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December 20 2013

6 Exciting Gaming Trends to Watch in 2014

No one can say 2013 was a slow year for gaming news. Two extremely popular next-gen consoles, the rise of indie games, and the release of groundbreaking blockbusters like Bioshock Infinite and Grand Theft Auto V have kept our gamer thumbs strong

But that isn't stopping us from looking ahead to what's coming next. We looked at the biggest trends and breakthroughs of the last year to see what 2014 might hold. From augmented reality to assertive displays to the rise of mobile, there's a lot to dream about, even beyond this list.

No one can know for sure what 2014 will bring, but these budding trends made us excited to be gamers in 2013. What do you want to see more of in the coming year? More cross-platform gaming? A better second screen experience? Read more...

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Features, Social Gaming, and Ps4

August 07 2012

February 15 2012

Zynga’s Earnings: Social Gaming Revenue by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social gaming juggernaut Zynga released its 2011 Q4 earnings on Tuesday — its first public report since hitting NASDAQ in December.

The numbers were promising for investors, but revealed that scaling might pose challenges for longterm profitability. Our friends at Statista have taken a deeper look at the report and rendered the graphs below to show the relationship between Zynga’s massive user base, wavering growth patterns, and how much users are paying for content.

SEE ALSO: Understanding Zynga: A Post-IPO FAQ

Have you purchased stock in Zynga? Do you expect it to be a longterm win for your portfolio? Let us know what you think of the report in the comments below.

Infographic courtesy of Statista.

More About: Business, data, Gaming, infographic, Revenue, social gaming, stock, Zynga

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January 27 2012

January 17 2012

Katy Perry Goes Virtual in New Sims Game

Katy Perry in The Sims

Players can download Perry's likeness and stage props.

Click here to view this gallery.

Any online gamer can own a piece of Katy Perry – or heck, even be her — with EA’s announcement that the “Teenage Dream” singer will be coming to their popular The Sims gaming series.

EA announced that they’ll be developing multiple games featuring Katy Perry including special in-game items, environments and virtual goods. Perry’s likeness will first pop-up in The Sims 3 Showtime: Katy Perry, a collectors’ edition of The Sims launching in March 2012.

The Sims is a role-playing game that lets players control an avatar as they go about their daily lives. Showtime is an expansion pack to The Sims 3 where players can try to turn their avatars into digital superstars including professional singers, acrobats, magicians or DJs.

The Katy Perry version of Showtime includes downloadable content such as hairstyles, props, guitars and even a stage venue all pulled from Perry’s life. Perry, who has always championed a positive, do-anything attitude, felt the series spoke to her own aspirational message:

“I love how you’re able to play out different stories through your Sims characters – giving them different careers and watching them succeed. It’s cool to see the Sims’ stage performances in The Sims 3 Showtime decked out just like my California Dreams Tour – even my cotton candy video screens are in there! I always like to think of myself as a cartoon, and now I’m a Sim!”

Of course the partnership isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, Perry will be featured in new advertising and marketing campaigns around her game and the series at large. The Sims have been doing gang-busters even without Perry. Since its launch in 2009, The Sims 3 has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and was the best-selling PC title for 2009 in North America and Europe. The franchise has expanded to Facebook where The Sims Social, released in 2011, attracted more than 50 million monthly active users in just its first month.

The Sims, as a series, has become a global gaming phenomenon. The Perry partnership is meant to continue that forward march while, presumably, attracting a younger, female demographic. Perry is also no stranger to The Sims. In 2008, Perry recorded a version of her hit song “Hot n Cold” in “Simlish,” the made up gibberish language spoken by Sims characters. The recording, featured The Sims 2 is the most popular Simlish music video to date: “Being a gamer myself and a big fan of The Sims, I had a blast recording “Hot N Cold’ in Simlish,” Perry said in 2008.

