Welcome to the Virtual Goods News Wrap-Up for the week of December 18, 2009. The Wrap-Up is where VGN spotlights stories that we didn't get to cover individually, but still make for interesting reading about the virtual goods industry.
Dungeons & Dragons license holder Hasbro has filed suit against Atari, publisher of the freemium Dungeon & Dragons Online MMORPG. Hasbro alleges that Atari has sublicensed certain digital rights regarding their Dungeons & Dragons games to Namco Bandai, which violates a no-compete clause in Hasbro's contract with Atari.
Now T-Mobile users with Android phones can charge transactions (and in-app microtransactions) to their carrier instead of to their credit card. It is hoped that this lowers payment friction, leading to more purchases of digital content on the platform.
Players of CrowdStar's Happy Island can only purchase the game's virtual currency with Facebook Credits. Even in prior tests of the Pay with Facebook option, it was usually offered as one of several.
Heyzap profiles one of the developers using its Flash platform that's integrated virtual goods into its game. OneExtraGamed discusses which virtual items it integrates into its game Agony: The Portal, how the items were designed, and how the company settled on how to promote virtual items to players.
Gamasutra's Brandon Sheffield discusses the virtue of owning physical copies of media and the potential folly of pouring money into purchases of virtual goods that are little more than lines of code. Because virtual goods lack physicality, Sheffield argues they are fundamentally useless, without ability to satisfy needs or even be resold.
Arctic Start-Up follows up on the layoffs at Sulake earlier this year, noting that the total layoff count topped out at 28. The article claims, based on an anonymous source, that while Sulake is now profitable, the mood at the company is now poor and some key employees have left of their own volition recently.
Join us for App Conference – October 18-19, 2012 in Santa Clara