Welcome to the Virtual Goods News Wrap-Up for the week of May 7, 2010. 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.
The Russian government is considering consolidating the country's $1.3 billion online payments industry into a National Payment System.
Jussi Laakkonen of Everyplay and Nabeel Hyatt of Conduit Labs have formed Applifier, an invite-only cross-promotional network for Facebook social games. Applifier is a free service whose founding members are former virtual world developer Metaplace, BitMinion, Free Lunch Design, Wonderhill, and Three Rings. The network currently attracts about 5 million MAU and is designed to help replace viral promotion channels recently shut down by Facebook.
Soccer will be the next sports franchise EA brings to social gaming, in a Playfish-developed game called FIFA Superstars.
MySpace seems to be serious about building itself up as a games platform, an initiative that Rekhi is expected to play a major role in. MySpace is clearly hoping that a focus on social gaming will help turn the declining social network's traffic numbers around.
Foursquare and Gowalla are already hot, but more game-like location services like MyTown and Parallel Kingdom may be the next hot trend in mobile. The article also discusses using GPS technology to play games involving physical objects, like geocaching. Some of these games monetize through virtual goods, with Parallel Kingdom achieving an astounding 60% conversion rate.
Zynga is no longer offering a fighting Pit Bull virtual animal in its Mafia Wars social game.
PoxNora developers SOE Tucson have developed a new social game, The Agency: Covert Ops for Facebook.
Some holidays drive big virtual goods sales, like Valentine's Day, but giving virtual goods for Mother's Day may be a faux pas. The article suggests that younger women may find virtual mother's day presents gauche while older mothers may find them too valueless.
Zynga appears to be in the process of developing a true social games portal to host its library of titles, called Zynga Live.
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- DHX Media Partners with YouTube on Paid Channels
- DreamWorks, Verizon Team on Million Dollar Turbo Racing League App Promo
- Apple App Store Hits 50 Billion Downloads
- Google Introduces Google Play for Education
- Kids Use iHeart Locket “Smart Necklace” to Connect with Diary App
- Warner Bros. Targets Girls with LEGO Friends for Nintendo
- AppCertain App Monitoring Service Debuts First App
- Rovio to Publish Third Party Titles Under New Rovio Stars Mobile Game Brand
- CPTV Partners with Ruckus Media to Create Digital Platform
- Saban Brands Welcomes Jack Sorensen as President of Mobile Social Games Division
- Austin Launching ‘Office of Innovation’; Forum Planned for August
- ProspX Collects $8.2M
- GILA LLC Works with Encryptics on Secure Data Management as a Solution
- HotSchedules Partners with Scoox to Deliver e-Learning Solution
- RetailMeNot to Integrate Google Wallet
- Silverback Enterprise Group Management Company Acquires FileBound
- Getting Accepted Into Top Incubators and Accelerators
- TechStars Opens Applications in Austin
- Building and Extracting Value from an Advisory Board
- ProspX Names Steve Gold New CEO
- Attend or Exhibit at Tech Career Expo WWDC
- Only 20 Days to AARP Health Innovation 50+ LivePitch
- AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch Judges Announced
- 4,100 Job Seekers Participate In Sell-Out Tech Career Expo Austin 2013
- Video Walkthrough of the Tech Career Expo Austin
- Engage Digital To Support 2nd Annual AARP Health Innovation@50 + Startup Pitch Event
- Caprese Skewers passed around by the Dell and Pandora Tables at The Tech Career Expo
- Geeks Rule at the Austin Tech Career Expo Next Week
- Get your LinkedIn Profile and Top 3 Skills In Front of 47 Innovative Companies
- Microsoft, General Motors, Mitratech, Myspace, Digby and HostGator.com Join Tech Career Expo Austin Line Up
- Digital Kids Conference Registration Ends Tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 8th
- Tech Career Expo Returns to Austin, March 8-9, for Annual Technology Recruiting Bonanza
- Engage Digital and kidSAFE® Seal Program Launch First Ever Digital Kids Safety Summit
- Digital Kids Conference Emcee Spotlight: Joi Podgorny and Richard Gottlieb
- Introducing KidsWire
- Earlybird Registration Ends Tomorrow! Register Now.
- Tech Career Expo Austin has the Jobs You Need: 1,100 Open Positions Available
- Digital Kids Conference Earlybird Registration Extended to Tuesday, Jan. 15
- Digital Kids Conference Keynote Spotlight: Victor Lee of Hasbro
- Early Bird Registration for Digital Kids Conference Ends Next Week