每日观察：关注The Sims Social获IAA最佳社交游戏大奖（2.11）
1，据SEC的文件透露，早在Facebook提交IPO申请之前，Facebook联合创始人Eduardo Saverin就私下转售了一部分股权。现在按照彭博社的消息，Eduardo Saverin的出售对象是DST，但是具体的额度并不透露。
2，据Pew Research Center的最新数据显示，85%的成人用户认为在社交网络上消磨时间让人愉悦，而在未成人用户（13到17岁）中，这个比例仅为69%。与之相反，只有5%的成人用户会在使用社交网络的进程中感到不悦，而未成年用户这个比例为20%。
3，据Inside Social games的消息，Facebook在招股书中称2011年向开发者分成14亿美元，但是依照该公司这方面5.57亿美元和营收和30%的利益分成核算，开发者最多能够分得的收益最多可能仅为13亿美元，换句话说这当中有高达1亿美元的收益分成没办法得到说明解答。
4，Zynga新任移动高级副总裁Travis Boatman称Zynga移动端有三个主要方向，一个是以NewToy旗下的With Friends系列为主导的品牌系列，比如Words With Friends、Scramble With Friends和Hanging With Friends；另外一个是Dream系列，这个系列新推出的游戏包括Dream Zoo、Dream Heights 和Dream PetHouse；第三个可能就是类似于Angry Birds的物理游戏，他们旗下的游戏有由GameDoctors收购而来的Zombie Smash。
5，据Pocketgamer的消息称Temple Run的下载量已经达到3600万。Temple Run在2011年8月份的时候售价0.99美元，后来在9月份中旬的时候调整为免费游戏。可以做一些数据对照，Tiny Tower的下载量为1000万，Battle Bears的下载量为1400万，Mega Jump的下载量为1900万，Cut the Rope的下载量为8500万。
6，据Marbridge Consulting的数据称，目前腾讯手机QQ游戏大厅的日活跃用户达到了1300万，这些数据综合自Android、ios、Windows Phone、Symbian和HTML5。在这个手机游戏大厅上，休闲和卡牌游戏更受用户的青睐，诸如斗地主、中国象棋或者俄罗斯方块。
7，据Distimo的监测，Windows Phone Marketplace的活跃应用总数已经达到了6万，在过去的1月份，每周新增应用将近3000款。Windows Phone Marketplace向开发者开放至今有16个月的时间，按照6万的活跃拥有算，每月新增的应用数大约为3750款。
8，据Games的消息称日本社交游戏巨头Gree对外宣布在旧金山新建游戏工作室，该公司首席执行官Naoki Aoyagi认为在旧金山成立工作室对他们以后的业务拓展大有裨益。该工作室将由Gree社交游戏高级副总裁Eiji Araki主导。
9，一般来讲，2011年最佳社交游戏的桂冠都属于Playdom的Gardens of Times，但是在刚刚推出的第十五届Interactive Achievement Award (IAA)上EA旗下的The Sims Social力压群雄获得最佳社交游戏大奖。其他的提名社交游戏分别是Army Attack、CastleVille、Gardens of Time和Triple Town。
1.We’d previously reported that Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin sold some of his shares in the company prior to its initial public offering filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
And now, we know the buyer.
Bloomberg reported that the updated prospectus Facebook filed with the SEC Wednesday detailed the “Saverin Agreement.”
Saverin agreed to sell an undisclosed number of his shares to Digital Sky Technologies, which was already a major shareholder in the social network.
DST and its affiliates now own 5.4 percent of outstanding Facebook shares, according to the original prospectus that the social network filed on February 1.（source:Allfacebook）
2.The majority of adults, 85 percent, in a new study believe that visiting social networks like Facebook are a pleasant way to spend time.
The report was published today by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project.
Among the study’s highlights are these numbers:
* Only a small sampling of adults said their experience on social networks was unpleasant. Five percent of adults said that people are mostly unkind on Facebook and other social media channels, while five percent said their answer depends on the situation.
* The remainder of adult social network users said they didn’t know how to answer the question or refused to answer it.
When it came to unpleasant behavior on Facebook, adults have seen their share, but incidents occur far less frequently than with teens.
Pew’s study of adults reveals far different — and significantly more positive data — than a similar report issued late last year about the experiences online of young people aged 12 through 17.
Today’s report says that adults are somewhat more likely to stand back, not get involved, and ignore offensive behavior they find online. Pew’s study of teens revealed that one-quarter of the time a negative exchange on a social network led to a face-to-face argument.
Among the more disconcerting statistics from last year’s report:
* A large majority, 88 percent, of social media-using teens have witnessed other users being mean or cruel on social networks, and
* 15 percent have been the target of online meanness.
However, more teens said they had positive experiences online rather than negative interactions, despite the antisocial behavior that many young people witnessed and experienced.
