4）据Wired报道，谷歌日前推出Google+ API，支持开发者针对Google+创建应用，但目前这个API功能较为有限（采用该API创建的应用，只能发布只读性公开内容）。例如，假如Zynga等社交游戏开发商在Google+Games平台发布一款游戏，该游戏的用户好友就不能与你发布的News Feed贴子进行互动。而实际上，这种互动方式却是玩家直接向好友求助的最基本方式。
据PC World报道，谷歌高管Eric Chabot解释道，公司采用这种做法的原因在于，他们想逐步完善Google+，而不是“闭门造车”式地一下子推出众多不适合平台的API功能。
5）继6个月之前推出English Countryside之后，社交游戏开发商Zynga最近再度发布《FarmVille》新扩展内容Lighthouse Cove，支持玩家访问海边小镇，种植新庄稼，饲养新品牌的家畜。
《FarmVille》总经理Nate Etter表示，这个扩展内容相当于《FarmVille》与《Martha’s Vineyard》两者的合体，他们应玩家的要求，推出了这个依山傍水的海边小乡村。
据AppData数据显示，《FarmVille》在English Countryside发布6个月后的MAU和DAU均呈下滑趋势，而其另一款游戏《FrontierVille》的独立扩展内容《Pioneer Trail》推出后的MAU、DAU均明显上扬。
6）据Mashable报道，美国资本金融公司Capital One近日再度与Zynga携后，通过后者旗下的《FarmVille》、《CityVille》和《Pioneer Trail》推出品牌营销活动（游戏邦注：这是该公司今年第二次与Zynga进行品牌营销合作）。
Capital One在《FarmVille》中植入了代表公司标志的山羊，支持玩家饲养这种家畜，在《CityVille》中则仅添加了一个Capital One银行以供玩家使用，如果玩家建设了这种银行，就可以获得一些装饰品奖励、虚拟货币、能量及其他资源。而《Pioneer Trail》则在游戏设置了自己的一系列任务，如果玩家帮助游戏中的山羊找到丢失的同类，就可以获得一只Capital One山羊。
7）在本周的MAU增长最快Facebook游戏榜单上，Zynga新游戏《Adventure World》发布一周表现不甚理想（其表现逊于另一款Zynga游戏《Empires & Allies》发布10天的成绩），仅位居榜单第10名（最近MAU是667万）。《模拟人生社交版》（MAU为5146万）及《祖玛闪电战》（MAU为574万）仍稳坐头阵，各占第一第二席位。
1）New study finds Facebook games might do the economy good
by Jenny Ng
The success of Facebook gaming goes beyond Facebook. Based on an economic impact study released today (courtesy of the University of Maryland), Facebook games, applications, and social plugins (e.g. “Like” buttons, fan pages, Facebook Connect, etc.) are responsible for adding somewhere from 182,744 to 235,644 full-time jobs, and $12.19 billion to $15.71 billion into the US economy.
Seeing that the Facebook platform has only been around since May 2007, the growth has been tremendous. The study cites Zynga as an example as the most successful venture on the Facebook platform, primarily thanks to hits like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and Words With Friends. Zynga itself has 2,000 employees with the company valued at $15 to $20 billion. Whereas, Playfish was bought by EA for $300 million, and Playdom was bought by Disney for $763.2 million.
The study, created by professors of the Center for Digital Innovation, Technology, and Strategy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, moves on from counting the numbers of direct employment to uncovering jobs indirectly created by Facebook apps. It then estimates the economic value of all those jobs, which means analyzing salaries and benefits. Still skeptical? They’re calling it the “Facebook App Economy” and you can read all about it here.（source:games）
The Facebook Economy
There are 550,000+ apps that are used on Facebook. Seventy percent of users engage with apps each month. There are one million app developers. Zynga, the top app developer, made $250 million in 2009. Of that amount, $80-$150 million is estimated to be profit, more net profit than Facebook itself made.
The most popular Facebook apps are:
There are 1,500,000 active Facebook pages. The average value per fan is $136.38. Extrapolating on that, many celebrity pages would be worth enormous sums:
Michael Jackson, with 13.3 million fans, would have a page worth $1.8 billion. Family Guy has 9.5 million fans for a worth of $1.3 billion. Lady Gaga and Barack Obama each have 9.1 million fans, worth $1.2 billion each. Vin Diesel has nine million fans, worth $1.1 billion. Starbucks has 8.2 million fans, worth $1.1 billion. South Park has 6.2 million fans for a worth of $845 million.
Popular Facebook pages include:
There are 500,000,000+ users of Facebook. Of those, 200 million users use it daily for an average of 55 minutes a day. If those users were all working for $5 an hour instead of going on Facebook, they would collectively earn $916,000,000 a day.