The Sims 3 is available on basically every gaming platform including PC, Mac, iOS devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and Wii. The Sims 3 Showtime Katy Perry is available for pre-order for $39.99.

Is the pairing a match made in heaven? Let us know what you think of celebrities showing up in your games.

More About: Gaming, Music, social gaming, the sims, the sims 3, video games

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January 12 2012

FarmVille for Change: New York Times Columnist to Launch Social Game

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has been one of mainstream journalism’s most eager adopters of Internet tools. The Pulitzer Prize winner has a sterling reputation as a human rights reporter, and is a major proponent of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In 2003, he became the Times‘ first blogger.

Now Kristof is expanding into social gaming to continue raising awareness of — and aid for — global crises.

The game will be similar to FarmVille, and will enable players to make micro-donations to humanitarian efforts worldwide as well as contribute to causes in other ways. It’s part of a larger effort by Kristof and his wife, fellow Pulitzer winner Sheryl WuDunn, to rally support to fight injustice against women around the world. It’s being developed in partnership with Games for Change, a New York-based company that creates games designed for social impact.

“Nick and Sheryl’s ideas are perfectly aligned with what we want to see moving forward — breaking the perception that games are only entertainment,” Games for Change co-president Asi Burak told Mashable. “Most of the people who pick up his book or turn on PBS or even read The New York Times are already the converted. What he’s hoping to do with social media and gaming is go to the people who aren’t converted and engage them in a very sensible way.”

Burak said that the as-yet-unnamed game will be played primarily through Facebook, but that the company is also exploring additional platforms. Players will be able to buy virtual goods in the game with real currency that will then go to NGOs and aid organizations around the world. Burak said that players will also be able to contribute to causes without paying money, for example by completing virtual missions that add them to advocacy campaigns or other efforts.

The game is tentatively planned for release in late 2012, to coincide with the PBS broadcast of Kristof and WuDunn’s two-part documentary called Half the Sky. The pair wrote a bestselling book with the same title in 2009. The premise of the book, movie and upcoming game is that addressing oppression and mistreatment of women and girls worldwide will help make life better for all humans.

Burak said that the game and larger campaign are funded by a host of major non-profits including the Ford Foundation, United Nations Foundation and USAID. But he emphasized that they are still seeking additional backing to guaranteed the game’s success.

Expertise from Kristof and WuDunn will likely go a long way toward that goal. Burak said that the couple is “very involved” in the game’s conceptual development and provides input on details “from small to large.” In one example, Burak said, Kristof and WuDunn encouraged designers to emphasize the positive aspects of people’s lives in developing countries in addition to the challenges that they face.

“Coming from them,” Burak said, “that gives us a lot of confidence to strike a tone that isn’t just a serious tone, but also an entertainment tone.”

How big of an impact can social games make on social justice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Photo by Geoffrey Kristof, via Half the Sky

More About: Facebook, social gaming, Social Good

January 11 2012

‘Risk’ for Facebook Pits Cats Against Zombies Against Robots [REVIEW]

Risk: Factions

Risk makes its Facebook debut with Risk: Factions, a social update to the XBLA game of the same name.

Click here to view this gallery.

Everybody gather ’round Facebook, it’s time for board game night. Risk: Factions, a new Facebook game from EA/Playfish based on the tabletop classic, is aiming to reinvent the original and bring Risk to a whole new online audience.

Mashable had a chance to play around with the game and check out some of its new features, including a “home base,” special weapons and playable factions such as humans, zombies, cats, robots and yetis.

Is this bizarre new take on Risk worth your while? Read on and find out.


The world has gone haywire, and different factions are locked in a bitter battle for control of the universe. The story behind Risk is basically just an excuse to beat down your friends. Do you really need an explanation why cats are fighting yetis?


risk map image

The basic Risk gameplay is still here: Move your troops over the map and take over your opponents’ territories. “Battles” are resolved by rolling a pair of digital dice, and the more territory you control, the more units you can deploy in the next rounds. It’s a basic push-pull of expanding your dominion without stretching your resources too thin.