The data of adults on social networks was collected from a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center July 25 through August 26, 2011.(source:Allfacebook)
3.There is a $100 million discrepancy between what Facebook earned in payments revenue and what it paid out to developers, according to revenue figures in its IPO filing last week.
In the filing it says, “In 2011, our Platform developers received more than $1.4 billion from transactions enabled by our Payments infrastructure.”
But based on the company’s $557 million in payments revenue last year and its 30 percent share of transactions on the platform, Facebook should have paid out $1.3 billion at most. There is at least a $100 million discrepancy here. A company spokesperson declined to comment.
There are a number of possibilities:
Facebook may have comped free Credits for some developers: When Facebook began rolling out its virtual currency Credits, it would give them away for free to entice users to sign-up. Developers would have to eat the extra costs if players bearing these free Credits showed up to play their games. They complained — loudly. But it’s possible Facebook comped some of this free Credits usage for certain developers.
(Sidenote: This only happened to gaming companies that used Credits as their in-game currency. Some developers like EA and Zynga didn’t change their in-game currency but still used Facebook to manage their payments.)
There may have been initial problems with fraud in the early months of Credits, which the company may have also comped for developers: One other developer told us that there were early issues with fraud and completion in Facebook Credits purchases (as you would expect with a nascent payments platform). So perhaps Facebook covered developers for these problems too.
Certain developers may have gotten a more favorable revenue share: It would be surprising if Facebook discounted its revenue share for favored partners. Facebook has always been adamant about taking a flat 30 percent cut across the board for all developers. Even Facebook’s special multi-year agreement with Zynga explicitly mentions the 30 percent payments share (although there are parts right around that number that are redacted in the contract, which was attached to Facebook’s IPO filing).
From the filing. (Anything marked is a redaction):
“The amount of the service fee described in the Facebook Credits Terms that we charge to you at any given time to redeem Facebook Credits shall be [*] 30% per each Facebook Credit redeemed.”
Facebook started doing promotions on Credits with 80 percent discounts last November: One likely explanation might be promotions on Credits that ran from November to January. They gave certain players 80 percent discounts on the virtual currency, but still paid developers as if the virtual currency was priced normally, according to our conversations with gaming companies in the ecosystem.
There are a couple of ways to think about this. On the one hand: When we see individual developers engage in aggressive virtual currency sales, it’s can be a red flag. It’s a sign that they are sacrificing long-term revenue for short-term gains. They might be trying to boost financial performance to look better in an acquisition or funding round.
But Facebook isn’t a company that culturally operates for the short-term like that. By discounting Credits, the company is potentially getting more users to hand over their credit card data — which will make it more frictionless for them to pay for things down the road with Credits.
Right now, Facebook is quite behind. If you consider that 50 percent of Facebook’s 845 million monthly active users play games, and then 2 to 6 percent of them monetize by paying for virtual currency, then a back-of-the-envelope calculation would suggest that they have around payments data on 30 million users. By comparison, Apple has more than 250 million iTunes accounts. Facebook needs more credit card data on more users if it wants to power payments for more interesting areas down the road.
So if the sales were successful in getting more users to hand over their credit card details, that’s a good thing in the long run. But if they just encouraged users who already pay with Credits to gorge on the virtual currency, then it could mean softness in payments revenue going into the first or second quarter of this year.(source:Inside Social Games)
4.Zynga’s new senior vice president of mobile Travis Boatman has seen the mobile gaming industry go through one seismic shift after another. He saw JAMDAT through its landmark $680 million acquisition to Electronic Arts back in 2005, then built up EA’s mobile business and oversaw its studios worldwide. Raised in Silicon Valley where he grew up on games like Bard’s Tale, he switched to gaming from earlier career ambitions in sports medicine.
And just recently, he made another leap — from EA to Zynga a few months shy of the company’s initial public offering in December when it raised $1 billion. Now he works under Zynga’s David Ko, who recently leveled his own title up to chief mobile officer — underscoring the company’s push to diversify off Facebook where it earns 93 percent of its revenue.
“Zynga just has a different business model,” he said. “When you ship packaged goods, which is what I’ve spent much of my career doing, you’re making a finite commitment to what you’re delivering to a title. What’s elegant about free games is that there’s no cost to consumers for trying them. When you provide free games, I think you’re held to a much higher standard because the switching costs are so low.”
He said conversations with Mark Pincus helped convince him to cross over from EA, as many senior executives like Barry Cottle and chief operating officer John Schappert have in the last year.
Pincus, as he often does, drilled into the mantra that games must be social.
“Games started as something social,” Boatman said. “Everyone has played tag or kick the can. But there was this period of time where the industry swung toward technical achievement. There were amazing advancements in software and technical capabilities. But for the most part you played alone and I don’t think that’s as compelling or fun.”
