A lot of recent moves in the gaming space to ban, investigate or curtail certain aspects of its output can seem egregious. However seen in the light of how shady game makers tend to behave, and the need to keep their sleazy tactics at bay, such moves are often understandable. Still, there are costs to games as a medium that this sort of thing keeps happening. → Read More
King.com, the casual social games maker, today is announcing a couple of milestones in its growth: the company’s Candy Crush Saga is now the number-one overall app on Facebook, on the back of 9 billion monthly gameplays across all of King.com’s titles — news that it has released at the same time that it has announced that Candy Crush Saga and another hit game, Bubble Witch Saga, would be going… → Read More
Social gaming giant Zynga has now confirmed that it will be closing down its Japan operation, as it continues to consolidate its operations and cut less profitable parts of its business. The spectre of pulling out of that market was first raised in October when the company laid off 5% of its employees. Today, the CEO of the Japan operation, Kenji Matsubara, posted the news confirming the closure… → Read More
For retailers and publishers in video games, Christmas is the busiest time of the year. On the digital side, Christmas is often one of the slower periods but, when the dust settles and spring begins, often new heroes emerge. For both, the holidays mark when we begin to wonder what’s going on for games in 2013? → Read More
Mobile and social gaming have exploded in popularity over the last few years and both are quickly becoming multi-billion dollar industries. With an estimated 35 million players in the U.S., fantasy sports has become a sizable market in its own right, with growth expected to continue as it reaches new players through increasingly mature mobile and social channels. It’s no surprise, then, that Wedge… → Read More
Over the last year, we have seen some notable advances in mobile carrier billing — which lets people pay for services and content on their phones by charging it to their carrier bills: Google expanded its carrier billing services to music and more; Facebook joined the ranks of those offering it, and Amazon has a deal with a company that could help it potentially roll out such services, too. → Read More
Social games come and go but for now the buzz around SongPop continues. Today publisher FreshPlanetannounced some landmark numbers, which point to how the music game — where users play each other in a kind of “name that tune” face-off in different categories — is still seeing significant growth. Three months after launch, it has 25 million unique players, and has 4 million daily active… → Read More
Playdemic, a UK-based developer of social games, has announced a $4 million round of funding from a group of investors, with $3 million of that from the Watson family — the grandchildren of IBM founder Thomas Watson. The funding, it says, will be used to develop its idea of “second-generation social games” — that is, cross-platform games that will be interoperable between TVs, tablets… → Read More
Would you like to bet on what may be the next big thing in games? Place a wager on real-money gambling, and you could be in for some good returns. Today, when games developer Big Fish launched a new iPhone app called Big Fish Casino, it announced it would raise the stakes in the UK by introducing real-money gambling into it (courtesy of well-backed gambling platform Betable) — making this the… → Read More
Facebook’s push for more engagement on its platform, to drive advertising and other monetization efforts (and to counterbalance that drooping stock price), is showing some gains, according to updated figures on both games and app usage released by the company today. Facebook now has 235 million people playing games on Facebook.com, up from 205 million a year ago and up 8.4% since January. And the… → Read More
Why did Zynga generate revenue of $332 million versus the analyst-projected $344 million, earning 3 cents per share instead of 5 (and sending the stock off 40% in after-hour trading)? Three big factors, the company said today on the earnings call, in the following order: Facebook platform changes, game launches late in the quarter, and Draw Something’s weakening mobile traffic.
Zynga became a public company with $3.75 billion dollar market cap in part by taking existing physical games and introducing them to your browser and social graph. Poker and Scrabble are just two that immediately come to mind. But, lately we’ve seen Zynga flipping its model, turning to the offline world in an attempt to find new life beyond browsers and smartphones. As Eric reported in February… → Read More
This may not have been the U.S. government’s exact intention when when it passed the crowdfunding-friendly JOBS Act, but you have to wonder if it has also jumpstarted the number of crowdfunding sites out there competing for entrepreneurs’ and consumers’ attention. The latest comes from the social and mobile games developer Apps Genius — (in)famous for its scatological riff on Angry Birds, “Angry… → Read More
Titan Gaming, the makers of a gaming platform that enables content sites and social networks to offer cash and prize-based game tournaments, is today announcing that it is embarking on a complete makeover that includes its rebranding as Playsino, along with a new focus, CEO, and some new funding.
Under its new moniker, Playsino will look to leverage its traction in the tournaments and virtual… → Read More
More activity in the social and casual gaming space, following on from the $200 million acquisition of OMGPOP by Zynga. The UK-based games company Zattikka has started trading on the public markets and says it has raised £12.6 million ($20 million) after its placing with institutional and other investors on London’s AIM exchange.
Zattikka — which develops freemium games for PC web browsers… → Read More
Yesterday, we took a look at the growing comfort consumers, specifically gamers, have with purchasing virtual goods and currency on the web and mobile devices. Virtual goods are becoming a booming market thanks to the growing maturity of gaming platforms, free-to-play models and the profusion of mobile devices.
Social games continued to grow in popularity in 2011 — to such a degree that PopCap’s November study found that 120 million people in the U.S. and the U.K. play social games at least once a week, with 81 million playing at least once a day. In terms of annual growth, that’s a 71 percent increase from the same period in 2010. As one might expect from casual games with their lower barriers to… → Read More
When it comes to social games, Zynga is the undisputed king. But, when it comes to second place, it’s not so easy to say — the competition is stiff. Yet, today German social game developer Wooga has (at least for the time being) overtaken EA as the new deputy in town. Wooga is now seeing over 35 million monthly active users engaging with its social games, compared to EA at just under 31 million… → Read More
Social and mobile gaming startup Playmatics attained a $1 million investment from several Swiss-based angel investors to develop a “real world game” franchise calledShadow Government the company revealed today.
Initially a Facebook platform game, Shadow Government will use economic and sustainability data, and government-modeling software from the Millennium Institute to give players a chance to… → Read More
At age 15, most normal people are going to high school, learning to drive, not listening to their parents, and doing things that they’ll later tell their kids not to do. Josh Buckley is not a normal teenager. At 15, he was selling his first company for just over six figures.
Today, the 18-year-old entrepreneur and angel investor has partnered with 17-year-old engineer Tyler Diaz to co-found … → Read More
Social gaming is an international phenomenon. While Zynga is the leading social gaming company in the U.S., in Brazil it is a company called Vostu. The company has been growing rapidly and just closed a $30 million series C financing led by Tiger Management, with Accel Partners joining the round. Accel partner Jim Breyer, who sits on Facebook’s board, will take a board seat on Vostu. Previous… → Read More
In general, the key driver of social networking so far is games on Facebook. But most of those games aren’t social in the way that playing Monopoly or cards with your friends and family over the holidays is social. MyYearbook, which is a small but profitable social network focussing on younger teenage users, is going to try to make online games more social by getting its members to play together… → Read More
So there was this guy named Ken who was working a 9-to-5 at some giant software company writing tons of code for something whose importance and value was exceeded only by its monotony. Ken’s wife, Roberta, had been playing some newfangled PC game and thought to herself, “Man, this game sucks! Ken and I should totally make a better one!” The husband-and-wife team then worked nights and weekends for… → Read More
What do you do when you are a major Japanese video game maker who faces a shrinking home market and sees the social games sector virtually explode at the same time? You make the jump, just like Capcom, the brand behind such hit games like Street Fighter, Resident Evil, or Mega Man. According to Japanese business daily The Nikkei, the Osaka-based company will start offering games for Facebook as… → Read More