both healthy and stable. The growth is minimal with no surprises or changes in the order. “Super Stacker 2” is doing well this week receiving the top gainer status with 0.35%. “Tetris” is also doing great with a 0.23% increase, gaining on “Bloons” still holding on to 2nd place. “Super Mario Flash” is in the lead and “Mad Monday” struggles on 20th place trying to keep up.

App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon Super Mario FlashOopa658.484+0.12%
2.icon BloonsNinja Kiwi329.863+0.23%
3.icon TetrisNeave261.036+0.24%
4.icon Fun Fun Candyfun2fun165.271+0.15%
5.icon BilliardAxifer157.658+0.30%
6.icon CollapseUltimate Arcade, Inc118.174+0.33%
7.icon PapparaziPeerflix86.843+0.12%
8.icon SonicDennis-Gid82.851+0.14%
9.icon SurgeryNeomedia81.640+0.21%
10.icon Flight of the HamstersKids Next Door Games79.525+0.18%
11.icon Globetrotter XLDschini71.177+0.13%
12.icon Bombay TaxiAddicting Games65.057+0.16%
13.icon HomedrunkKilltime Games59.185+0.11%
14.icon Puzzle BobbleTaito58.707+0.33%
15.icon Pac ManNeave56.714+0.11%
16.icon Super Stacker 2Gaz54.521+0.35%
17.icon Tennis GameGamedesign45.510+0.22%
18.icon City Racers 2Rawcade43.501+0.18%
19.icon BuggyPankaj40.464+0.10%
20.icon Mad MondayMausland Entertainment39.757+0.09%
20Dec/10

Frogster Raises Funds for Bhutan Via Virtual Item Sales

By Sebastian Sujka

Frogster is starting a fundraising campaign to help children in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Starting now, Runes of Magic players can purchase the exclusive item “Charity Wolf” from the fantasy MMO-game’s Item Shop, which allows two players to travel together at maximum speed through the virtual world. Frogster will donate 5 Euros (respectively 5 US Dollar in North America and 5 AU Dollar in the Pacific region) for each mount purchased to an educational programme run by Save the Children aimed at supporting parents and children in the remote mountain regions of Bhutan. The world’s largest independent children’s aid organisation will use the proceeds to establish so-called‘remote classrooms’ with the goal of raising awareness of the problems faced by many adolescents in Bhutan regarding adequate education and healthcare.

Due to the great success of the campaign last Christmas featuring Moa’s Charity Steed, Frogster will now be offering the same high-speed mount again and will donate 4 Euros (respectively 5 US Dollar in North America and 4 AU Dollar in the Pacific region) for each one sold to the Save the Children project in Bhutan. Bounty Bay Online players also have the opportunity to support the project. The exclusive“Demonic Shadow”, which functions as camouflage cover for player ships, supports them against storms and pirates and augments ship attributes like resistance, is available to players of Frogster’s seafaring MMO game through the item shop. For each of these ship charms sold, Frogster will donate 7 Euros to the project.

“Thanks to the overwhelming support of our players last year we were able to donate€40,000 to Save the Children in order to support the important work they carry out in fighting for children’s rights throughout the world.We’re enthusiastic about the organization’s project in the mountain regions of Bhutan and are pleased to help them realize their goals with our fundraising campaign”, commented Andreas Weidenhaupt, member of the executive board at Frogster Interactive Pictures AG, on the initiative.

20Dec/10

Latin American Developer BRAINZ launches 3D Football Game on Facebook

By Sebastian Sujka

BRAINZ, the games division of ZIO Studios, a Latin American animation and new media company, has launched the open beta for Social Street Soccer, a 3D synchronous multi-player game for Facebook. The facebook game allows users to become soccer players, create teams with their friends, and play against other teams in three-on-three matches. Social Street Soccer brings a fresh and innovative approach to social sports gaming, where users are not drawn by the offer to manage a team of famous players but rather are compelled to play in a team by creating their own personalized avatar using tagged Facebook photos. Users can choose facial textures, weight, height, etc., and select from a broad array of virtual features that include urban hair styles and apparel, specific game skills, and even goal celebrations which can be previewed in full 3D.