Right now under Zynga, there are three main lines of mobile games. The “With Friends” brand grew out of Newtoy’s smash hit Words With Friends and then expanded to include Scramble With Friends and Hanging With Friends. “These are usually asynchronous and directly social,” he said. Then there is a cohort of games that are more or less extensions of Zynga’s core Facebook franchises like Cityville Hometown.
Lastly, there’s the “Dream” line-up, which is new given the recent debuts of Dream Zoo and Dream PetHouse. Boatman says the “Dream” brand is more aspirational. “We like to say they’re about ‘vest’ and ‘express.’ They’re about growing and customizing, which is in line with our core tenants. All of these games have a similar look and feel.”
Like Pincus, Boatman brushed off recent criticism that Zynga’s titles are too similar to ones existing in the market. NimbleBit recently blasted Zynga for an unreleased title called Dream Heights because it was too similar to its app Tiny Tower, which won Apple’s game of the year. Dream Zoo and Dream PetHouse also seem reminiscent of Pocket Gems’ Tap Zoo and Tap Pet Hotel.
“These games are free and our players have the choice to play what they want to play,” he said. “If games were too similar to consumers and there was no clear value add, why would a consumer play it?”
Boatman says the company evaluates opportunities and game genres by market size, then distribution opportunities then the quality of user experience.
“First, we look at where most the consumers are. We look at device sales and accessibility — where are our players? That’s really important,” he said. “Then we look at whether you can digitally talk to consumers? The third thing is the experience and the kinds of entertainment we could offer.”
If Zynga can’t buy its way in because of pricing, it will probably build to get there. The company is eyeing even more genres for 2012.
“We’re excited bout the physics category,” he said, pointing to titles like Angry Birds. Zynga actually already has one physics game, Zombie Smash, through the acquisition of GameDoctors.
Compared to Facebook, Android and iOS’ top charts support a wider variety of games with indie hits like Temple Run to console-quality ones like Epic’s Infinity Blade. Likewise, Zynga expects to widen the breadth of coverage. There are genres that Zynga looks like it won’t touch, however.
“We want to do broad, mass-market social games,” Boatman said. “There might be games that perform well on the charts, but if they don’t have enough reach, we’ll forgo them for games that are more mass market.” That seems to hint that Zynga still isn’t interested in more mid- or hardcore games.
The company has done eight mobile deals so far. Most are in line with Zynga’s history of making smaller, talent-oriented acquisitions. The biggest one the company has disclosed to date is the $53.3 million in cash and stock for Words With Friends-maker Newtoy. Though never publicly confirmed, Zynga also pursued PopCap Games before it was acquired by EA for up to $1.3 billion and was said to have been in talks with Angry Birds-maker Rovio Mobile.
A deal of such a scale is still a possibility — especially considering the $1 billion Zynga raised in its IPO.
“All options are on the table,” Boatman said. “It’s our mission to make the most social games and we want to have access to wherever our players are.”
Boatman said he couldn’t share any details about how diversified Zynga wants to be by the end of the year. In December, the company said it had 13 million daily active users on mobile — or about one-fourth of the company’s total DAU in the third quarter of last year. Other companies like Gameloft have said they earned upwards of $25 million in smartphone revenue in the holiday quarter.
But Boatman couldn’t say whether Zynga’s earnings were in the same range.
“I’m not sure what our CFO is going to disclose,” he said. “I can’t comment on the secret sauce.”(source:inside mobile apps)
5.Demonstrating just how much volume there is at the top of the free App Store chart, Imangi Studios has announced its free endless runner Temple Run has hit 36 million downloads.
Launched at 99c in August 2011, the game took off following a switch to a free mode in mid-September.
It’s been sitting in the US free games and top grossing top 10 ever since.
“Temple Run has had over 36 million downloads. We’re blown away. Thanks to all 36 million of you!” said Imangi in a tweet.
Nation of millions
In comparison, other public announced download totals include 10 million downloads of NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower, 14 million downloads of the Battle Bears games, 19 million download of Mega Jump, social publisher Pocket Gems has over 60 million downloads across its games, while ZeptoLabs’ Cut the Rope has down 85 million downloads.
Of course, the Angry Birds games have done well over 600 million.
Still, I’m older enough to remember when we got excited when Pocket God and Doodle Jump broke the three million download barrier in 2010, although they both (still) cost 99c. (source:pocket gamer)
6.Chinese internet service provider Tencent’s Mobile QQ Game Hall attracts more than 13 million users daily, according to a report from Marbridge Consulting.
The platform, compatible with various formats, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian and HTML5, manages to reach that figure, despite not having a significant number of titles on offer.
The Tencent portal, connected to the Mobile QQ Game Hall, features the Chinese answer to Twitter, Weibo, which caters for over 250 million members – which could explain the large number of users.
