Tag Archives: virtual. currency

Sold for a Zong

eBay acquires mobile payments provider and microtransaction specialist Zong for $240 Million. The race to monetize the lucrative mobile/social gaming space is definitely in high gear. Articles and analysis from:

Wall Street Journal  ” Zong’s customer list is a who’s who of social gaming and virtual world companies, including Zynga Inc., IMVU Inc., Walt Disney Co.’s Playdom Inc., Stardoll AB, IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s Zwinky and Shanda Games Ltd.’s Mochi Media. Not to mention the company’s arrangement with Facebook Inc. to sell the social network’s virtual currency.” 

CNET  ” Zong provides a mobile payments platform that facilitates carrier-direct billing for digital goods and services. Users pay for their purchases by entering their mobile phone number and payment is billed to the customer’s wireless service account. “

Forbes interviews Matrix Partners’ Dana Stalder about the rationale for the acquisition.

” There is certainly competition. I think Boku is the most-known competition here in the U.S., but there are two companies in Europe of roughly equal scale: in MindMatics Germany and Allopass France. All of these companies are formidable, but Zong has built the best team with the most direct relationships with carriers and the most converting payment flows in the business. “

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Filed under Paypal, social games, virtual currency, virtual goods, Zong

Are you Ready for RewardVille?

Zynga rolls out its own reward system RewardVille and virtual currency called “Z-Coins”. Articles and analysis from:

Red Orbit ” Media conglomerates such as Walt Disney Corp. and Time Warner Inc. should be worried, says, BTIG Research analyst, Rich Greenfield. Zynga threatens to take viewers away from their televisions and movies. Disney responded to the threat by purchasing its rival, Playdom for $563 million last year. “

NPR ” The lure this time is “RewardVille,” a show of appreciation aimed at getting players even more absorbed in their online farms, cities, crime rings and poker games. The program unveiled a week ago doles out game points and credits that can be used to buy more virtual goodies on Zynga’s existing games. “

MarketingVox ” These games’ popularity is drawing people’s away from TV sets, movies and other sources of entertainment. “Media has been fragmenting, and Zynga seems to be doing the exact opposite. It is growing at a staggering rate and reaching eyeballs that none of these companies are doing. “

Video: Zynga’s Rewardville trailer

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Filed under Facebook, Facebook Credits, RewardVille, social games, virtual currency, virtual goods, Zynga

Facebook Credits poised for a massive 2011.

The following are articles that discuss the explosive growth of Facebook Credits virtual currency.

SFGate discusses the growing momentum of Facebook’s virtual currency, “Facebook Credits”. From the article:

” Facebook members use a regular credit card, PayPal account or mobile phone account to buy a certain value of Facebook Credits, starting with 15 credits for $1.50. Facebook Credits accepts payments using 15 currencies, including dollars, euros and yen.”

Inside Social Games has an excellent article about Facebook making a serious push to get social game players to purchase Facebook Credits virtual currency in 2011. From the article:

” Facebook, then, seems to have prioritized moving all direct payments over to Credits before messing with the variety of alternative payment options. That progression allows it to get Credits in front of the bulk of paying users while giving developers more flexibility around the switch. “

The Independent offers additional prespective on Facebook Credits.

” But some analysts believe the growth of this could become far wider if Facebook created more of its own games. Some predict that eventually Facebook credits could become currency to buy actual real-world products via the Facebook network. ”

SFGate discusses Facebook’s recent 50 Billion valuation within the context of Facebook Credits “tax”.

” Unlike Google or Microsoft, Facebook won’t have to figure out how to diversify its revenue. It just has to sit back and wait for the next Zynga or Groupon, design a way to tax that business (the way it suddenly sprouted Facebook Credits when Zynga got huge), and profit from the tax. ”

AllFacebook discusses forecast that project Facebook Credits eventually(potentially) generating $8 Billion a year.

” That’s exactly what Albert Babayev over at Seeking Alpha has concluded, after developing a model based on the future projections of Facebook revenue, with him expecting Facebook Credits to eventually become an $8 billion a year business. :

Reuters discusses TapJoy’s alternative ads for virtual currency model and the potential impact of Facebook Credits.