In Q1 2010, 176 billion display ads were posted on Facebook, 16 percent of the display ad market. Facebook says its advertisers have quadrupled since 2009.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populous in the world after China and India. Today’s valuation of Facebook is $7.9-$11 billion.（source:visualeconomics）
2）Nexon’s Facebook Debut MapleStory Adventures Passes 3M Players
by Frank Cifaldi
Nexon’s MapleStory Adventures has attracted more than 3 million registered players on Facebook, the company announced Monday.
The game, which is still in open beta, is the social network extension of its popular PC game MapleStory, which the company says has over 100 million registered players worldwide.
MapleStory Adventures is the first Facebook game from Nexon, the Los Angeles-based company whose parent operates in Seoul.
Nexon specializes in free-to-play titles, and other popular games from the company include Atlantica Online, Combat Arms, Vindictus, Dungeon Fighter Online and Mabinogi.
The privately-held firm recently reported a 59 percent revenue increase in its fiscal quarter ending March 31, a traditionally slow period for the company.
“Our success is the result of our ability to deliver engaging content that our players find valuable, whether they are playing for free or purchasing items in our games,” Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim said at the time. “The substantial growth we are experiencing in North America is a reflection of how well Nexon is doing globally.”
Its second Facebook title, Wonder Cruise, is set to launch by the end of this month. （source:gamasutra）
3）SocialVibe Study: Incentivized Brand Ads Work Well in Social Games
By AJ Glasser
Digital advertising technology company SocialVibe is releasing a study today that claims 91% of people pay active attention to brand messaging packaged in incentivized engagements encountered in social games, as opposed to just idly sitting through an ad to score free virtual currency.
SocialVibe is best known on Facebook for its integration with Zynga’s games, such as its Super Bowl XLV engagement app promoting Kia Motors or last year’s Thanksgiving Facebook app that drew funds on behalf of charitable organization United Nations World Food Programme. The company’s integration types vary by brand partner — CEO Jay Samit stresses that SocialVibe never charges for creative services, which encourages the brand to experiment with ads. One example he uses is another Kia Motors engagement app that allowed users to re-edit segments of a 30-second TV commercial for the brand’s latest car, effectively creating their own music video. Another is a Toy Story 3 trailer viewed in FarmVille that asks the participant at what their favorite childhood toy was, and then prompts them to share on their Wall.
“The more interactive, the more people enjoy it,” Samit tells us, in support of his company’s product. “I’m all for brands embracing the medium — everything we do on the internet is by choice, not like TV. It’s a lean-to experience. People want to participate. One of our secret sauces is that if we can get you to emote, you’ll want to share. We never charge for that, that’s to incentivize brands to be creative.”
The study released today in collaboration with KN Dimestore was compiled during June and July of 2011, collecting information from a group of 30,000 consumers exposed to SocialVibe incentivized ads across a number of mediums, including social games. Key findings of this study suggest that not only are users more likely to be active participants with incentivized brands, but that users were 161% more likely to visit a brand’s website and 36% more likely to shop for brands at a store location after completing an engagement. Nearly half of the participants (48%) in the study reported that they only clicked on the engagement to get the virtual currency — but wound up staying to actively engage with the brand once the experience started.
“We had a client that produced 5 different videos [for an engagement]. That was unusual,” Samit says, explaining that each video rewarded participants with the exact same amount of in-game currency and that the participant only had to watch one to be eligible. “But users were averaging 93 seconds to complete three videos. They opted in. There was a pause moment — and then they enjoyed it.”（source:insidesocialgames）
4）Google+ releases API to developers, more social games incoming
by Joe Osborne
Google+ Games is cool with its no-nonsense interface and all, but the sad fact is that it only has 16 games. Compare that to the thousands of Facebook games out there, and it’s clear that Google has to do something to compete with that selection. Enter the Google+ API, which was just recently released to developers, and could lead to a plethora of more Google+ Games.
The acronym API is short for Application Programming Interface, meaning it contains the tools for developers to create new applications within a given framework–in this case being Google+. Wired reports that Google will steadily release its developer API, meaning that it will be some time before it’s feature-complete. And the features not yet included are, well, kinda vital.
For instance, at the moment developers can only create apps that publish read-only public posts. For instance, if a developer like Zynga released a new social game today on Google+ Games, your friends would not be able to interact with the News Feed posts you create. You all already likely know that this is essentially the bread and butter of Facebook games. It’s how things get done in-game aside from directly requesting help from friends.
