Facebook Fan Worth 20 Extra Site Visits Per Year

Hitwise recently studied their data sets to determine the benefits of marketing on social media in general and on Facebook specifically. According to the results, each new fan acquired on Facebook is worth 20 additional visits to a retailer’s website over the course of a year.

“Our data shows that for the top retailers, even if they have no Facebook fans they can still expect to receive on average 62,000 visits from Facebook each month,” writes Hitwise U.K. Research Director, Robin Goad. “However, by utilizing this new service, brands can more rapidly build a fan base within Facebook and therefore drive more traffic to their website. Within retail each new fan acquired will drive an additional 20 visits to a retailer s websites, which in turn will generate extra sales both online and offline.”

He notes that Facebook just behind Google in the U.K. as the most visited website and is also a large source of traffic to other sites. One out of six British page views goes to a Facebook page and 20 million hours are spent on the website every day from just U.K. users.

“Topshop, Boohoo and Jack Wills lead the pack, with consumers being 54 percent more likely to search for the topshop brand after a visit to Facebook than they would in a normal everyday search in Google, Yahoo! or Bing,” notes Goad. “Out of the top 10 brands above, WHSmith was the notable exception to the collection, as the only non-fashion retailer in the top 10.”

Source: Hitwise.com {link no longer active}

Pottermore Expands The Harry Potter World

J.K. Rowling has announced that Pottermore will launch as a continuation of the Harry Potter franchise. The website will feature 18,000 words of new Harry Potter content for fans too look over and expand their knowledge of the Harry Potter universe.

Described as being a series of illustrated environments players will be able to explore many familiar environments of the Harry Potter universe like Platform 9 ¾, the Hogwarts Express, Diagon Alley, Gringotts and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Fans can talk to each other and share their fan creations like artwork.

Limited access will be granted to one million fans on July 31 with the site launching to the general public on October 1, 2011.

Source: Time

Crysis 2 Strategy ‘Backfired A Little Bit’ Says Crytek CEO

Crysis 2 was a game born out of a decision from developer Crytek to target a wider console audience compared to the PC-exclusive original Crysis. However, this angered many fans of the original title and Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli admits the strategy was not totally successful.

Crysis 1‘s intention was, if I were to play it three years later, it looks great,'” said Yerli. “And it does, actually, it fulfilled that. But it made it difficult for entry-level players. So with Crysis 2, we took a different direction, and it backfired a little bit.”

To appease these fans, Crytek is releasing a DirectX 11 patch, featuring tessellation and displacement mapping, HDR motion blur, parallax occulsion mapping, and a high-res texture upgrade. “This is much more like a gift to the high-end community,” Yerli said. “And I think gamers will appreciate that. It lifts up Crysis 2 and gives a sneak peak of how PC gaming will evolve in the future, if you support a high-end preference.”

Source: Gamasutra

EA Reportedly Closing Deal To Buy PopCap

Reports are that Electronic Arts is very close to a buyout of PopCap. It is said that EA has priced the publisher of Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled at $1 billion.

Possible logic behind the deal: Electronic Arts has some successful franchises that cater to casual users (including The Sims), but many of its successful properties appeal to the hardcore crowd, writes Jason Kincaid. This is problematic on mobile, where iOS s top grossing apps are dominated by Angry Birds, Zynga, Pocket Gems, and other casual games. PopCap could help with that their arsenal of games includes Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies, each of which is a powerhouse in mobile and casual gaming.

Source: TechCrunch

Eve Online Developer Debates Virtual Good Sales

According to what is apparently an internal CCP newsletter, the Icelandic developer is debating whether or not to a micro-transaction model to Eve Online. While the space-based MMO has relied upon subscriptions, lead CCP games designer Kristoffer Touborg, thinks that micro-transactions should also be implemented.

“I would like virtual goods sales in Eve. In fact, I’d like to sell a lot more than vanity items. Does this mean I’m an evil capitalist that, unless stopped, will cause the entire company to catch fire and be buried at sea by a secret team of Navy SEALs wrote Touborg. “Let ‘s hope not, although that’s the impression I get sometimes when interacting with our customers. There is a pretty overwhelming perception amongst Eve players that these changes are bad. I think they’re brilliant, but our players don’t. We’re going to face an uphill struggle, and the reason many of us never talk about this publicly is that we’d be burned at the stake by the players.”

CCP’s John Turbefield, however, argued against the proposed changes. “When we’re adding additional things into the game that enable users to gain an advantage over other people for real money in a way they simply wouldn’t be able to if we hadn’t done so, then it becomes an issue,” he wrote. “I feel that if people have already paid a subscription fee then unless there is a good reason for the overall community to introduce a gameplay-affecting virtual goods sales (such as with PLEX), then gaining an in-game advantage isn’t justifiable. More revenue is of course an aim, but making our customers feel like they are being ‘double billed’ to be able to play on the same level as others is just a step too far.”

Source: Eurogamer

Microsoft Executive Says PSN Hack ‘Bad For The Industry’

Sony and Microsoft generally make no secret of their shared corporate animosity most of the time. However Dennis Durkin, COO and CFO of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, recently shared some sympathy with Sony over the pain they endured from the PSN break in.

“It’s bad for the industry that this has happened to Sony,” Durkin told our sister site. “It’s very, very bad. It’s very damaging. So we don’t wish that upon anybody and you’ve seen we’ve been actually pretty quiet on the subject because we don’t want to appear to even be looking to be taking advantage of somebody else’s situation like that. That’s just not in our DNA.”

“Over time, all of the bets Microsoft is making are about cloud bets. We want customers to feel confident about the quality of service they’re getting, the reliability they’re getting, the security of the data that they have and the security of the private information that they have, he added. “As a company, you can look back eight, nine years ago, when Bill Gates wrote his Trustworthy Computing Memo that basically said, ‘We need to change the way we architect our products and it has to be designed into the way we architect our products and services.’ So it’s in our DNA, across the company. This is not just an IEB thing.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

Transformers 3 iPhone App Brings The Poster To Life

The Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon app brings a special interactive version {link no longer active} of the official movie poster to life. To activate, players aim their device s camera at the poster which activates Optimus Prime to defend Earth in an immersive game play experience via the poster s first-person view of Optimus. Using the device’s accelerometer and compass, players fight the evil forces of the Decepticons as they attempt to invade and destroy Earth in 2 unique games. Once downloaded, the app allows users to locate the closest theaters that have the exclusive interactive posters on display. This unique 360 degree game using their handheld devices allows the player to defend against the Decepticons aerial attack wherever they are in the world and compete on a global level for the top spot. Players are able to share their high scores and achievements on their Facebook wall.