This week we produced a few videos highlighting social gaming industry leaders, including an interview with Offerpal Chief Revenue Officer Mihir Shah and a speech by Zynga VP of Product Development Mark Skaggs. There was a lot of gaming news, including Zynga making a 5 year Facebook Credits deal with Facebook, Playdom acquiring the legendary Acclaim Games, an interview with Masaru Ohnogi from GCrest America and Zynga acquiring Chinese Social Games developer XPD Media. Read on after the jump for more!
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Here are the highlights from this week in social games.
Offerpal’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mihir Shah, recently sat down with Social Times to discuss Offerpal’s latest GamePoints.com initiatives, the drive for social games to extend beyond major social networks and how Offerpal serves over 1 billion virtual coins a day. Shah also revealed several key metrics about Offerpal’s reach and answered a few questions about how the social gaming and virtual currency industries may evolve. See the videos after the jump.
At this year’s Social Gaming Summit, Zynga’s VP of Product Development and Farmville Lead Designer Mark Skaggs talked about the ‘appointment-driven game mechanic’, where players play their games on a schedule. He discusses the effect of changing the rate of growth of certain crops and creating products for players that only play at work, Monday to Friday. Farmville is the most popular social game ever made, so if you are interested in what made it special, check out the video after the jump.
We recently had the chance to play with GCrest’s TinierMe, a virtual world dedicated to Japanese anime and culture, and we were pleasantly compelled by the authentic Japanese presentation and rich graphics. To follow up, I had a chance to visit with Masaru “Nogi” Ohnogi, the CEO of GCrest America and Emily Joffrion of Inner Circle Labs who’s working with TinierMe to help promote the game in North America. We discussed the social elements of TinierMe, the formation of the business, a few key metrics and more. Read the interview after the jump
Zynga today announced they are acquiring Beijing-based social gaming company XPD Media. This is Zynga’s first step into the asian market and XPD gives it a strong presence in one of social gaming’s fastest markets. Zynga also acquires a full Chinese development house to boost it’s already booming workforce, estimated to be approaching 1000 employees. XPD’s CEO, Robin Chan, will become Zynga’s GM of Asian business. Read more after the jump.
Any social gaming industry insider will tell you that it’s been a rough couple of months for social game developers. After Facebook turned off ‘notifications’ on their social network, games haven’t been able to retain or gain users as well, and top games like Farmville have lost almost 5% of their monthly active userbase. That said, the fastest growing game on social networks for the last while has been iWin’s Family Feud for Faceook, and there’s no doubt that one of the key features that’s driving that growth is their implementation of the Fast Money Round.
Playdom has been restless and extremely active in the social gaming arena announcing special partnerships and acquisitions at a higher frequency then any other player in the space. Adding to their palette is the latest acquisition of the casual and MMORPG game publisher Acclaim Games. Playdom’s continued shopping spree indicates the importance of using funds wisely and quickly as companies vie for top talent and technologies in the rugged social gaming landscape.
Facebook and ZyngaÂ announced today that they have entered into a five-year strategic relationship that increases the use of Facebook Credits in Zynga’s social games. This is clearly a message that the two companies are planning a future together based on Facebook’s up and coming Credits currency. Unfortunately the two companies are not disclosing any details about the new partnership. I imagine this is to assure people that Zynga is not planning to make any drastic moves to separate from Facebook, although the press release does not refer to anything about where the games live.
Other important links from this week: