2）跨平台游戏搜索网站TeePee Games宣布与游戏开发商HitPoint合作，将后者旗下的《Gun Bros.》、《Build-A-Lot-Metropolis》和《Organized Crime》等数款Facebook游戏引进TeePee平台。TeePee网站目前已有超过350款的Facebook游戏，2500款Flash游戏和100多款Android手机游戏。
4）视频游戏《光晕》开发商Bungie最近宣布成立新部门Bungie Aerospace，将为独立工作室和开发者提供创作自由和资源，帮助他们发行手机及社交游戏。由此可见，手机及社交游戏已经成为行业大势所趋，即使是Bungie这样成功的视频游戏公司也难挡其诱惑。该公司首席运营总监Pete Parsons表示，Bungie希望制作和体验出色的游戏，不介意游戏运行于哪个平台。
Bungie Aerospace的首家正式合作伙伴是西雅图开发商Harebrained Schemes，后者第一款手机游戏是将于今年夏天登陆苹果iOS和Android平台的《Crimson》。
5）社交游戏开发商LOLapps最近宣布收购基于Flash的技术开发引擎Fliso Engine，向开发技术领域迈出了第一步。Fliso Engine原本是由Sean Cooper Games的一个小型开发团队所创建，主要用于开发等距视角的应用内容，例如实时策略游戏和城建游戏。
据该公司首席执行官Arjun Sethi所称，LOLapps在开发《Ravenwood Fair》时就已采用Fliso Engine，并认为这是一项强大的技术，部分原因是它使用Flash的方式与多数公司不一样，支持开发者像创建HTML5或其他平台的内容一样执行操作。除了收购这项技术，LOLapps还聘用了Sean Cooper及其团队，Cooper将任LOLapps英国工作室的首席Flash建模师，管理公司的技术开发团队。
Sethi指出至今已有15家开发商使用了Fliso Engine，在五家顶级社交游戏工作室中，就有四者采用了该技术，LOLapps将继续为其他公司提供Fliso Engine的技术服务。
6）Playdom宣布将于7月16日关闭2009年发布的Facebook游戏《Tiki Farm》（游戏邦注：另一款Playdom游戏《Tiki Resort》已在数周前悄悄关闭），据AppData数据显示，该游戏MAU已从全盛时期的640万骤降至26万。
7）SGN是Facebook上的一个游戏门户网站，其用户数量在过去6个月中稳步增长，目前运行于Facebook上的10款应用MAU总数为990万，DAU是200万，其中有三分之二以上的流量来自《Wheel of Fortune》和《Jeopardy！》。
SGN社交游戏业务副总裁Davin Miyoshi表示，GSN用户增长主要得益于采用了Facebook Credits付费系统，并因此实现了40%的营收增长。另一个原因在于，GSN持续添加更多游戏内容，并着力于优化网站的用户体验。他称SGN与另一家知名游戏门户网站MindJolt的用户和目标定位略有不同，MindJolt专注于独立游戏开发，而GSN偏重于街机和休闲风格的游戏。
8）在线游戏盈利解决方案供应商Live Gamer将为2K Games即将发布的社交游戏《Civilzation World》（Sid Meier作品）提供服务，向该游戏植入含有可处理游戏钱包、虚拟商品目录管理、道具贩售等功能的Live Gamer Elements平台。除了2K Games，Live Gamer的其他盈利解决方案合作伙伴还包括EA和THQ。
9）据Engadget报道，谷歌新社交平台Google+的代码暗藏着一个重要信号，谷歌或已计划将Google Games和Google Questions等新服务引Google+。知情人透露，在Google+源代码的测试中随处可见“have sent you Game invites and more from Google+Games……”这类字眼，由此可见Google的游戏发展战略也许确有其事。
硬核游戏开发商Kabam首席执行官Kevin Chou向媒体表示，Google+中的Circles功能有助于Kabam直接锁定硬核游戏玩家，而非喜欢《FarmVille》这类游戏的休闲玩家，Kabam会认真评估Google+是否将成为一个强大的游戏平台。RockYou执行副总裁Jonathan Kight也有类似看法，他称用户并不总是与真正的好友玩社交游戏，而Circles正好有助于玩家创建“社交游戏群”，与那些游戏玩伴进行互动。
1）Kleiner’s Bing Gordon: gamers should make $3 an hour while playing
Online gamers should on average generate $3 of value per hour, regardless of the game they are playing — and game designers should aim for that target, said Bing Gordon, partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
That’s the sweet spot for creating a level of satisfaction for gamers when they play an online game, Gordon said. That’s based on the reward that players generate for playing the game for an hour. For example, the amount of gold a player earns in online game World of Warcraft, should sell for around $3 on secondary or black markets. In games like FarmVille, players should generate $3 per hour in terms of gifts or coins.