Factions introduces some new elements. Each army has special weapons, users must manage a home base, and social elements have been introduced. The special weapons are as ridiculous as you might imagine. Humans get straightforward bonus units such as cavalry, but stranger tides include “the book of the dead,” which lets a zombie army regenerate any lost soldiers, or “cat nip frenzy,” which gives cat armies extra soldiers to deploy.

Users must also manage an HQ, where they can train new troops and develop new and better special weapons through a development tree. Heads up: You must train soldiers in order to play the game. The amount of soldiers you can deploy on a map depends on how many you have in reserve. The team-management aspects are an interesting twist, but it adds a level of clutter made more frustrating by a wonky user-interface (we were told this might be fixed in the final version of the game). It takes a while to amass a sizable reserve of troops — some take an hour to train — though players can skip the grind by buying special weapons and troops with Facebook credits.

Social plays a new role in the game. Users can post their successes and ask friends for in-game money or military support. Players can also establish alliances and non-aggression treaties, which helps players build up their base or prevent them from aiding an enemy.


The game has a familiar 2D-feel that is so often seen in social games. Fortunately, the character designs and maps are all inventive, with fun animations. Using a special weapon will bring up a comedic, over-the-top clip of your little guys in action.


It’s a fun, tongue-in-cheek version of Risk, and the team clearly understands how to make a “social” game truly social. The actual combat part of the game — complete with its silly weapons and competition — is a total blast, but the team management is awkward, time-consuming and unpleasant. Pick it up for a quick play.

More About: Facebook, features, game, Gaming, reviews, social gaming

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January 04 2012

December 02 2011

October 14 2011

The Economics of Social Gaming [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Social Media Infographics Series is supported by VocusSocial Media Strategy Tool, a free, six-step online tool that lets you build a custom social media framework tailored to your organization’s goals.

The only thing cooler than a million dollars is, well, a billion dollars.

Fortunately for social game creators, that’s just how much the industry is set to rake in this year. Indeed, it’s big business, and it’s not just for Internet nerds. In fact, one out of every five Americans over the age of six has played an online social game at least once — that’s 56 million people, all told.

Zynga alone has 232 million monthly players and nearly $600 million in revenue, and the industry is poised to keep on growing. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the economics of this booming industry.

Are you a social gamer? Let us know your favorite one in the comments below, and tell us whether you’ve shelled out some green for the love of the game.

Infographic design by Nick Sigler

Series supported by Vocus

This series is supported by VocusSocial Media Strategy Tool, a free online tool which lets you build your own custom social media framework in six easy steps. It helps you determine your organization’s goals, explore the latest MarketingSherpa research data, and create your own workbook packed with the strategies, tactics and resources you need. Try it today!

More About: features, mashable, Mashable Infographics, social gaming, Social Media Infographics Series

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October 10 2011

Dungeons & Dragons Gets A Facebook Game

dungeons and dragons image

Dungeon Masters, start your engines. Dungeons & Dragons, the original table-top role-playing game, is coming to Facebook.

Atari has created a new social game for Facebook called Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter.” Players can customize their own characters, find loot and fight ghastly, digital beasts.

The app looks much like a top-down strategy game — and somewhat similar to the actual style of the tabletop version.

While the game is known for long sessions and user-created narratives, Heroes of Neverwinter offers short bursts of gameplay and a largely standardized plot from the game’s creators. Fans of the slower, more complex original might decry this as breaking from the game’s root, but it’s probably a smart move to appeal to social gamers which are, for the most part, casual users who play for shorter periods of time.

The game will feature more than 50 dungeons, 40 monsters, 30 skills and hundreds of items. Gamers can play solo, recruit friends, or even become a sort of digital Dungeon Master and come up with their own mini-narratives as side quests.

