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每日观察:关注Zynga社交游戏平台Zynga Platform(3.2)

发布时间:2012-03-02 14:51:53 Tags:,,,

1)Zynga日前宣布将通过Zynga.com推出自己的社交游戏平台Zynga Platform,支持用户在没有好友请求、邀请、YouTube链接或宠物照片分享等Facebook干扰因素的情况下玩游戏。

该公司首席运营官John Schappert表示,Zynga内部调查显示,如果有更多好友在线,玩家在游戏中的逗留时间会更久。而在这个新Zynga Platform环境中,用户无需点击Facebook好友消息就可扩大玩家同盟。

Zynga Platform (from games)

Zynga Platform (from games)

该平台推出的Social Stream功能支持玩家向也在体验某款游戏的用户发送请求,并将这些玩家添加为自己的“zFriends”,在无需获知对方个人信息的情况下一起玩游戏。据该公司所称,这种功能有助于加强用户粘性,使用户可直接得到其他玩家的响应,而无需像过去那样坐等好友回应请求。

2)InsideSocialGames根据MAU和DAU总结了3月份Facebook前25强社交游戏名单:

在DAU榜单上用户增长最快的当属Playmonk新游戏《Sultan Bubble》(发布于2月份),最近DAU为130万;其次是King.com旗下的《Bubble Witch Saga》,如果其DAU持续保持目前增势,极有可能在下个月跻身前5强之列。而本月DAU流失最多的则分别是Zynga游戏《CastleVille》(流失40万)和《CityVille》(流失30万),EA Playfish游戏《模拟人生社交版》(流失30万)以及迪士尼Playdom游戏《Gardens of Time》(流失30万)。

Top-25-Chart-Template-DAU(from AppData)

Top-25-Chart-Template-DAU(from AppData)

位居DAU榜单之首的是《Words With Friends》,目前DAU为890万,第三名是Zynga新游戏《Hidden Chronicles》,最近DAU为720万。

Top-25-Chart-Template-MAU(from AppData)

Top-25-Chart-Template-MAU(from AppData)

从MAU榜单来看,尽管《CityVille》DAU流失较严重,但MAU表现依然强劲(4670万),《Hidden Chronicles》在本榜单仍位居第三,MAU达3270万。值得注意的是,上月曾现身MAU榜单的《Adventure Worlds》、《Ravensky City》和《Hanging With Friends》均已淡出,Halfbrick旗下的《Fruit Ninja Frenzy》则成为MAU增长最快的第二大游戏,并且毫无减弱的迹象,目前MAU为560万。

从本月榜单情况来看,前25强游戏的DAU门槛上升至130万,而12月份时的这一数据则是100万左右。

3)据techcrunch报道,Zynga日前推出自已的社交游戏平台之时,其股票售价上涨将近10%,在3月1日收盘时的交易价格近15美元。观察者称原因很明显,Zynga此举表明它正逐步摆脱对Facebook的依赖,这有利于增强投资者的信心。

zynga stock(from insidesocialgames)

zynga stock(from insidesocialgames)

Zynga.com将包含一系列社交渠道和功能,并向第三方开发商开放服务(但第三方开发商需向Zynga付费),允许后者通过该平台分享2.4亿的Zynga用户。

4)社交游戏开发商Funzio日前宣布向谷歌社交平台Google+推出新款RPG游戏《Kingdom Age》(游戏邦注:该游戏首先在Google+和Chrome Web Store平台独家发布,之后会扩展至Facebook等其他平台)。

Kingdom Age(from games)

Kingdom Age(from games)

游戏采用了类似《魔兽世界》的“loot lust”元素,即植入拥有强大道具的可怕敌人,并且其掌握的道具(例如剑或盾)对玩家的多个任务影响甚大;此外游戏还采用了社交游戏中常见的约定机会,并支持玩家创建自己的王国,抵御外敌入侵。

5)独立开发者Cipher Prime最近发布信息图表,仔细列出了自己每月1.5万美元开销的去向。

Cipher Prime的首款Flash游戏《Auditorium》在2008年中期发布时大受欢迎,尽管这个四人团队仍然备受赞誉,但却并未获得可观收益,因此打算通过大众融资网站寻求帮助,以便筹资6万美元制作新游戏《Auditorium 2: Duet》。

15k inforgraphic(from cipher)

15k inforgraphic(from cipher)

该图表指出,其团队每月租金占7%(仅1000美元),职业费用(例如保险、律师和会计等)占7%,网络服务费用占3%,伙食费占2%,水电费占3%,其他服务费用占2%,剩下款项均用于支付工资(平均每月1万美元,每周2500美元,每人每小时15.63美元)。

6)据PaidContent报道,近日有家名为Gametek的公司起诉Zynga、6waves Lolapps、Wooga、Crowdstar、EA等多家大型社交游戏开发商,宣称后者侵犯自己的一项虚拟交易专利,并要求这些公司支付相关补偿。

据称Gametek名下实际上并无具体项目或资产,基本上是以打“专利侵权”官司为业,也就是收购专利,然后起诉涉嫌侵权的其他公司。

Gametek在90年代时原先是一家独立游戏发行商,曾发布《Wheel of Fortune》、《Double Dare》等基于热门电视节目的游戏,但在1997年时宣告破产,并于1998年倒闭,但仍将使用这一公司名称出席法庭。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

1)Zynga’s new platform may be first step toward Facebook divorce

by Frank Cifaldi

Social gaming giant Zynga formally unveiled its Zynga Platform on Thursday, freeing itself from the constraints of Facebook…at least, partially.