The reasoning for the omission? According to PC World, Google’s Eric Chabot explains that this is because the company would rather improve Google+ over time, rather open up a “vacuum” with too many features at once. I’m not sure adding simple post-sharing interactivity would create a vacuum for the platform, but it’s a first step nonetheless. What Google+ Games has to deal with more in its competition with Facebook’s wide offering of games is scale. The bell rings on Round 2.（source:games）
5）Zynga Launches Second Major FarmVille Expansion, Lighthouse Cove
By AJ Glasser
Six months after launching the English Countryside expansion to FarmVille, Zynga follows up with Lighthouse Cove — a new addition to the base game that allows players an entirely new setting in which to build a farm.
Speaking to Inside Social Games during a press briefing last week, FarmVille General Manager Nate Etter walked us through a few segments of the expansion to showcase its key features. Players are invited to visit a coastal town, where a recent storm has damaged the port and lighthouse. Encouraged by non-playable characters local to the Lighthouse Cove area, players take on objective driven quests that have them growing new crops and nurturing new animal types to restore the town to its pre-storm glory.
“It’s like FarmVille meets Martha’s Vineyard,” Ette explains. “We’re responding to the fans’ desire to [be near] the water with a fall getaway to a coastal village.”
Like English Countryside, Lighthouse Cove introduces new “crafting” buildings that allow players to convert their harvested crops into local dishes — like clam chowder. The cove itself can also be harvested once per day for special ingredients used in the recipes. Ette says that each week, an NPC will present players with a new themed quest. He did not say how many weeks out Zynga has planned for, but to give you an idea of scope, the English Countryside quests concluded roughly six months after its March 2011 launch.
FarmVille’s expansion strategy is very traditional compared to its Zynga sibling, FrontierVille. While Pioneer Trail introduced an entirely new core gameplay element, English Countryside and Lighthouse Cove are essentially providing players more of the same — but in a new location and with the added value of “starting over” without players having to scrap their progress on their original farm.
It’s too soon to tell if one expansion strategy is ultimately more successful than another — but we do observe from our AppData traffic tracking service that FarmVille overall lost monthly and daily active users in the six months period following English Countryside’s versus FrontierVille’s apparent spike in both MAU and DAU. Recall that FrontierVille migrated from its original app ID to a new one.（source:insidesocialgames）
6）Capital One gets in Zynga’s wallet with FarmVille, CityVille, Pioneer Trail
by Joe Osborne
Capital One asks Zynga once again, “What’s in your wallet?” To which the developer replies, “Why, FarmVille, CityVille and Pioneer Trail, of course!” Mashable reports that the national financial services firm has teamed up with Zynga again for three brand new in-game branding promotions involving Capital One’s infamous goat character. Well, two outta three, at least.
Granted, keep in mind that these promotions are slowly rolling out to players, as I’ve yet to see most of them in my games. Starting with none other than FarmVille, Capital One returns (remember the Visigoths?) with its beloved goat to the game as a breedable animal, which comes just in time for the slew of Breeding Pens in the game.
CityVille, on the other hand, simply features a Capital One-branded Bank for players to use, and opening it offers players a bonus decoration as well as additional Coins, Energy and other resources. Pioneer Trail has its very own set of Goals to help the goat-on-arrival find his lost band mates, which ultimately reward players with a Capital One goat of their own.
This is the second time Capital One has worked with Zynga this year in a branding promotion, and it comes hot off of the heels of a Best Buy promotion conducted through CityVille. And this will be far from the last branded promotion to be featured in a Zynga game. (If anything, the work of Ecko|Code speaks to its popularity.)
The San Francisco-based (but global) developer is joining forces with Lucasfilm to bring Indiana Jones into Adventure World, Zynga Boston’s debut Facebook game. Considering the game has been retitled, “Adventure World: An Indiana Jones Game,” it could be the first Zynga game built entirely around a brand. So yes, branded Facebook games are here to stay.（source:games）
7）Adventure World Debuts in the Top 10 on This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by MAU
By AJ Glasser
Zynga’s newest game, Adventure World, debuts on our rankings at number 10 a week after launch, but it’s still The Sims Social and Zuma Blitz leading the list of fastest-growing games by monthly active users.
In other Zynga growth news, FarmVille gets a slight lift this week just as its second major expansion launches while Pioneer Trail is now officially larger in MAU and daily active users than its FrontierVille parent was at the point of the expansion’s launch. Zynga’s overall user base across all its apps and games has remained fairly consistent in MAU for the past 30 days while DAU has dropped slightly.
As for how Adventure World’s launch pattern stacks up to Empires & Allies before it (and CityVille before that), it’s a couple million MAU shy of what Empires & Allies managed in 10 days’ time. It may be that overall growth potential is higher, however, as Adventure World seems like the kind of game that would appeal to audience compared to the strategy-oriented Empires & Allies.（source:insidesocialgames）