Game developer Rocket Jump had already proved its mettle with the hit Major Mayhem. But the company’s location in Wellington, New Zealand meant its team often felt isolated from the resources they needed to build an even bigger hit. Enter Scopely, the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming platform founded by social gaming entrepreneur Walter Driver and AdSense co-creator Eytan Elbaz. The two companies’… → Read More
Predictive sports game startup PrePlay has closed a $4.7 million Series B round, led by Trilogy Equity Partners LLC. RSE Ventures, the VC fund founded by Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross and Matt Higgins, also participated in the round. → Read More
App developer golden fingers has taken to Indiegogo to raise cash for its first app: a social game called WriteOn!. The crowdfunding campaign is not to fund the creation of the app itself — which is already available for (free) download on the App Store. Rather the developers are aiming to raise $3,000 to $5,000 to pay for marketing the app. → Read More
Editor’s note: Hassan Baig is an entrepreneur who runs White Rabbit Studios, a South Asian gaming startup he founded four years ago in Pakistan.
Services like AppData have been providing individual stats for a long time, but snapshot-like analyses of top-rated games on Facebook’s App Center have not yet been done. Such a study could be useful for game developers or strategic investors who… → Read More
Perhaps the biggest roadblock facing the development of generation-two social games is the addiction to metrics. Social game makers still believe that fun is about finding the right behaviours, the right metric to measure fun and the right way to maximise that. They are wrong. Fun is, and always has been, a dynamic quality. They need to learn that there is no “fun boson”. → Read More
Online video learning platform Lynda.com is making a big addition to its management team today, announcing that it has hired Frits Habermann as its new chief technical officer. Habermann joins Lynda.com from EA’s PopCap Games, where he was CTO and VP of social game operations and led the global technical growth of the company’s social, mobile and console game, including its most popular franchises… → Read More
Last weekend I attended the “eRepublik International Summit 2012″ in Bucharest and had the opportunity to meet with many of the game’s “whale” players. I saw what they cared about, how the game’s developers and players have a close-knit relationship, and how that conversation is the real heart of the game. For social game makers, there are lessons to be learned in how they do it in Romania. → Read More
Stray Boots, a New York-based startup that got its start delivering guided tour scavenger hunt games to tourists and city dwellers around the world via SMS, and which recently made the move to mobile apps, today announced a new $2 million Series A funding round, led by Milestone Venture Partners and including Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks and a number of angel investors. → Read More
Most of the talk around games tends to focus on climate. It’s about finding the right customers, funding, platform, business model, partnerships, metric and discovery solutions, technology, route to market and so on. However every always says that the first rule of making games is to make sure that the game is fun. Without a fun game there’s no rule two. True, but what does “fun” mean? → Read More
The Bay Area is the epicentre of a massive disruption which shook the games industry to its foundation. It erupted through what we call social and mobile games, drew huge audiences and changed the fundamental economics of games and introduced a whole new language of play. It even went beyond games into what we now call gamification.
I call it the San Francisco Revolution. And I think it’s over. → Read More
I don’t always play social games, but when I do, I like them to help me pay for my education. If “The Most Interesting Man In The World” were to endorse Grantoo, this might be his conclusion. Grantoo is a social gaming platform that allows college students to compete against each other to win tuition grants and donate to charity in brand-sponsored gaming tournaments. → Read More
Editor’s note:Tadhg Kelly is a game designer with 20 years experience.