Heroes of Neverwinter, which is currently in open-beta, joins a group of other games targeted to nostalgic players. Oregon Trail received a social gaming update for Facebook, and The Sims Social has been one of the top Facebook games since its launch at the end of summer.

It’s good to know Heroes of Neverwinter hasn’t foregone the traits that made its tabletop ancestor so popular. But will it be able to attract new users without alienating its base? If a sentence like: “Legions of Halflings, Dragonborn, and Eladrin will sharpen their blades and ready their spells as Facebook players around the world create their unique heroes and set forth for adventure!” appeals, this social game might just have some legs.

Will you gear up for Dungeons & Dragons as a social game? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Facebook, Gaming, social gaming

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September 01 2011

July 08 2011

PrivacyVille: Zynga Turns Its Privacy Policy into a Game

Zynga, the creators of hit games like FarmVille and CityVille, has used its social gaming talents to create a gamified version of its privacy policies.

PrivacyVille is the gaming giant’s take on the boring privacy policy. It’s essentially a step-by-step tutorial through the most important aspects of the company’s privacy policy, using its trademark town and character designs. “PrivacyVille is modeled after our most popular game, CityVille, and provides a brief tutorial covering important sections of our Privacy Policy, as well as helpful resources about controlling your information online,” the company said on its blog.

PrivacyVille goes through items such as how Zynga handles email, the company’s mobile policies and the security measures it takes to protect user payments. Reading each section increases a user’s progress through PrivacyVille until he or she completes the tutorial. Once completed, the user is asked five (very easy) questions to confirm that he or she went through the tutorial.

One of the most interesting aspects of PrivacyVille is that it connects to RewardVille, the company’s virtual currency program. Users that complete the PrivacyVille tutorial get Zynga Points (zPoints) which can be turned into virtual currency or rewards.

It’s just the latest move for a company on a hot streak. Last week, Zynga filed for a $1 billion IPO that could value the company north of $20 billion. While the company’s user base has stopped growing, its revenue is booming.

More About: cityville, PrivacyVille, RewardVille, social games, social gaming, Zynga

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July 01 2011

Zynga: 232 Million Monthly Players, $839 Million in Revenue [INFOGRAPHIC]

In Zynga’s S-1 filing for its $1 billion potential IPO, the company opened its briefing with a visual representation of some of its most compelling statistics.

The infographic highlights the enormity of Zynga’s reach, as well as its astronomical revenue growth over the course of just three years.

Source Zynga S1 SEC Filing, Page 6

More About: ipo, social games, social gaming, Zynga

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BREAKING: Zynga Files For IPO

After months of speculation, social gaming juggernaut Zynga has finally filed for an IPO that could raise $1 billion.

Zynga’s S1 filing, which we are going through now, reveals that the company has 60 million daily active users, 232 million monthly active users and a 2010 revenue of $597 million. Zynga is the company behind hit social games like FarmVille and CityVille.

Zynga’s stock has skyrocketed in recent years as social gaming has become a mainstream phenomenon. The company was worth $4 billion in May 2010, but its value more than doubled to $10 billion in February 2011. The IPO could value Zynga as a $20 billion company.

Part of the reason for Zynga’s growing valuation is its growing user base. In Q3 2009, the company had 24 million daily active users and 99 million monthly active users, according to Zynga’s S1 filing. In Q1 2011, though, Zynga had 62 million daily active users and 236 million monthly active users. Investors may be troubled to see that Zynga had nearly the same amount of users a year ago, which could indicate that Zynga’s growth has stalled.

Despite the stalled growth in users, Zynga is a profitable company. In Q1 2011, the social gaming giant generated $235 million in revenue against $206 million in costs. After taxes, the company earned a net income of $11.8 million in Q1 2011. Zynga was also profitable in 2010, earning $90.6 million on $597 million in revenue.

