2）Inside Virtual Goods最近报告预测，2012年美国手机游戏中的虚拟商品交易额将达5亿美元，超过2011年的3.5亿美元，但仍低于2012年29亿美元的社交游戏虚拟商品交易额。
不过Inside Network创始人Justin Smith表示，手机游戏目前仍处于起步阶段，而社交游戏则已步入发展阶段，手机游戏收益将在未来数年赶超社交游戏。
3）卡牌游戏开发商5th Planet Games日前收购纽约游戏设计咨询公司To Be Continued，旨在利用后者在收集卡牌游戏（以下简称CCG）社区经验，成为社交游戏领域的顶级硬核CCG开发商。
这两者的首次合作始于2011年的硬核Facebook CCG游戏《Clash of the Dragons》，5th Planet Games在自己的网站和Kongregate运营游戏，并计划今年在中国网站平台发布游戏。
4）据Business Insider报道，社交游戏开发商OMGPOP将与近期发布与Ghostface Killah（嘻哈界泰斗、Wu-tang Clan的著名说唱歌手）合作推出的Facebook游戏《The Street》。该公司首席执行官Dan Porter表示，这款游戏定位是“Facebook现实主义者游戏”。
从游戏截屏来看，《The Street》风格类似于《CityVille》，支持玩家创建自己的城镇，但融入了黑帮元素，植入了Wu-Tang Clan以及DJ Drama、Raekwon和GZA等内容。
5）芬兰游戏开发商Grand Cru近日宣布将于今年发布跨平台沙盒风格社交游戏《The Supernauts》，将其推向Facebook、网页、iOS和Android平台。
1）Overseas opportunities could help grow F2P market to $7.5B, says analyst
by Eric Caoili
Global revenues for free-to-play games on browsers and social networks could more than double to $7.5 billion by 2016 (mostly from virtual goods purchases), compared to $3.2 billion in 2011, according to analyst firm DFC Intelligence.
In a new report titled “The Market for Browser and Social Network Games,” DFC forecasts that much of that growth will come from outside of the U.S., where it believes the market for social games has not yet reached saturation, and where major growth opportunities for developers are open for the taking.
The group predicts that one of the biggest opportunities lies in companies creating their own network or community separate from Facebook, as Zynga plans to do with its Zyna Platform.
German developer and publisher Bigpoint (Battlestar Galactica Online) is an example of a free-to-play game company that’s pursued this strategy, and it’s managed to pick up 250 million registered users along the way.
DFC president David Cole sees fewer opportunities in the States: “While the global F2P market is quite diverse, Zynga and Facebook have dominated the market in the U.S.
“Despite major investments in the browser and social network games space from companies such as Electronic Arts and the Walt Disney Company, Zynga has only increased its dominance of the Facebook game market in the past year.”
Cole also warns against developers saturating the market with too many copycat products, and causing overall consumer fatigue. He says user retention rates for copycat free-to-play titles have been falling rapidly shortly after their release.
Online game consultant and Turbine (The Lord of the Rings Online) veteran Jess Mulligan adds that publishers need to offer something different to retain users, which will mean higher development budgets for those companies.（source:gamasutra）
2）Virtual goods revenues on the rise, mobile closing the gap on social, says report
by Tom Curtis
In-game transactions are becoming increasingly popular in game development, and a new report from Inside Virtual Goods estimates that overall revenues from virtual goods in mobile games could reach $500 million in the U.S. during 2012, up from $350 million in 2011.
This healthy increase still leaves mobile well behind social games, which are expected to see $2.9 billion in virtual goods revenue in 2012. According to Inside Virtual Goods, however, mobile revenues could close that gap within the next several years.
Justin Smith, founder of Inside Network, told VentureBeat that the mobile space is “still hitting its stride,” and while social games are still growing, they’re doing so at a slower pace.
Smith particularly pointed out that roughly 63 percent of Facebook users are aware of its proprietary currency Facebook Credits, a percentage roughly unchanged from 2011. Smith attributed this stagnation to the fact that new users are still joining Facebook, adding to the number of users that don’t yet understand its currency system.
He also revealed that the audiences buying virtual goods on mobile and social platforms are fairly different. The social audience a bit older and has a larger female segment than its mobile counterpart.
Considering the differences between social and mobile players, Smith warned that developers should be wary of making games that work across both social and mobile platforms. “An interesting challenge is how to make an app that is relevant in both realms,” he said.
