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.

5Aug/13

Who is Who in Europe: Nekki

By Gary Merrett

Social Games Observer this week spoke to Nekki. The game developer with its headquarters in Moscow publishes browser games, social games and also mobile games. Their name means “enthusiasm” or “inspiration” in Japanese and they’re passionate about creating engaging games. Let’s see what they have to say:

Developer Name: Nekki

Where founded and office/s location/s: Headquarter is in Moscow, Branch offices are in UK, Germany, USA

Founded by: Dmitry Terekhin

Founded in (year): 2002

Funding (if yes, please state amount): self-financed

Acquisitions (if yes – who?): no

Number of employees: +50

Number of games published: 15

List of games published:

Browser games:
11×11.com
mygladiators.com
icekings.com

Screenshot from social game: Gladiators

bananawars.ru

Social Games:
Vector
Shadow Fight
11×11
Gladiators
Colonizers
Funny Pets
Happy Circus

Mobile Games:
Vector
Jackpot Cruise
Banzai Surfer
Stick Run Mobile

Describe what you do in one sentence: Our mission is making the world more interesting by igniting enthusiasm and inspring positive feelings through our games.

Where games are published: Facebook, Google+, Vkontakte, Naszaklasa, Apple App Store, Google Play

Working with publisher (if yes, then state who): No

Acting as a publisher (if yes, then who): Yes. But we are only publishing very few selected games, such as “Stick Run Mobile”, which is a mobile conversion of Facebook’s most successful arcade game of all times. Our main goal is to develop our own IPs.

Screenshot from mobile game: Vector

Publishing games in which languages: Up to 20 languages. Mainly we publish our games in English and Russian.

Game genre/s: Economic Simulations, Manager Games, Arcade, Slots – we don’t limit our self to certain genres.

User demographics (gender): 80% male / 20% female

User demographics (location): Our top games, like Vector are successful in many regions: Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, North and South America

Best-selling virtual item (also indicate price and for which game): “5.000 coins package” in Vector for 0,99 USD

Most expensive virtual item (also indicate price and for which game): - A pair of Swords with +90% damage in our arcade game Shadow Fight on Facebook. (Price ca.  5 USD)
- 3 licensed real stadium designs in our Football Manger 11×11 on Facebook (Price ca. 10 USD)

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

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.

16Jul/13

Plumbee’s Facebook Casino Game Mirrorball Slots Goes Mobile

By Camilla Noon

Plumbee, the London-based social casino games company, has expanded its popular Facebook game Mirrorball Slots onto iOS, as the startup makes its first move into the mobile space.

Following a successful year as an online Facebook game, the app is now available for download on Apple’s App Store allowing users to play Mirrorball Slots on their mobile devices.

Mirrorball Slots has close to 300,000 daily active users on Facebook and over one million monthly active users. Being a social casino game, players are able to purchase and win virtual currency, but there are no real money cash-outs.

Raf Keustermans, co-founder and CEO of Plumbee commented:

“It’s been a tremendous year for Plumbee, with the company achieving eight-digit revenues within its first year since launch. The move onto mobile is the natural next step for the company. We are really excited about the new iOS version. Our Facebook game continues to be a huge hit and now with the addition of the mobile app, the sky really is the limit.”

Mirrorball Slots differentiated itself from its competitors on Facebook with high-quality game play, polished graphics and animations. The iOS version remains loyal to the original with three slots games available and more in the pipeline.

Plumbee’s team has a proven track record in combining social gaming and online casino, disrupting the $400B gambling market. The team believes that success will come from creating the best social casino games and offering the best service to Plumbee players.

Plumbee’s mission is to become the leader in social, free-to-play casino games across all platforms.

Plumbee recently announced its involvement in the International Social Gaming Coalition, an association designed to help educate people about the free-to-play space and provide a strong voice in the debate around social regulation. It joins other heavyweights in the industry, including Zynga, Gamesys and DoubleDown.

You can download the app here.

10Jul/13

DeNA China Partners With MediaTek

By Camilla Noon

The China subsidiary of DeNA Co., Japan’s largest social-game website operator, announced a partnership with Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek Inc. to promote mobile social games.

Through the partnership, the first for DeNA China with an upstream supplier in the mobile phone industry, the company hopes to optimize its products based on the features of MediaTek’s mobile chips, DeNA China said in a statement posted on its website.

The company will also offer its flagship mobile social gaming platform, Mobage, as a pre-installed application in phones using MediaTek chips to expand its presence in the emerging mobile game market, the statement said.

DeNA’s Japanese-language Mobage service has nearly 50 million users in Japan, and its Chinese-language version has more than 20 million users in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, according to the company.

MediaTek’s mobile phone customers in China include Lenovo Group Ltd., Coolpad and Huawei Technologies Co.

1Jul/13

Supercell and GungHo’s Cross-Promotion Mutually Boosts Presence in Japan and U.S.