Zynga’s misery continues, yet mobile seems a little rosier. Games using broadly the same game design as many of the successful Facebook types are often at the top of the charts. People ask me whether these new games are examples of generation-two. Are they new, safe, the new frontier? Answer: Nope. → Read More
Electronic Arts continues to beef up its cloud-based gaming offerings. Today it was announced that it is buying ESN, developers of the Planet web-based games framework, for an undisclosed sum. The two companies had already been working together, namely on Battlelog, an online social-web component for EA’s Battlefield 3. The news was announced on ESN’s blog. → Read More
If you had to take a guess at what has been at or near the top-grossing spot in the U.S. iPad App Store for the past month without looking, I’d bet a bingo simulator wouldn’t be high on your list. But India’s BitRhymes has proven that in fact users are interested in playing good old-fashioned bingo on their ultra-modern iPad devices, and revealed to TechCrunch that it’s currently tracking to… → 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
Today brings another entrant into the social gambling space with RocketFrog, which is setting out to bring casino entertainment to Facebook with the launch of a free-to-play online casino that offers players the chance to win real prizes. Traditionally, online casino players participate in the casino gaming experience recreationally, with the rewards being the opportunity to socialize with friends… → Read More
Just a few days after social gaming company 6waves Lolapps said it was laying off most of its development staff to focus on publishing, its chief product officer Arjun Sethi and chief technology officer Brian Rue have stepped down.
6waves Lolapps was born last July out of a merger between a Facebook game developer Lolapps and a publisher 6waves. The publisher had been instrumental to the… → Read More
Swedish gaming company King.com just acquired Stockholm-based developer Fabrication Games in a big push to expand onto Android and iOS this year.
With the deal, King.com picks up Fabrication’s talent, games and developer tools. Terms weren’t disclosed, but I would assume the acquisition is priced in the talent-range. Fabrication had titles that cropped up on certain game category rankings like… → Read More
Viximo, originally a virtual goods marketplace until moving into web-based social game distribution a couple of years back, is shifting yet again. This time, Viximo is moving to mobile. Today, the company is introducing a platform for mobile game developers called Social Zone which delivers a modular set of tools that developers can pick and choose from in order to make their games more social… → Read More
Bartle Bogle Hegarty today became the latest company to make the leap into social gaming, and it is on the lookout to give seed funding to social gaming developers who want to make the jump with them.
The ad agency’s Asian division, BBH Asia Pacific, has opened a new venture, Chuck Studios, which will be run in partnership with one of its longtime clients, the confectionery giant Perfetti Van… → Read More
Basically, Tagged will continue operating hi5 as a separate site, but one that starts to look more and more like Tagged — as vice president of sales and marketing Steve Sarner put it, it will become “a Tagged.com experience… → Read More
Social network Tagged seems to have found a model that works — the company says that 2011 was its fourth consecutive profitable year, and that its revenue grew 35 percent to more than $43 million. → Read More
Is the world ready for the mobile social gaming revolution? Tokyo-based DeNA, the company that makes $1.3 billion a year just by offering mobile games to Japanese cell phone users and acquired ngmoco for $400 million in December, seems to think so. DeNA/ngmoco released an English (and Chinese) version of Mobage, its super-successful Japanese mobile social gaming platform on Android yesterday. → Read More
FunMobility, the makers of FunMail, a picture-messaging app that organically pairs your texts with appropriate (and fun) images, FunTones, a large collection of funny ringtones, and FunMe, a suite of tools for consumers to create, share, and post their own user-generated content, is clearly striving for a particular brand message. I think it has something to do with “fun”.
There are a lot of companies out there trying to leverage the social graph to make discovering new products, services, or tools — whatever the case may be — easier and more personalized. But, when it comes to games, few do it better than Raptr.
For those unfamiliar with the company, Raptr is a social network that revolves around gaming, which allows users to keep tabs on what their friends are… → Read More
Bad news from Japan’s multi-billion dollar social gaming industry earlier this week: Tokyo-based mobile gaming heavyweight DeNA (current market cap: US$4.5 billion) was investigated on Wednesday by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) over antitrust issues.
The allegation: DeNA, which recently paid US$400 million to acquire American smartphone game maker ngmoco, pressured Japanese mobile game… → 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
The Japanese gaming company DeNA, which is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, reported robust first quarter earnings today.
For the fiscal first quarter, DeNA’s revenues reached $279 million, up 175% compared to the same quarter last year. Its operating profits increased by 282% to about $138 million over the first quarter of 2009 (according to the company’s own currency calculations from yen… → Read More