Overall the app has surpassed the 200 million total user milestone, with a peak concurrent user figure capping at a million.
“Several dozen casual games are available through the app, with more being added regularly – primarily casual card and board games such as Dou Dizhu, Chinese chess, and Tetris,” pointed out Marbridge Consulting.
“Tencent has also launched “social features” – interactivity with Tencent Microblog – for the Symbian and Android clients. Tencent said that it would offer open partnerships to all casual game developers interested in working with Mobile QQ Game Hall.”(souce:pocktet gamer)
7.Projections suggest Windows Phone will be fighting it out at the bottom of the top of the smartphone table in the years ahead, but the first hurdle it has to overcome is the platform indices suggest is currently in third spot: BlackBerry.
Device number wise, Windows Phone is some way off challenging RIM’s platform, but numbers sourced from Distimo suggest Microsoft’s OS already boasts more apps.
“Last weekend, Windows Phone Marketplace surpassed the 60,000 active applications milestone worldwide,” said Distimo on the firm’s blog.
“Main contributor to this fact is the strong growth of new applications in January, where around 3,000 new applications were added per week.”
Such growth is not unexpected: even at the start of Windows Phone’s life, when handset sales were slow to get off the ground, the marketplace quickly became one of the fastest growing on the market.
End of round 1
Indeed, it’s taken Windows Phone Marketplace just under 16 months to hit 60,000 apps – an average of 3,750 new apps a month.
In contrast, BlackBerry App World launched 18 months previous, yet now finds itself slipping behind the newest kid on the block.
Distimo claims the race between the two platforms, however, is not over.
“Both stores have different strategies in this battle,” the firm concludes.
“On the one hand, Microsoft quickly expands Windows Phone Marketplace to more countries ;in order to gain market-power. On the other hand, RIM tries to attract Android developers by offering PlayBooks for those who submit Android applications for PlayBook OS 2.0 before February 13.
“The effects of this action is already noticed in the data, because BlackBerry added more new application to App World than Windows Phone Marketplace did last week.”(source:pocekt gamer)
8.Japanese mobile social game maker GREE really wants to do well in the U.S. against the likes of DeNA, Zynga and even Apple. And what better way to help make that happen than by diving in? The company announced today that it has opened a 41,000 square foot office space in the China Basin district of sunny San Francisco. (Seriously, it’s cold here. We’re kind of jealous.)
“We know San Francisco is the best place for us to find the significant industry talent we are searching for, to help us bring a top notch social gaming experience to all of our players,” GREE CEO Naoki Aoyagi said in a release. “We are thrilled to create this unique and comfortable space to illustrate our commitment to both San Francisco, an international hub of this industry, and our employees.”
The San Francisco office is led by GREE SVP of social games Eiji Araki, a six-year veteran of the mobile social games world in Japan. GREE hopes that Araki’s extensive experience with the free-to-play business model, combined with top talent from the Bay Area, will mix together and churn out the best mobile social games yet. In fact, two of which are set to launch in March, around the same time GREE proper is expected to land in the states and abroad.
This news follows the announcement that GREE will enlist major technology partners to ensure its mobile game network launches smoothly. With that foundation in place, now GREE looks focused on what matters (to us): the games.
“Our team is hard at work to deliver best-in-class content,” Araki said in a release. “Our aim is to constantly change the face of mobile social gaming and we know, without a doubt, that San Francisco is THE city to find the top talent to build unique games from the ground up for the Western Market.” (And hey, GREE San Francisco staffers get yoga classes in-house, so that’s neat-o.)(souce:games)
9.In the minds of the games industry’s best, Playfish was certainly on onto something with The Sims Social. Its most popular Facebook game won the Interactive Achievement Award (IAA) for Social Networking Game of the Year at last night’s 15th annual IAAs during the D.I.C.E. Summit. The game was joined other impressive nominees like Triple Town, CastleVille, Gardens of Time and Army Attack.
“Each year the Interactive Achievement Awards sees the top minds and personas of our industry coming together to not only celebrate, but recognize one another for the achievements of the year,” Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences president Martin Rae said, according to IndustryGamers. “2011 produced an outstanding number of fantastic games in all areas of the industry – console, PC, social and mobile – we are truly witnessing a new golden age of gaming. Bravo to our winners!”
Of course, Bethesda’s sword swinging and spell slinging adventure Skyrim took home the coveted Game of the Year award. (And four others last night.) As for best casual game, it also went to a Facebook game, at least in proxy. Fruit Ninja Kinect received the honor, which has been released on Facebook as Fruit Ninja Frenzy. As for The Sims Social, EA COO Peter Moore recently mused about what he wished the game could do, and if Playfish can pull it off, their game could be back next year.(souce:games)