“In games, all online games, the clearing price of assets is $3 an hour,” Gordon said. “The stuff you can make in World of Warcraft can sell on the open or black market for $3 an hour.”
Similar to achieving something in real life, gamers want to generate some kind of real value out of the game — even if the game is just meant to waste time. Players are much more likely to continue playing a game if there’s an illusion of creating value in the game, Gordon said.（source:venturebeat）
2）TeePee adds three games from HitPoint
by Tim Green
Deal brings Facebook games Gun Bros, Build-A-Lot-Metropolis and Organized Crime to the TeePee discovery portal.
HitPoint makes PC, mobile, social and online Flash games, and has produced more than 30 titles for ad agencies and publishers.
Darren Newnham, head of content at TeePee Games, said: “HitPoint is known for creating well developed highly enjoyable titles so we were more than happy to include their titles in our catalogue of Facebook games.
“We have very stringent quality controls in place to ensure that only the best titles are included on our games discovery portal and as expected Gun Bros, Build-A-Lot-Metropolis and Organized Crime ticked all the right boxes.”
The new additions add to a catalogue that already numbers over 350 Facebook, 2,500 Flash and 100 Android games.
And last month, the portal tweaked its code so that Facebook users can access TeePee titles without leaving the social network.（source:mobile-ent）
3）Mochi Competitor TicTacTi Raises $500K In Funding Round
by Frank Cifaldi
Israeli Flash game advertising platform TicTacTi has secured $500,000 in a new round of funding, bringing its total amount of funding to over $1.6 million.
The latest funding round was led by Kima Ventures, according to TechCrunch.
Founded in 2007, TicTacTi develops advertising overlays for Flash applications, including games. The company advertises its platform as being quick to integrate and requiring no source code.
The company’s wrapper currently supports browser-based Flash games and Facebook apps, with mobile and XNA support forthecoming.
TicTacTi’s clients include Nike, Starbucks, and Seattle-based casual game developer GameHouse. （source:gamasutra）
4）Bungie Aerospace flies into mobile and social games
The creators of the Halo video game series are jumping into the social and mobile game markets with the establishment of their Bungie Aerospace division today.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based venture will help independent game developers create and publish mobile and social games. Bungie Aerospace will give indie studios the creative freedom and resources they need to launch their games, such as access to the huge Bungie community and Bungie.net platform. The move shows that social and mobile games are proving irresistible for game makers, even for a company as successful as Bungie, which has sold tens of millions of copies of its Halo console games.
“Bungie has always been passionate about making and playing great games, regardless of platform,” said Pete Parsons, Bungie’s chief operating officer. “Bungie Aerospace will allow us to explore game creation in multiple formats with some amazingly talented teams. Now that we’ve returned to our roots as an independent studio, we are in a position to launch Bungie Aerospace to support, foster, and elevate like-minded, independent developers.”
Bungie Aerospace’s first official partnership is with Seattle-based developer Harebrained Schemes, headed by Jordan Weisman, one of the biggest creative minds in the game industry. Weisman has created a wide range of games and companies over time. His projects include Halo 2’s “I Love Bees” alternate reality game, FASA Interactive, Wizkids, the MechWarrior and Shadowrun universes, and dozens of other creations. The studio’s first mobile gaming title, “Crimson,” will launch this summer on Apple iOS and Android devices. More details will be revealed in the coming weeks.（source:venturebeat）
5）Lolapps Gets Into Tech With Fliso Engine Acquisition
by Christian Nutt
Ravenwood Fair developer Lolapps recently announced that it has acquired the Flash-based Fliso Engine, marking the company’s first step beyond app development and into the technology space.
Lolapps said in an interview with Gamasutra that this acquisition is part of a larger plan to incorporate technology into the company’s business plan. Company CEO Arjun Sethi explained that Lolapps decided to purchase the engine because of its proven success on the company’s titles.
“We use the engine right now for Ravenwood Fair, and it really is some cool technology. It’s also going to be part of the games we are making for the future — the engine is just super badass,” he told Gamasutra.