The web-based platform, launching later this month on Zynga.com, will separate the company’s games from many of its Facebook constraints, placing users in an environment where nothing will distract them from the company’s bottom line: no friend requests, event invites, YouTube links, or pet photos will be seen here. It is as if Facebook was stripped away of everything that isn’t a Zynga game.

The move, says the company, is the result of its years-in-the-making attempt to not only increase the retention of existing social game players, but to draw in those who aren’t already playing.

Zynga’s mantra — repeated to Gamasutra by no less than three employees in two separate phone calls — is to see 1 billion people playing its games together. And with a current monthly active user count north of 240 million, the company says that number is more than feasible.

But is cutting out all of the other social networking distractions enough to do that? And furthermore, is Zynga making its first step toward eventually divorcing itself from Facebook?

Friend…or zFriend?

Zynga’s internal research suggests that players of its games (or indeed, any games) stick around longer if they have more people to play with. And on Zynga’s new platform, the company hopes, finding new playmates should be a snap.

“They want a place where they can find dedicated social games, where the feed is just about gaming,” Zynga’s John Schappert tells Gamasutra. Schappert is the well-known COO the company poached from EA last year.

Zynga.com’s “Social Stream” connects players who aren’t necessarily friends.In this new Zynga Platform environment, users will be able to expand their pool of game-playing allies without necessarily tapping into their Facebook friends feed.

Zynga is calling these new proto-friends “zFriends.” zFriends can be discovered and connected with in a way new for the company: typically when playing a social game on Facebook, players are limited to their personal friends feed in order to tap into the social aspects of its games, such as item requests.

On the Zynga Platform, the company is introducing what it’s calling the Social Stream, which allows players to send out requests to thousands of other people playing the game, friends or otherwise. Players can then connect with each other as zFriends, and continue playing together without necessarily accessing each others’ personal information.

The feature, says the company, should keep players engaged longer: rather than sitting back to wait for their traditional friends to help, players should receive near-instant gratification from an enormous pool of candidates.(source:gamasutra

2)Top 25 Facebook Games of March 2012

Mike Thompson

It’s getting busy around here: GDC is just around the corner, Zynga has launched its own independent platform, and it’s time for us to take a look at the top 25 Facebook games of March 2012.

We start with the top 25 games by daily active users (which is the best way to gauge a title’s core audience), where just over half of the games on this month’s list saw gains. The largest gain belongs to newcomer Sultan Bubble from Playmonk, which launched in February and is still showing a steady increase of DAU. King.com’s Bubble Witch Saga, which showed the second-largest gain, is also showing steady DAU increase and may very well break into the top five next month if its DAU increase rate remains consistent. The largest losses for the month belonged to CastleVille and CityVille, respectively.

Now on to monthly active users, which measures a game’s overall reach. Even though it lost almost a million MAU, CityVille continues to lead the pack by several lengths. Hidden Chronicles moved into third place thanks to the largest MAU gain of the month. Only eight titles still on the chart lost ground this month, though Adventure World, Ravensky City and Hanging With Friends were all knocked off our rankings entirely. Fruit Ninja Frenzy makes the rankings this month, having grown in leaps and bounds since early February. It’s our second-largest MAU gain on the list, and doesn’t seem to be showing any sign of slowing down.

Looking at the top 25 rankings chart, “top” games now require 1.3 million DAU to break onto the top 25 rankings chart. That’s well up from December, where games needed roughly a million DAU in order to make an appearance; five games meet that number and are sitting just outside of the top 25. What will be interesting to see in the next month is whether or not Zynga’s games show dramatic rank changes, now that the company has launched its independent platform Zynga.com, which could potentially lure players away from Facebook by teasing a faster play experience.(source:insidesocialgames

3)Investors Push Zynga Stock Up 10% — Now It Can Make Money On Ads And Publishing

Eric Eldon

Zynga is now officially launching its own web site for social games, and the move has got investors buying its stock. Shares are up nearly 10 percent as of market closing today towards $15 — or 50 percent of the $10 price it went public at back in December. Why? The obvious reason is that the move is a way for Zynga to lessen its reliance on Facebook.

But Zynga is still using Facebook exclusively as its identity service and payments system, so it’s not true to say that it’s lessening anything right now. That is, except for two things: publisher payments and ads.