“We believe that the dominant trend for 2011 will be social games moving away from the typical 2D asynchronous management experience such as Farmville or FIFA superstars”, said Alejandro Gonzalez, Senior Vicepresident and Studio Director at BRAINZ. He emphasized that “the next generation of social gaming will involve new game mechanics that provide a 3D synchronous core experience within the social ecosystem. This requires a paradigm shift in things like social context and closure” This first open beta release includes a baseline game experience for early adopters and Beta testers. The full version scheduled for early 2011 release will also have enhanced social elements such as ladder systems, artificial intelligence, achievements, and micro-payments. The game relies in Unity3D, a web based 3D engine, and Exit Games’ Photon to handle the synchronous multiplayer services.

20Dec/10

AppStats SchülerVZ: Negative Numbers And New Entries

By Kris Öst

The negative trend that we have seen on the MeinVZ and StudiVZ, is also present on the SchülerVZ this week. Although not as bad as on the other two VZ networks, the SchülerVZ is not doing great at the moment, losing gamers every week. “Traumstadt” is this week’s top gainer with a 3.65% increase, closely followed by “Modewelt”, gaining 2.01%. Biggest loser is “Cute Pig” with a 0.90% decrease. We have quite a few new entries as well: “Glücklich auf Sylt”, “Street Racer”, “Goodgame Poker” and “Mein Casino” enters due to some games mysteriously disappearing on the network.

App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon Frohe ErnteElex1.074.156+0.08%
2.icon Icy TowerPlinga496.508+0.81%
3.icon Pet PartyPlinga432.053-0.26%
4.icon Mein FischElex339.308-0.33%
5.icon Frohe Ernte 2Elex334.488-0.40%
6.icon Turtle SquadPlinga325.533-0.20%
7.icon Crazy CharlyPlinga323.394-0.30%
8.icon Goodgame FarmerGoodgame Studios298.930-0.44%
9.icon Goodgame MafiaGoodgame Studios270.254+0.10%
10.icon ModeweltPlinga256.362+2.01%
11.icon AutochallengeElex248.369+0.86%
12.icon TraumstadtElex239.311+3.65%
13.icon Frohe Ernte 3Elex232.843-0.25%
14.icon Cute PigElex207.655-0.90%
15.icon wobbix, das QuizQuiz-Fabrik197.610-0.56%
16.icon Flughafeni-Jet194.266+0.31%
17.icon Glücklich auf SyltElex171.995new
18.iconStreet RacerPlinga167.438new
19.icon Goodgame PokerGoodgame Studios166.099new
20.icon Mein CasinoElex160.482new
20Dec/10

AppStats MeinVZ & StudiVZ: Traumstadt Gaining And New Entries

By Kris Öst

There are continued problems on the MeinVZ and StudiVZ this week, with almost every game losing users, except for “Frohe Ernte”, “Traumstadt” and “Dorfleben”. “Traumstadt” is doing very well with a 16.63% increase, other than that; it is mostly red numbers in the top 20. We are also seeing some new entries in “Crazy Charly”, “FunCards” and “Dinosaur Kingdom”, all because some games such as “Brain Buddies” and “Monster World” by Wooga have mysteriously disappeared from the reporting.

App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon Frohe ErnteElex1.730.354+0.19%
2.icon Frohe Ernte 2Elex481.675-1.01%
3.icon Frohe Ernte 3Elex393.673-1.19%
4.icon Mein FischElex352.880-1.18%
5.icon wobbix QuizQuiz-Fabrik348.882-0.53%
6.icon Goodgame FarmerGoodgame Studios284.077-0.90%
7.icon Cute PigElex260.991-3.69%
8.icon Pet PartyPlinga242.216-1.08%
9.icon TraumstadtElex221.108+16.63%
10.icon Cafe TimeElex216.062-1.50%
11.icon Turtle SquadPlinga212.898-0.59%
12.icon Dorflebenhalfquest212.398+0.79%
13.icon Happy TowerElex207.636-3.10%
14.icon PiratenschatzHexify, Inc207.118-0.02%
15.icon Icy TowerPlinga205.925-0.46%
16.icon Das Quiz-RennenQuiz-Fabrik186.667-0.43%
17.icon Goodgame CaféGoodgame Studios186.099-0.75%
18.icon Crazy CharlyPlinga175.326new
19.icon FunCardsPlinga170.607new
20.icon Dinosaur KingdomElex161.584new
16Dec/10