As for ownership, CEO Mark Pincus is the largest shareholder with 16% of Class B shares and 100% of Class C shares. Kleiner Perkins, Institutional Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Venture Capital, Avalon Ventures and Digital Sky Technologies are the other shareholders with more than a 5% ownership stake in the company.

More About: ipo, social gaming, Zynga

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May 18 2011

Zynga Makes 14 Acquisitions in 12 Months

Zynga has acquired social game studio DNA Games, making this the 14th acquisition in the past year.

DNA Games is the studio behind Facebook games Casino City, Slot City and Barworld. Casino City, DNA’s most popular game, has 1.5 million monthly active users. The San Francisco-based game studio will remain an independent entity within Zynga, as happened after the Newtoy acquisition.

Some of Zynga’s other acquisitions from the past year were “acqui-hires,” acquisitions of only a company’s team and not its assets. The social gaming giant has gobbled up:

May 03 2011

Why 5 Big Brand Marketing Campaigns Are Betting Big on Social Gaming

The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, which offers inbound marketing software that helps small and medium sized businesses get found on the Internet by the right prospects and converts more of them into leads and customers. Learn more.

Skeptics of social gaming for business purposes exist, but that’s not stopping some big brands from disproving those critics’ misconceptions.

Big brands are finding ways to leverage the enormous social gaming population (which is expected to reach 68.7 million players by the end of 2012). They’re jumping into the game — so to speak — with branded virtual goods, integrated ads and offers as well as games that combine digital and real-world incentives.

For example, marketers like Century 21 have started using branded virtual goods — inexpensive, non-tangible items people buy to use in digital games — in order to gain brand recognition and tap into the profitable social gaming trend. In 2011, U.S. gamers will spark $653 million in revenue solely from purchasing virtual items, predicts research aggregator eMarketer. That figure is expected to reach $792 million in 2012.

Here are five brands that are successfully using social gaming in their marketing campaigns. If you know of any other stellar campaigns, please share them in the comments section.

1. Century 21

To try to make its 40-year-old brand appeal to the age group that buys the most homes — people who are 25 to 34 — residential real estate organization Century 21 launched its first social gaming campaign in early April.

Century 21 partnered with mobile gaming company ngmoco to create branded virtual goods that players could use in ngmoco’s We City [iTunes link], a game in which players build cities. The Century 21-branded virtual goods comprised of skyscrapers, homes and other buildings that players added to progress through the game, which was compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

The social gaming campaign ended April 26, and it has paid off. Century 21 Chief Marketing Officer Bev Thorne says 92% of We City players have incorporated Century 21-branded structures into their virtual cities. “That’s quite the engagement rate,” she adds. “We’ll also be basing our success on brand survey results, video views and app downloads.”

Appssavvy, a company that focuses on connecting brands to people through digital social activities, developed the strategy and design for Century 21′s first attempt at leveraging social gaming for marketing. Appssavvy is no stranger to the online social realm, as it already has planned similar campaigns for big brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Nestle and Frito-Lay.

2. MasterCard

GamesThatGive is one company helping brands take advantage of the social gaming boom via Facebook.

“Games on Facebook are a special and powerful marketing tool that can easily bring a brand virality, deep brand engagement and sales growth,” says Adam Archer, CEO of GamesThatGive (GTG).

GTG makes custom-branded Facebook games with charitable twist. For example, its You Play, We Give campaign for MasterCard donates as much as 10 cents to Junior Achievement Hudson Valley for every minute a person plays the game, which has more than 30,000 Likes and gets more than 80% of visits from returning visitors. On average, gamers spend 45 minutes on the game page each visit.

The concept and execution are the same for GTG’s other big-name clients — Pepsi, Propel, Starbucks and Quaker. A user can play those companies’ custom-branded games on Facebook for a short amount a time until a pop-up box appears requesting that the user “like” the company in order to “double your donation.”

“Not only are thousands of dollars going to charity as a result of people playing games, but large companies are successfully using branded social games to turn Facebook fans into customers,” Archer says.