Fliso — or the Flash Isometric Graphics engine — was originally developed by a small team at Sean Cooper Games, and, as its name implies, specializes in creating titles played from an isometric perspective, such as real-time strategy or city-building titles.
“Part of the reason we like Sean Cooper’s engine is that he doesn’t use Flash in the way that most companies use Flash. He’s built his engine so that you can use the same process toward HTML5 or other platforms,” Sethi explained, noting that the company could adapt the engine to emerging platforms other than Flash.
“The goal is that we can move this over to any platforms moving forward, and that we’re able to deliver the same kind of experience no matter what platforms may or may not arise,” he continued.
In addition to acquiring the tech, Lolapps has hired on Sean Cooper and his team, who will work from the UK, where the company plans to open a new branch. Cooper will head up the UK office as Chief Flash Architect, and will grow his team to manage the company’s technology development.
With Cooper and his team working on the tech full-time, Lolapps plans to release two additional, updated versions of the Fliso engine this fall.
Sethi pointed out that as of now, more than 15 developers are currently using the Fliso Engine, including four of the top five social game studios, and Lolapps plans to continue to make the tools available to these and other companies.
“We’re planning on giving the tools out for free to developers, and then we’ll figure out what to do moving forward,” Sethi said, “I think it’s good [to give it way for free]. It ties into our strategy of working with developers for a longer term. The goal is to give it to developers to let them play with the toolsets, and also see what we are doing wrong and what we can do to improve.” （source:gamasutra）
6）Playdom’s closing Tiki Farm and, nope, there are no refunds
by Libe Goad
When it launched in 2009, Playdom’s Facebook game Tiki Farm promised to whisk you away to a tropical island where it’s nothing but you, your crops and exotic pets, such as a pair of blue-footed boobies.
Sad to say, we come bearing bad news, island dwellers. Playdom plans to shutter Tiki Farm on July 16 (Tiki Resort, another Playdom game, was quietly canceled several weeks ago). The tropical-themed farm game went from an all-time high of 6.4 million players a month to a dismal 260K players per month, according to AppData.
Based on the drop in the game’s popularity, the game’s closure doesn’t come as a surprise. A notice on the Tiki Farm Facebook fan page, says its shutting down the game to “focus on building new more engaging games.” OK, fair enough. The surprising part, however, is the finality of the last sentence of the notice that says “refunds on the basis that the game is no longer available to play.”
It would, admittedly, be absurd to expect Playdom or any other social game company refund all of a player’s money when a game is closed, but this also highlights an important ethical question that all Facebook and freemium game makers must face. When you close an online game that some have spent thousands of dollars to play — should the company (in this case, Playdom) be required to throw their big spenders a bone? At the very least offer additional credits that can be used in another game?
We’ve reached out to Playdom to see what, if anything, Tiki Farm’s big spenders will get when the game closes. In the meantime, we’ll be donning our virtual grass skirts and paying one last visit to our quiet tropical/farming paradise. （source:games）
7）GSN Plans Mobile Expansion, Looks for Games to License on Facebook Portal App
By AJ Glasser
Games portals on Facebook have found varying degrees of success depending on accessibility and marketing, but leading portal GSN has been fairly quiet this year while its competitors raise funding and announce cross-platform plans. Today, the developer shares its mobile aspirations and long-term plans for its Games platform.
When we last checked in with GSN in fall of 2010, the developer had rapidly grown to 8 million monthly active users and 1.4 million daily active users in just a handful of months. That growth has continued at a more gradual pace in the last six months, bringing GSN to present-day levels of 9.9 million MAU and 2 million DAU across all 10 of its Facebook applications. The GSN Games portal makes up more than two thirds of that traffic with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy combined making up most of the remainder.
Davin Miyoshi, Vice President of Social Games at GSN, attributes part of this growth to implementing Facebook Credits as an embedded payment method. “We’ve seen on the scale of three times increase in the percentage of users that pay us,” he says. “We’ve also seen revenue growth, but obviously not all of that can be attributed to Facebook… but in that same time period [that we introduced Credits], we’ve seen revenue grow about 40%.”
Another contributing factor to overall growth Miyoshi names is adding more games to the Games portal and optimizing the overall portal experience. Though the standalone Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy games are still supported by GSN as part of a partnership with Sony Pictures, the plan is to move away from developing standalone games and instead bring more games to the games portal.
“We’re not looking to be a platform so much as a cultivated community,” Miyoshi says. “We want to provide an experience to the end user that’s much more controlled — but we are looking for high quality games for the platform. We’d pay for the right game and they’d potentially make more money with us than they would with platforms like MindJolt.”