The new site, Zynga.com, will include a range of social communication channels and friend suggestions based on what games people play and how they play them. It is opening up all of this to third party developers, too, plus access to Zynga’s hundreds of millions of users. But, they’ll have to pay. Facebook is already taking a 30 percent cut of all virtual goods payments in the platform, because Zynga is using Facebook Credits to power payments.

Zynga is still able to make money here, however. Chief operating officer John Schappert tells me that the company is also working out publisher deals with developers come on board. That is, it appears to be negotiating an additional cut from them, on top of the Credits fee.

But let’s back up to Credits — Zynga has to use them because of an exclusive five-year deal that Facebook made it sign back in 2009. Part of the terms required that Zynga use Credits in anything it did on the web outside of Facebook. This basically turns Zynga into an early evangelist for Facebook Credits, in the event that the social network wants to expand the currency off of Facebook.com

The terms provided something else, too. They allowed Zynga to run its own canvas ads on its properties, as I detailed on Inside Social Games last July. On Facebook, Facebook owns all the ad inventory.

You don’t see ads on Zynga.com right now, but Zynga could plug all of its advertisers — the people who are running branded virtual goods campaigns and offers in its existing games — on these sites as well. Or any other ad content for that matter, like ads that other developers could pay for within Zynga.com in order to reach users. And that could turn into a quality new revenue stream.(source:techcrunch

4)Crime City’s maker exclusively ushers Google+ into a Kingdom Age

by Joe Osborne

“In combat, you deploy the army all at once–you’re not doing a particularly complicated, RTS kind of move,” Funzio VP of business development Jamil Moledina gushes to us about its new action role-playing game (RPG) for Google+, Kingdom Age. “It’s a way to get closer to a more layered combat system while still being ludicrously accessible. It’s still just a click.”

An action RPG akin to classics like Gauntlet and Diablo is an oddity in social games. (Actually, it’s said that Zynga attempted to create one for Facebook before the days of Mafia Wars and scrapped it.) But Funzio sees that as one of Kingdom Age’s advantages. This RPG, which will premiere on Google+ and the Chrome Web Store and later spread to Facebook and elsewhere, is neither a core social game–like, say, Backyard Monsters–or a casual one a la FarmVille.

“The environments of the game look and feel very much like those classic games. You are walking around in a beautifully animated game with monsters that look and move just like you would see on a console or PC action game,” Moledina tells us. “The difference is that this is till midway between those two categories. This is a mid-core game.”

Kingdom Age is a fantasy RPG through and through in more ways than just aesthetics. In order to keep players coming back, Funzio has injected what it calls “loot lust” into the game. Veterans of games like World of Warcraft will understand that term immediately. But for the average social gamer, this means that the strongest beasts in the game hold powerful, rare items like swords and shields that will prove vital in players’ various quests. In short, expect to kill some monsters way more than once.

Of course, the game will employ the appointment-based mechanics that have become the mode of social games. We imagine that these will be reserved for the empire-building portion of Kingdom Age. Players will get to create their own kingdoms, complete with castles and other buildings, only to defend it from other players. So, while the single-player portion of Kingdom Age will see players crawling through crypts for loot, the multiplayer end pits friends against one another in large scale battles.(source:games

5)The high cost of being indie (infographic)

Sebastian Haley

Being indie ain’t easy. Without the safety blanket of a publisher or the wallet of an angel investor, many indie devs rely on personal loans, credit cards, and scrape by on the meager profits of their last game month-to-month. Cipher Prime is one such developer, and has provided an infographic to illustrate where $15,000 goes each month.

Cipher Prime’s debut Flash game, Auditorium, was critically acclaimed upon its release in mid-2008, and while the team of four has continued to rack up accolades since then, the Scrooge McDuck-esque vaults of money have not been quite as forthcoming. Now, Cipher Prime is looking to Kickstarter to fund Auditorium 2: Duet, for a sizable $60,000 (less than four months’ worth of operating costs, according to this graphic).(source:venturebeat

6)Apparent patent troll sues major social game companies

by Tom Curtis

An apparent patent troll using the name Gametek has sued some of the social game industry’s biggest companies, accusing them of violating a patent related to virtual transactions.

The social companies in question include most of the market’s biggest players, such as Zynga, 6waves Lolapps, Wooga, Crowdstar, Electronic Arts, and numerous others — the lawsuit names 21 defendants in all.

Gametek, meanwhile, has no clear business or assets to its name, effectively making it a “patent troll,” which operates only to acquire patents and sue companies that allegedly violate them, reports PaidContent.

In this case, Gametek is referring to a U.S. patent describing a “System and methods for obtaining advantages and transacting the same in a computer gaming environment” — essentially referring to in-app purchases.

In truth, this isn’t the first company to bear the Gametek name. Gametek originally existed as an independent game publisher in the 1990s, and released a number of titles based on Wheel of Fortune, Double Dare, and other popular game shows.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and finally closed its doors in 1998. Now, the plaintiffs in this case are using the Gametek name to represent themselves in court.

The party currently behind Gametek is seeking a permanent injunction against the defendants, a reimbursement of its legal fees, and any other assets to which it may be entitled.(source:gamasutra


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