” Facebook plans to migrate its entire system over to Facebook Credits, an official virtual currency for all the applications running on the social network. But that hasn’t happened just yet, leading Tapjoy to bring in its best month of virtual currency transactions yet in December, Jessup said. Tapjoy is already prepared for the upcoming switch over to Facebook Credits, and is used on a number of other social networking sites like MySpace and Yahoo. “

 

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Filed under Facebook, Facebook Credits, social games, virtual currency, virtual goods

MocoSpace moves into Mobile Social Games

Mobile web developer MocoSpace is growing quickly and integrating mobile social games and virtual currency into its growth strategy. Articles and analysis from:

Forbes ” The company has recently taken its mobile Web strategy to its new MocoSpace Game Platform. It is allowing third-party developers to create browser-based games in HTML5, instead of native apps to each phone.”

SFGate ” By building games on the mobile browser, developers can reach more players’ social graph and allow games to gain popularity on a wider range of mobile devices. “

VentureBeat ” MocoSpace was founded as an entertainment destination on the mobile internet in 2005 and has more than 15 million registered users who view about 3 billion pages a month.”

 

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Filed under Moco gold, Moco Space, social games, virtual currency, virtual goods

Virtual Showdown

Social gaming giant Zynga goes for the jugular and files for a patent for  non-redeemable virtual currency. Is this move intended as a bargaining chip with Facebook or something much larger? Articles and analysis from:

TechCrunch ” While at first glance it seems like the patent’s strictures only pertain to poker chips, it explicitly references Zynga games Zynga Poker and Farmville in its “Examples of Embodiments” section, which delinates both “Non-Redeemable Virtual Currency” and “Non-Redeemable Virtual Poker Chips” as inventions that Zynga is claiming the rights to.”

AllFacebook ” For Facebook the stakes are higher. The social networking site earns a 30% cut every time Credits are used to buy virtual goods in a game. With the burgeoning popularity of social games on Facebook, it would be a serious blow if it lost this growing source of revenue.”

VentureBeat ” The patent filing, on which Zynga CEO Mark Pincus’s name is listed as one of the inventors, is arguably defensive, potentially orestalling intellectual-property claims against Zynga. But it could also give Zynga leverage in its negotiations with Facebook, the social network which connects most of Zynga’s players with each other.”

Online-Casinos.com ” Zynga’s patent application points out however that its virtual-currency uniqueness is that the currency exchange is only one-way. Players can put money in but they can’t take it out thus circumventing the online gambling dilemma.”

Tom’s Guide ” Essentially the company may be trying to patent the process of purchasing virtual money that cannot be re-sold. The patent also seems to indicate that Zynga may implement a fraud prevention system to inhibit players from using cash to purchase virtual funds from other players within Zynga products.”

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Filed under Facebook, Facebook Credits, social games, virtual currency, Zynga

Marvelous Team Up: Sometrics meets Facebook

Sometrics has partnered with Facebook so that its Game Coin virtual currency can be exchanged with Facebook Credits. Articles and analysis from:

VentureBeat ” Facebook itself views Facebook Credits as the equivalent to the introduction of the euro, which gave Europeans a single currency and encouraged more cross-border trade. Facebook believes Credits will encourage users to spend more money across larger numbers of apps, allowing the whole ecosystem to benefit”

InsideFacebook ” Sometrics has more than 250 publishers outside of Facebook signed up already, with a combined 225 million users it says, and it has gained experience figuring out what services to provide gamers, and connect them to publishers”

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Filed under Facebook, Facebook Credits, social games, Sometrics, virtual currency, virtual goods

Marvelous Team Up: PlaySpan meets Facebook

Social Networking giant Facebook partners with in-game monetization specialist PlaySpan to globally expand the reach of their virtual currency, Facebook Credits. Articles and analysis from:

InternetRetailer ” More than 75 developers use Facebook Credits in more than 200 games and applications on the social network. This agreement should spur significant growth in developers using Facebook Credits in the next few months, says a PlaySpan spokesman.”

InsideFacebook ” This deal helps Facebook quickly make it easier for users to pay in the international markets where PlaySpan has worked to develop payment partnerships.”

AllFacebook ” The additional payment options make it easier for developers to expand their international reach and attract a broader set of people, since not everyone has access to credit or debit cards or PayPal. “

Gamerlaw.co.uk Facebook Credits are an increasingly healthy source of  revenue for Facebook – consumers pay real money for Credits and use those Credits in virtual goods transactions, e.g. in games like Farmville, with Facebook deducting a 30% transaction fee.”

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Filed under Facebook, Facebook Credits, Playspan, social games, virtual currency, virtual goods