The global virtual goods industry put up some very impressive numbers this year. From special Easter eggs to virtual ad campaigns, virtual goods sales have grabbed their share of headlines over the past twelve months. Now with social gaming on the rise and everyone from your teenage nephew to your grandma to your old rugby teammate buying a “little something” to sweeten their online game, here… → Read More
Yesterday, I had lunch with one of the top people in the Chinese Internet scene who said, “We have a saying here, ‘Internet multinationals all fail in China, Google was just the last one to go.’”
We track a lot of acquisitions on CrunchBase. At the beginning of 2009, acquisitions were at a standstill. But as the economy begrudgingly roused itself from recession, the deal flow started to pick up in the summer, and then rebounded more in the third quarter. There are still a couple weeks left in the year, and a lot can still happen, such as Google buying Yelp for more than $500… → Read More
Every year the World Economic Forum picks a couple dozen or so up-and-coming technology startups from around the world and dubs them Technology Pioneers. In the past, Technology Pioneers have included Google and Mozilla. Last year, Mint, Etsy, and Brightcove joined the club.
And today we’ve confirmed that another one, Playdom, has done its own massive deal: $43 million on a $260 million pre-money valuation. New Enterprise Associates, Rick Thompson, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners invested in the round.
After lengthy negotiations, Electronic Arts closed it’s anticipated acquisition of social gaming startup Playfish for $275 million in cash. An additional $25 million in stock will be set aside for retaining the top talent at the startup, and another $100 million in earnouts are part of the deal as well if the business hits certain milestones. So the total value of the deal could amount to as… → Read More
So much for the first generation of big Facebook/MySpace social application startups. Slide and RockYou both got huge valuations in venture rounds. But a new generation of application developers has taken center stage and are racking up big revenues and their own eye popping valuations: Zynga, Playfish and Playdom.
All three own popular social games on Facebook and MySpace. Zynga’s Farmville has… → Read More
Last week we reported the rumors that VC-backed Playfish, the social games startup which has had phenomenal growth, was in the process of being acquired by games giant Electronic Arts for $250 million. However, nothing was confirmed at the time, and despite several press reports to that effect none of the companies involved has made a sound. That’s odd, because normally if an acquisition has… → Read More
Last week we reported the rumors that VC-backed Playfish, the social games startup which has had phenomenal growth, was in the process of being acquired by games giant Electronic Arts for $250 million. However, nothing was confirmed at the time, and despite several press reports to that effect none of the companies involved has made a sound. And most observers were startled as Playfish had not… → Read More
When I wrote my BusinessWeek column on Zygna a while back, every venture capitalist in the Valley told me that Playdom was the company’s biggest competitor.
After all, it competes game-to-game, with similar mob-style and poker games, and was said to be doing the same revenues as Zynga with much higher profitability. (As my column pointed out, Zynga’s revenues are more like double… → Read More
Casual gaming on the Web is quickly moving to the social networks, where people can play with their friends. Just this week, multiplayer casual games site Geewa launched three of its most popular games on Facebook: 8-ball Pool, Backgammon, and Reversi (which is the same as the board game Othello).
If you glance at the top lineup of gaming applications on the Facebook or MySpace platform, you’ll notice an interesting fact. Not one is the product of a major gaming publisher. Instead a group of independent gaming startups have been the leaders in publishing games within social networks. Co-founders of the gaming publisher Playfish, Kristian Segerstråle and Sebastien de Halleux, chalk up… → Read More