3. Psych

USA Network’s TV show Psych has a game-heavy website for its fans called Club Psych, where users earn rewards for consuming and sharing content, as well as interacting with fellow fans and content. The rewards range from virtual items (badges, wallpapers, digital music) to physical ones (posters, DVD sets).

“After the launch, users’ time on the Psych website increased from an average of 14 minutes to 22 minutes; pageviews were up to 16 million from 9 million in the previous season; and average site visits increased from 2 times per month to around 4.5 times month,” says Rajat Paharia, founder and chief product officer for BunchBall, which “gamified” the Psych experience.

“USA Networks also saw viewership of the show — in the 18 to 34 demographic — rise 40%, and it was awarded an AdAge Media Vanguard award for Best Social-Media Loyalty program,” he says.

4. New York Public Library

In early April, the New York Public Library revealed a digital campaign called Find the Future: The Game, which goes live to the public on May 21.

Using a mobile app, players will complete tasks at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street. The tasks encourage players to explore the library and “40 miles of books.” For example, a player might be tasked to scan a QR code located at the Declaration of Independence and then respond to a creative essay prompt.

“There is something to be said for being in the presence of rare, historic objects,” Caro Llewellyn, producer of the Library’s Centennial celebration, told Mashable in April. “Wikipedia and Google are fantastic, but to see objects like these in the flesh has enormous power and can truly inspire creativity.”

Five hundred pre-selected people will participate in the game’s launch on May 20, one day before the game goes live to the public.

5. Expedia

The FriendTrips game from travel website Expedia at first glance appears to be a simple travel sweepstakes. For the user, it is — as all he or she has to do is “like” the Page, choose one of 13 destinations and invite five friends to do the same.

But for Expedia, it’s much more because a user’s five friends must also become fans of the page in order for the initial user to be entered into the drawing for a free trip. The friends are entered in the drawing upon “liking” the Expedia Page, which has more than 870,000 fans.

“Like Expedia, which is forcing six ‘likes’ to enter its game instead of one, brands must find ways to empower … their existing community to recruit new members,” says Oxford Communications communication strategist Christopher Stemborowski, who doesn’t represent Expedia but keeps his pulse on social gaming for brands.

Participants can enter the game more than once with the chance to double (by inviting 25 friends) or triple (by inviting 50 friends) their chances. Every day of the competition, which ends mid-May, Expedia also awards $250 to four players who submit pictures and share stories of why they want to visit a particular featured destination.

“Expedia is building a powerful online community where people can share their travel experiences with one another and with all of our travelers,” Scott Durchslag, president of Expedia Worldwide, said in a statement when the game launched in March. “I believe a million dollars’ worth of free travel will be a magnificent experience for our friends on Facebook.”


Marketers have to meet consumers where they are already active, Stemborowski advises.

“People who currently use feature phones are not likely to purchase a smartphone just to take part in Find the Future, and someone not on Facebook is not likely to join just to take part in FriendTrip,” he says. “Decide, as specifically as possible, in which social spaces the audience you want to reach is spending their time. Then design a game that reaches them there and allows them to behave the way they do naturally.

“Great social games begin with an obsessive understanding of how people are socializing. The marketers’ task is to translate everyday socializing behaviors into meaningful actions for their brands.”

Series Supported by HubSpot

The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, which offers inbound marketing software that helps small and medium sized businesses get found on the Internet by the right prospects and converts more of them into leads and customers. HubSpot’s software platform includes tools that allow professional marketers and small business owners to manage SEO, blogging, social media, landing pages, e-mail, lead intelligence and marketing analytics. Learn more.