AppStats Tuenti: Fishdom Continues To Gain Users

By Kris Öst

“Fishdom” continues to do well this week on Tuenti. The title gains 15.18%, making it this week’s winner and it now has over 800.000 installs. “Towner” is still in the lead but keeps losing users and is decreasing by 7.98%. Biggest loser is “My Rainforest” with a 16.23% drop in installs and “Jai Lai” isn’t doing great either with a 14.30% decrease. Meanwhile “Waka Waka” is back after a few weeks absence holding tight to spot number 10.

App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon TownerMetrogames1.304.022-7.98%
2.icon FishdomPlayrix844.283+15.18%
3.icon Texas a lo GrandeMetrogames679.955-1.79%
4.icon PooltasticMetrogames545.024+0.54%
5.icon My RainforestMetrogames468.170-16.23%
6.icon Frog StreetMetrogames340.421+0.26%
7.icon Fishing WarsMetrogames216.178+2.15%
8.icon CatapultMetrogames216.076+0.33%
9. AquaballMetrogames213.840-0.68%
10. Waka WakaMetrogames185.698new
11.icon Magic SpidersMetrogames168.735+0.44%
12.icon BiotronicMetrogames158.149-0.67%
13.icon Gold SweeperMetrogames153.185-0.03%
14.icon Jai LaiMetrogames144.209-14.30%
15.icon Chess KnightMetrogames139.849-0.84%
16.icon Pro BoxingMetrogames96.896-3.92%
17.icon SlideMetrogames94.731-2.78%
18.icon Crazy BottlingMetrogames89.429-4.58%
19.icon Pirates & CannonsMetrogames79.742-2.46%
20.icon AntivirusMetrogames78.497-2.05%
16Dec/10

AppStats MySpace: Mobsters Reaches 15 Million Installs

By Thorsten Bleich

Minimal gain in all titles is what we see when taking a look at this week’s MySpace AppStats. “Mobsters” is in the lead with over 15 million installs, followed by “Mafia Wars”. Top gainer this week is “YoVille” with 0.27% increase. All the other games are doing well but the gain is rather minimal across the board and we have no changes in order since last week.

App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon MobstersPlaydom15.002.627+0.07%
2.icon Mafia WarsZynga13.428.783+0.01%
3.icon YoVilleZynga7.904.857+0.27%
4.icon Zynga PokerZynga7.247.022+0.04%
5.iconSuperPokePetsSlide7.105.563+0.02%
6.icon MoviesFlixter5.873.170+0.008%
7.icon Cheers!!BitRhymes5.629.438+0.03%
8.icon VampiresZynga5.297.751+0.06%
9.icon Street RacingZynga4.633.415+0.006%
10.icon Sorority LifePlaydom3.702.873+0.04%
11.icon WSOP PokerPlaydom3.458.696+0.03%
12.icon Let’s Get MarriedLudicBits3.285.599+0.16%
13.icon OverdrivePlaydom2.706.448+0.03%
14.icon Speed RacingMekatek2.594.632+0.02%
15.icon BloodlinesPlaydom1.993.617+0.06%
16.icon Fashion WarsZynga1.924.049+0.03%
17.icon Special ForcesZynga1.479.866+0.03%
18.icon Pet SocietyPlayfish1.479.828+0.11%
19.icon Friend FactoryZynga1.457.887+0.0003%
20.icon Pirates Rule The CaribbeanZynga1.374.135+0.02%