The Sims Social developer Electronic Arts produced an infographic comparing the behavior of the game’s players with real-life behavior.
Facebook Credits surrendered its stranglehold on digital coinage on the social network, as developers can now have their own in-app currency.
Playfish/EA Sports has been working quietly on bringing the highly acclaimed Madden franchise to Facebook. Entitled “Madden NFL Superstars”, the game allows players to create their ultimate fantasy squad by collecting or trading NFL players and competing in matchups against their Facebook friends.
Coinciding with recent announcements by Playfish that they were going to bring an EA brand to Facebook, Peter Moore just announced that “Madden NFL” will be released for Facebook. The details are sparse, but Moore stated on Bloomberg Television that “we have to make Madden’ more accessible,” and “you’ll see us on Facebook going forward.”
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As the Facebook gaming wars continue to heat up, analysts seek as many ways as possible to measure each companies’ gaming success. Monthly Active Users (MAUs), Daily Active Users (DAUs), Page Views, Monetization… the list goes on. There are as many ways to measure an application’s success as there are applications in the Facebook directory. That said, the dimension of user loyalty has always been interesting to me, and the concept of the users-to-fans ratio for a given application does a good job of indicating what percentage of users play the game and publicly demonstrate their affinity by signing up as a fan.
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Last month Playfish held a holiday contest which challenged users to create holiday decorations that were inspired by Playfish games. This year’s winner spent 5 tireless days developing something extraordinary. While it isn’t exactly breaking news, this robot, developed by Tami Ka, is pretty incredible. The robot is inspired by the Crazy Planets robot. Honestly, this robot is something I’d expect to find in Make magazine with the incredible to detail.
See the photos now on Social Times »
It’s a good month for Zynga. The company has one game which continues to thrive as the largest Facebook application ever and has a second application, Café World, which has raced up the charts in just a couple weeks. Playfish, now the second largest developer, also has had a great month with close to 20 percent growth, however it hasn’t been able to match Zynga who is simply dominating the Facebook platform.
Yesterday night while I was upgrading AllFacebook I noticed an interesting trend among some of the top gaming applications: they’ve been plateauing. While many of the applications have been able to pull off remarkable growth (Farm Town for example), a lot of the large gaming applications have appeared to experience a slow down in what was previously phenomenal growth.
After launching our updated Facebook application statistics tool, it become apparent who the real leaders of the Facebook platform are: social gaming networks. Both Playfish and Zynga dominate the platform in terms of engagement by a wide margin. While Slide and RockYou have a wider reach, the top two social gaming networks have a much higher level of engagement.
Playfish, one of the leading social game developers on Facebook, has announced that they’ve raise $17 million in funding. While the company didn’t even launch it’s first game, “Who Has the Biggest Brain?” until October of last year, quickly grew to be come a leader in the social gaming space. Today, the company’s top four games have between 2.48 and 2.9 million monthly active users (as pictured below).
The company continues to find success with their fifth game, “Geo Challenge”, rapidly climbing the charts, soon to surpass 600,000 monthly active users. This is a large round of funding to take place in the middle of economic uncertainty. Accel Partners and Index Ventures are betting hard that this company is going to continue to find success, providing it more money than Social Gaming Network, which has received $15 million to day.
Zynga, the largest competitor for the company, has raised $39 million in funding so far (one round for $10 million and a follow-on round for $29 million). What is the company going to do with all this funding? My guess is that we will quickly see the company move into new platforms, such as the iPhone, while continuing a successful trend on the Facebook platform. I had the opportunity to interview Sebastien de Halleux, Chief Operating Officer for Playfish back in August.
This sounds like a great investment to us because even in poor economic times, consumers still play games. We will continue to track the growth of Playfish and other social gaming companies as this space continue to heat up.