More Marketing Resources from Mashable:

- The Pros and Cons Of Tumblr For Small Business
- 4 Innovative Ways to Use Web Video for Small Business
- Top 5 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make
- What to Look For When Hiring a Community Manager
- 3 Ways Companies Can Reach Generation Z

More About: brands, business, century 21, Digital Marketing Series, Expedia, facebook, MARKETING, marketing campaigns, mastercard, new york library, social gaming

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March 10 2011

Online Fashion Retailer Bluefly Tries On Social Gaming

Online designer fashion retailer Bluefly has partnered with social rewards startup Badgeville to add social gaming into its website experience.

Bluefly will be rewarding customers for onsite shopping behaviors including watching videos, reading blog posts, writing reviews or creating wishlists. The idea is to turn shoppers into Bluefly-engaged fashion gamers.

“Players” will earn badges, based on their behaviors, that highlight their various fashion credentials. The more badges earned, and the higher quality, the better chance the Bluefly shopper will have at unlocking tangible rewards that come in the form of early access to products, badge-holder specials and discounts.

“At Bluefly, our customers are highly engaged in the world of fashion. They are voting on celebrity styles; they are talking with each other on our site to discuss outfits. Our goal is to look for innovative ways to foster that passion and to create opportunities for interaction,” says Bluefly CEO Melissa Payner. “The partnership with Badgeville is a great addition to our site because social games incentivize our customers for their interactions — interactions which we see as a key component of growing and strengthening the Bluefly community.”

While its unknown how shoppers will react to the new system, Bluefly, if successful in converting its customers into more engaged shoppers, has an opportunity to be a trendsetter among its fashion retail competitors.

The deal is also a win for Badgeville; the young startup already has competitors such as Bunchball in the white label social gaming space. This particular partnership should help Badgeville stand out and attract more top-tier clientele.

Both Bluefly and Badgeville are mum on whether money exchanged hands as the partnership was formed.

More About: badgeville, bluefly, game mechanics, gamification, MARKETING, social gaming

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March 04 2011

March 01 2011

One in Three Mobile Phone Owners Is a Regular Mobile Gamer [STUDY]

A new survey from casual gaming company PopCap shows that an incredibly high percentage of adults in the UK and U.S. is into mobile gaming.

This stat may be due in part to the uptick in smartphone adoption. According to a separate Nielsen survey, 31% of U.S. mobile users now own smartphones, and a Pew survey shows nearly half of cellphone users download and use mobile apps, too.

In PopCap‘s research, more than half (52%) of 2,425 respondents said they had played a game on a mobile device, whether their own device or someone else’s, at some time in the past. The percentage for UK respondents was significantly higher (73%) than the rate for U.S. respondents (44%).

Around one-third of all respondents had played a game on their own mobile phones within the past month, and one out of four respondents said they played games on a weekly basis. Still, some respondents admitted to only having played a mobile game once.

The biggest gaming group was smartphone users. A full 83% of smartphone-owning respondents said they had played at least one mobile game in the past week, putting them solidly in the “avid mobile gamer” category.

Interestingly, the male-to-female ratio in mobile gaming doesn’t show the pronounced gender gap seen in console and PC gaming. Men play slightly more than women by a slim margin of 2-10%. This fits pretty well with the current picture we have of the social gaming scene as a predominantly female market.

And mobile gamers aren’t just biding their time on mass transit; they’re also contributing to the bottom line of game manufacturers across the major mobile platforms. Around half of all mobile gamers in this survey said they had upgraded a free trial game to the full or paid version in the past year. And one out of four mobile gamers, or one out of three smartphone gamers, said they had bought “additional content” for a game within the past year.

Also, smartphone users are more likely to buy games than their feature phone-owning counterparts, for obvious reasons. The average smartphone-using mobile gamer bought 5.4 games in 2010, versus the 2.9 games bought by non-smartphone-owning gamers. Also, the smartphone crowd said they spent more money on games — $25.57 per user for the year, compared to $15.70 from feature phone owners.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sjlocke

More About: casual gaming, Mobile 2.0, mobile gaming, social gaming

For more Mobile coverage:

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