Welcome to the Virtual Goods News Wrap-Up for the week of June 12, 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.
- 4 Tips To Better Monetize Social Games With Offers: Peanut Labs COO and co-founder Noman Ali offers tips for incorporating ad offers most efficiently into a social game. Among the suggested techniques are in-game promotions that combine exclusive virtual goods and increased virtual currency for users who accept ad offers.
- Bing Gets A Foursquare Badge For The World Cup, With Thrillist Tips: This week Bing released a special World Cup-themed branded badge to Foursquare. The badge is obtained by following Bing on Foursquare. There will also be two CNN-branded World Cup badges for players who follow CNN on Foursquare.
- Capcom CEO Talks 3DS, Resident Evil and Mega Man Online: Capcom CEO Haruhito Tsujimoto says he's looking forward to a "new business model" for Nintendo's upcoming 3DS portable system. Given that the current Nintendo DS portable market is being destroyed by rampant piracy, a conversion to some variant of the free-to-play model on Nintendo's part seems possible. Nintendo's plans may be revealed as early as next week.
- Digital Chocolate President Departs: Digital Chocolate President Ilkka Paananen has chosen to leave the company to spend more time with his family, according to a note he released earlier this week.
- Dungeons & Dragons Online VIP Members To Receive Double Turbine Points: VIP subscribers to Turbine's freemium Dungeon & Dragons Online MMO will see their monthly allotment of virtual currency double frm 500 to 1000 points monthly during Turbine's Summer Gift promotion. The promotion ends on August 10.
- FarmVille Sheds Another 9 Million Users In Latest Facebook Rankings: In the past two weeks, FarmVille's monthly active user count has dwindled to a new low, 66.6 million. Of the top 20 social games, the only app gaining users is Mindjolt Games.
- Launch Day Arrives For Dungeon Fighter Online: Nexon America's highly anticipated MMO Dungeon Fighter Online launched this week after a length beta period.
- Mytheon Champions Pack Announced For $129.95: Despite being a freemium MMO, Mytheon is launching a pricey "special edition" that gives players a mix of exclusive in-game virtual goods and physical goods. Virtual items in the bundle include 2500 Mytheon Coins, 50 Flowing Vitality Elixirs, 50 Elixirs of Combined Wisdom, 25 Death Defying Elixirs, one Item Lottery Pack and one Large Stone Bundle.
- New Hires In Social Gaming: Crowdstar, Playdom, Zynga & More: A round-up of new social game developer hires, as disclosed by LinkedIn.
- Online Video Game Lands A Rare League License, The NFL's: Freemium sports game Quick Hit Football has obtained an official NFL license. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The game's name will not change to incorporate NFL branding.
- Playdom Looking To Expand European Audience: Social game dev Playdom will begin localizing its social game catalog for European audiences, beginning with its social soccer game Bola.
- Rotohog Partners With Hi5: Social dev Rotohog will be providing Hi5 players with a World Cup 2010 South Africa social game that offers virtual currency to players that dominate the brackets.
- Sending Drinks To Singles In The Bar Just Got Easier: Free app StreetSpark lets iPhone users send free virtual gifts to each other as a romantic icebreaker… provided both people are already using the app.
- Six Flags And Foursquare Offer Season Passes To Top Active Players: Six Flags theme parks are partnering with Foursquare to introduce a special branded badge for users who check-in at any of its 11 theme parks nationwide.
- Super Whales: Top Social Game Spenders Pay More Than $10,000 Apiece For Virtual Goods: According to Social Gold, top spenders in particular social games can spend as much as $25,000 per month on virtual goods. The company calls these power-users "super whales," to contrast with "whale" players willing to spend upwards of $1000 per month on particular social games. It seems likely that top users may spend even more in the future, as social gaming grows more established and games begin to develop true virtual economies.
- Vanguard July 2010 Server Merge: SOE's ailing Vanguard: Saga of Heroes MMO is going to merge its three existing servers into one. It is unclear what this will do to the game's LiveGamer integration, which initially was enabled on only one of the game's servers.
- What A Downgrade Of Tencent Says About China's Online Gaming Sector: SIG analyst Zhao Chunming has has downgraded Tencent from positive to neutral based on concerns regarding a slowdown in China's social game industry. Chunming believes Chinese MMOs will be out-competed by social games for user time and revenue in the future. It is possible that the Chinese online gaming boom is simply drawing to a close.
- Wasteland For Sale: Fallen Earth Opens Its Item Store: Following a round of layoffs at developer Icarus Studios, Fallen Earth has opened a cash item shop. There are two premium items there, a $10 pet and a $5 pair of custom goggles.
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