Inside Virtual Goods’ full report, which includes more data on spending habits and ownership on mobile and social platforms, is now available for purchase.（source:gamasutra）
3）5th Planet Games acquires To Be Continued LLC
Collectible card game developer 5th Planet Games has acquired New York-based game design consulting company To Be Continued. The buy nets 5th Planet all of To Be Continued’s current and future projects — which include CCGs based on Twilight, The Walking Dead and two unnamed Hollywood properties.
5th Planet Games first partnered with To Be Continued on its 2011 hardcore Facebook CCG Clash of the Dragons. Based on that experience and To Be Continued’s history with the broader CCG community, 5th Planet Games decided to make the acquisition to bolster its position as the top hardcore CCG developer in the social games space.
“They are experts in their domain and they bring a ton of intellectual horsepower to the team,” 5th Planet Games Chief Business Officer Braden Moulton tells Inside Social Games. “[Co-founder] Brian David-Marshall is the official Magic: The Gathering historian and announcer of the Magic Pro Tour. [Co-founder] Matthew Wang has a depth of financial and entertainment industry experience. With that background comes networking and reaching new partnerships — we’ll be announcing a major new IP very soon that is a direct result of working with the TBC team.”
Aside from Clash of the Dragons and said unannounced new project, the To Be Continued team will also focus on growing its existing design and development business for core IPs. The developer’s experience also lends itself toward pushing 5th Planet Games into new markets. 5th Planet Games already hosts games on its own site and on hardcore gamer-focused network Kongregate. Beyond those platforms, 5th Planet hopes to launch games on Chinese networks later this year and is prepping Clash of the Dragons and Dawn of the Dragons for mobile launches in July.
“I know Facebook is working to improve the experience for mid and small size developers, but right now we’re experiencing exponential success outside of their ecosystem,” Moulton says.
“We’re aggressively pivoting to other platforms and markets that are more favorable to our business. Acquiring TBC strengthens our push to these markets by increasing our product velocity and improving game design for our demographic of core players.”（source:insidesocialgames）
4）We’re not frontin’: Ghostface Killah, OMGPOP made a Facebook game
by Joe Osborne
Hey, if Eminem can do it–never mind … terrible example. OMGPOP, the social game studio that was down on its luck before it struck gold with Draw Something, had a backup plan. Welcome to The Street (though its artwork reads simply “Streets”), a Facebook game that the New York-based developer made in collaboration with Ghostface Killah.
For the record, April Fools isn’t for about another two weeks. Business Insider scored a sneak peek of the game–along with a photo of OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter chillin’ out max with Ghostface. According to Porter, The Street will be “the realist game ever on Facebook. Think Denzel Washington in American Gangster.” (Whatever that means.)
Frankly, The Street looks as if CityVille went hood on everyone out of nowhere. It looks like the game will allow players to create their own urban neighborhood, complete with unreleased tracks from Wu-Tang Clan. The branded Facebook game will also see DJ Drama, Raekwon and GZA make appearances when the game launches next week.
Since Draw Something soared to superstar status almost overnight, this will likely be the last Facebook game OMGPOP produces, according to Porter. We just can’t wait to see how Wu-Tang diversifies Facebook gaming. (We’re never above a well-placed pun.)（source:games）
5）The Supernauts sounds like Minecraft meets FarmVille on mobile, web
by Joe Osborne
Actually, that sounds pretty darn cool, but this game only in the alpha test stage. Grand Cru, a new Helsinki, Finland-based game developer, has announced The Supernauts. This cross-platform, sandbox-style social game will launch later this year on Facebook, the web, iOS and Android, and promises to bring player-generated content in a big way.
“The challenge and excitement of making The Supernauts really comes from trying to guess how players will react within the open world once we launch the game,” Grand Cru creative director and co-founder Harri Granholm said in a release. “The Supernauts’ open world sandbox environment gives an amazing amount of leeway when playing. The game is ultimately about total freedom, and we can’t wait to see what content the players come up with.”
The Supernauts will allow players to act as superheroes of sorts in a world of their own design. Equipped with a magical zapper, players will have the ability to either build up or destroy the game world’s environment block by block. In that regard, it sounds a helluva lot like the massive hit online game Minecraft, but with an isometric perspective à la FarmVille.
Of course, players will get to complete pre-determined challenges, but most importantly collaborate with others in creating new objects, structures and even their own games. That–plus cross-platform play in which players can play on one device and pick up where they left off on another–sounds like quite the tall order. Interested in alpha testing the game? Sign up right here.（source:games）