Team Fortress 2 Sells $2 Million User Created Items

Valve has announced that item creators have made over $2 million selling their wares for Valve’s Team Fortress 2 through the in game Mann Co. Store. To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Mann Co. Store, there’s the new “Manniversary Update” allowing testing and sharing of new user created items and the ability to track the item’s status along with 30 new pieces of content, decals and better game performance,

“The Mann Co. Store represents an important new direction for games and game makers,” said Valve president Gabe Newell. “By leveraging and extending the platform features of Steam, Team Fortress 2 has enabled a viable marketplace for independent content creators and significantly extended the gameplay experience in an incredibly short amount of time.”

Zynga Prepping IPO Listing For NASDAQ

An SEC filing indicates that Zynga is reading its IPO for the tech oriented stock exchange NASDAQ. The company’s ticker symbol will be “ZNGA” and it is expected that $20 billion will be raised quickly.

Zynga is the market in Facebook gaming, though EA has managed to cut into that with The Sims Social. The filing by Zynga indicates that 78 percent of the company’s revenue was generated in 2010 by CityVille, Mafia Wars and FarmVille.

LocalResponse Wants Location-Based Ads To Arrive

There’s been a lot of talk of location-based ad targeting for mobile, but it’s still not quite a reality yet. Still LocalResponse, took a step closer with a $5 million fundraiser from Cava Capital, Vodafone Ventures, Advancit Capital, and Progress Ventures.

LocalResponse is looking to take the money and develop its delivery system, as well as sales. Currently, the company is delivering location-based ads via Twitter, collecting check-in data from Foursquare and Yelp check-ins, but there are also indirect check-ins like mentions, photos, and geo-tags.

Right now, the company aggregates around one billion check-ins a month from 100 million unique users. It’s limited because ads can only be served via Twitter “@replies” and it’s limited to smartphone users with Twitter accounts who publicly publish their location, but it’s gotten an average of 40 percent click-through rate.

Next, the company is looking to do check-in retargeting and buy ads on exchanges, matching Twitter accounts with the user information often collected by publishers to determine location. While this doesn’t solve the mobile location conundrum, but it opens up the company’s available inventory.

LocalResponse is also doing sentiment targeting. An example is Verizon to target users entering any mobile phone store and tweeting an offer for $100 to switch to Verizon; the campaign got a 135 percent clickthrough rate.

Source: AdWeek

GameFly Goes Social

GameFly has launched social features on its Android app that have been available on iOS since April; features will be cross-platform. This app, which has been downloaded 4.5 million times, to create and browse profiles, find new opponents on Xbox Live and PSN, post messages and connect with Facebook and Twitter.

“We’re very proud that our mobile App appeals to all gamers, not just GameFly members, giving them top quality news and information, and a very interactive social experience,” said GameFly co-founder Sean Spector. “With an average in-App session lasting more than an hour, the new social features are a great resource for casual or avid gamers to learn about what’s hot or not, and to meet new people to game with.”

Mass Effect 3 Gets Online Pass

Mass Effect 3 will be getting a form of multiplayer in co-op play, though this has made some people wonder if EA’s online pass will come into play. As it turns out, similar to the Cerberus Network for Mass Effect 2, there will be an incentive to buy Mass Effect 3.

“The Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War feature can be activated via the Online Pass code found in every new copy of Mass Effect 3,” EA said in a press release. “The Mass Effect 3 Online Pass can also be purchased separately on the Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system.”

iPhone 4S Fastest-Selling Phone Ever

Apple has announced that the iPhone 4S (which saw a million pre-orders within a day of its announcement) has sold 4 million units in its first three days on the market. The sale rate is more than double the iPhone 4 and is the fastest-selling phone in history.

“iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend – the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days,” said Apple senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller. “iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever.”

Additionally, over 25 million customers have also downloaded the new iOS 5 operating system for their iOS devices.

Final Fantasy XIV Subscriptions Coming Late 2011

Square Enix has announced that they are planning Final Fantasy XIV 2.0, which will include redesigned maps, a new graphics engine, a speedier server system a “renewed” UI and enhanced in-game community content. With these additions, Square Enix is looking to add a subscription fee to the game.

“One year has passed since the game’s release, and despite the disappointment surrounding its launch, we have received a wealth of support from you, the players,” wrote Square Enix president Yoichi Wada. “In the ten months since the Final Fantasy XIV team’s restructuring, we have put forth the utmost effort into not only improving the game’s existing features, but also creating a concrete plan to outline the game’s new direction.”

“With this, it is my hope that we will continue to receive your support as we will need to bring the unbilled period to a close between late November and early December 2011, and introduce our subscription-based billing system. I appreciate that this decision will not be popular, but it is a necessary step in building upon the foundation our fans and development team have made together and to realize the full potential of Final Fantasy XIV.”