By Camilla Noon

Successful developers Supercell and GungHo Online Entertainment launched a cross-promotion this week where Clash of Clans characters and a special dungeon appears in Puzzle & Dragons, their respective mobile games. But both companies are doing extremely well on the app stores — they don’t need help selling their games. What they can offer each other, however, is a chance to penetrate new markets and become relevant there.

Clash of Clans is Finland-based Supercell’s multiplayer strategy game, which recently launched in Japan and quickly climbed the iOS charts in the country. Its other game is Hay Day, where players tend a farm with crops and animals. (It’s currently not available in Japan.) Both are a huge source of monthly revenue. Given the huge success of GungHo’s match-three game, Puzzle & Dragons, especially in Japan, this crossover should help Supercell attract an even bigger audience.

“Ultimately, we hope the collaboration with GungHo will introduce more Japanese players to Clash of Clans and help Supercell get established in Japan,” Greg Harper, the general manager of Supercell in North America, told GamesBeat. “We are only just getting started and plan to bring our other games to market there as well.”

“If you look at the Japanese market and want to work with the best developer, there really is only one option, which is GungHo,” said Harper. “We met the team at GungHo on our very first visit to Japan back in February, and we instantly connected with them. From a culture point of view, our two companies are remarkably similar in terms of how we think about games and game development in general. So the relationship has really evolved in a very natural way that is mutually beneficial. We also have a lot of fun together, so we plan to keep looking for more and more reasons to work and spend time with them.”

The Tokyo-based GungHo echoed those sentiments. ”We had our first meeting with Supercell at the beginning of this year. We discovered that our philosophy and approach to game development were quite similar, so we immediately thought it would be great if we could collaborate,” Puzzle & Dragons producer Daisuke Yamamoto told GamesBeat. “That discussion eventually led to our current event.”

This isn’t the first time that GungHo has done a cross-promotion with another developer. In Japan, Puzzle & Dragons — where players enter dungeons with colorful monsters and battle them in match-3 puzzles based on their elements — has crossed over with Square Enix’s tower-defense game Crystal Defenders, and Necky the Fox, Japanese magazine Famitsu‘s mascot, has even appeared in the game.

“This promotion with Supercell is similar to our Japanese collaboration events in terms of style, structure, and execution,” said Yamamoto. “In terms of strategy, the biggest difference with this particular collaboration is that both parties really focused on providing marketing and promotional support for each other’s titles.”

Rather than simply competing — Puzzle & Dragons dominates Google Play in terms of revenue but often sits neck-and-neck with Clash of Clans on the iOS charts — they opted to help each other out.

Harper said he couldn’t discuss specific details about the cross-promotion, but Supercell is happy with the partnership. “They can obviously help us tremendously in Japan, and we hope to be able to return the favor in the Western markets where we are strong,” he said. “The nature of the relationship ranges from doing in-game cross-promotion in each other’s games to working together in other areas where either of us can be helpful.

“Both companies know their own game very well, and we simply tried to do what we thought would be the most effective collaboration to cross-promote each other’s game. I think everyone is very pleased with how it has worked out.”

“We plan to promote Puzzle & Dragons [in the West] through ad campaigns and more exciting collaboration events,” said Yamamoto. “We hope everyone is looking forward to them!”

Via: VentureBeat

24Jun/13

Line’s Games Platform Hits 150 Million Downloads and Jumps 50% in 3 Months

By Camilla Noon

Line has announced that there have now been more than 150 cumulative downloads of games on its social gaming platform. The impressive milestone comes just three months after Line Game celebrated 100 million app downloads.

The Line service is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and more, and boasts more than 150 million registered users worldwide. It was one of the first to monetize mobile messaging — both through its games platform and virtual content, such as emoticon-like stickers — and it recorded an impressive $58 million in revenue for Q1 2013.

Launched in July 2012, Line Game allows iOS and Android users to play games with their friends via the Line app. Once both parties have downloaded a specific title (Line users can prompt friends to download particular games) they both load the game and are ready to go.

Currently there are 33 games available — that’s up from 17 titles three months ago.

The company highlights the progress of two games — Line Pop and Line Wind — which have passed 30 million and 10 million downloads, respectively. In celebration Line is running competitions to give away free stickers and virtual coins through the two apps.

Line makes money from its games by offering a range of in-app purchases, and tying the titles in to its mobile messaging service.

Japan-based Line was the first messenger to introduce games, but others have followed suit. Korea’s Kakao Talk launched a games platform last year — which is now see revenues of $30 million per month. US-based video chat service Tango became the first outside of Asia to add games when it launched with an initial two titles this month.

Line continues to experiment with new business models. It’s most recent being an in-app app store. Businesses and developers can pay to list their apps in the store, while users are incentivized to download apps to get free virtual coins.

Already established in Japan and boasting a growing presence in Southeast Asia, it is looking to other regions to continue to grow its user base. Line is targeting Europe, the US, China and Latin America, where it is already seeing traction. Earlier this month, it added support for German, Italian and Portuguese to its iOS app, hinting at a broader push in Europe.

via: The Next Web

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.”