Comparisons to the MindJolt games portal on Facebook are inevitable, but to hear Miyoshi tell it, the two are actually after different goals and potentially different audiences. While MindJolt appears to be positioning itself as a home for indie game development across a range of game types and genres, GSN Games are very focused on arcade and casual titles like match-3 or video poker.
Most of the games are made in-house or licensed on a game-by-game basis from other developers.（source:insidesocialgames）
8）Live Gamer To Power Civilization World’s Microtransactions
by Frank Cifaldi
Online monetization platform provider Live Gamer will power the microtransactions in 2K Games’ upcoming Sid Meier’s Civilization World, the companies jointly announced Thursday.
The Live Gamer Elements platform will be integrated into the game, which includes a monetization engine that handles the game’s e-wallet, virtual goods catalog management, item storefronts and more.
“It’s an honor to be a part of 2K’s first endeavor into the social games world with their debut Facebook application, Civilization World,” said Live Gamer president and co-founder Andrew Schneider.
In addition to 2K, Live Gamer also has existing microtransaction partnerships with EA and THQ.（source:gamasutra）
9）Google Plus will have social games, too, source code reveals
by Joe Osborne
It looks like developers like Kabam and LOLapps might have been right in getting hyped about Google Plus. According to Engadget, Google is planning to integrate its now-nebulous Games platform into Google Plus. And it’s all in the source code, baby.
When a tipster dug deep within the nascent service’s–it just entered an exclusive beta test–source code, he found these words littered everywhere: “have sent you Game invites and more from Google+ Games…”
And then the code trails off into some alien language we can’t bother trying to understand. But alas, Games and Google Plus will be one some day. Of course we already knew, thanks to a blatant job posting, that Google is serious about its games effort.
So, we still know just as much as we did before: Google Games is happening … and that’s about it so far. (Well, we also know that the games will be social, but that was a gimme, no?) We’ve contacted Google for comment.（source:games）
10）Social Game Developers Keen On Google Plus’ Selective ‘Circles’
by Kris Graft
Kevin Chou, CEO of core-gamer focused Kingdoms of Camelot developer Kabam told Gamasutra, “In terms of first impressions, I think what’s impressive is that Google has dealt products that connect multiple Google properties, and that has achieved, more or less, feature-parity with Facebook. It’s a very impressive feat, and I think Google has shown that they can build a high-quality product with a high-touch user interface, with design in mind.”
Chou received an early-invite the to the network’s beta (the system is currently in “limited field testing,” Google said), and has been exploring Google Plus. It’s still too early for any developer to commit a product to Google Plus quite yet, but Chou said, “We’ll see how consumer adoption goes across that platform, but I think the initial look of the product is very impressive.”
For Kabam specifically, the Circles in Google Plus could more directly target the developer’s core gamer audience, rather than friends more interested in FarmVille. “In terms of whether or not the platform can eventually be a great place for games — and specifically for Kabam… — I think it’s certainly something we’re heavily evaluating, should we decide to go head in that direction,” said Chou.
It’s not just Kabam that is interested in what Google Plus’ Circles could offer. “People who play games on social networks typically have groups of people they play games with, who don’t necessarily overlap with ‘true’ friends they see socially,” said Jonathan Knight, SVP of Games RockYou (Zoo World).
Knight said that RockYou has been working with Google’s “social gaming team,” and had early access to the network. While he didn’t reveal that any Google Plus games are in the works from RockYou, he said, “We are definitely energized by Google Plus and the work that is happening there…We look forward to watching their platform evolve, and to working with them on projects in the future.”
For game developers we spoke with, it’s the increased level of communication and the tailoring of that communication that is so promising. “Google Plus is a great step for Google. It’s clear that they’ve built it from the ground up with the idea of improving communication with the social web in mind,” said Arjun Sethi, CEO of Ravenwood Fair house Lolapps.
Another aspect of Google that has a unique appeal when compared to Facebook is that the company has its massive fingers in major sectors, as it’s also owner of a web browser and mobile operating system. Imagine an army of new Android phones and tablets pre-installed with Google Plus, ready to let users access their favorite social games.
“Their approach is simple yet apparent across their Google products,” Sethi said. “It will be exciting to see how millions of consumers start adapting to it. For Lolapps specifically, Google Plus will give us the opportunity to extend the ways that we are already innovating upon other social platforms and to see what Google has to offer.” （source:gamasutra）