Social Gamer Survey Shows Them Open To Ads

RockYou recently released the results of a study of over 2,000 social gamers, (60 percent female and 40 percent male who play at least one hour a week) detailing their spending and playing behavior in-game. Positive for advertisers, 44 percent are open to viewing in-game ads in order to earn virtual goods and 24 percent have clicked on an ad and made an online purchase, even if 96 percent of players in general don’t buy virtual goods.

Many social gamers play console games, with 52 percent of players saying they owned a Wii, 46 percent owned an Xbox 360 and 34 percent said they owned a PS3. These game players are, not surprisingly, enthusiastic game players spending 13 hours per week on social networks, checking or updating 17 times per week, with an average of 218 followers or friends.

The surveyed social gamers spend 9.5 hours per week on social games, and average over 16 friends who play the same game. They note that they made an average of 20 new friends through social gaming and 82 percent of social gamers say they regularly play online with someone they have never met in real life.

Skyrim Might Influence Dragon Age II

BioWare has claimed in the past that they had learned lessons from the reception to Dragon Age II and would apply them to the sequel appropriately. BioWare CEO and co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka said the company will not only draw on the strengths and weaknesses the Dragon Age series, but will also look to other game series as well.

Dragon Age is gonna have the best of features from the prior Dragon Age games, but it’s also gonna have a lot of things I think players are gonna find compelling from some of the games that are out now that are doing really well with more of an open world feel,” said BioWare CEO and co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka. “We’re checking Skyrim out aggressively. We like it. We’re big admirers of [Bethesda] and the product. We think we can do some wonderful things.”

“Our goal is to surprise and delight our fans,” Muzyka said. “I’ve seen something in the last couple of weeks that is really the future of that franchise that is so compelling, I am so looking forward to being able to announce it.”

Source: Wired

Zynga’s Stock – Reasons For Initial Hardship

Zynga’s stock has been dropping after peaking at $11 a share, now resting below the initial offering of $10. While the company is profitable, it is believed that investors are increasingly wary of tech stocks, which isn’t the greatest of signs for Facebook or Twitter should those companies go public.

At the same time, the large number of shares being sold may have had a negative effect on the price. Investors are also probably leery of a new company where the board is still controlled by the CEO along with concerns about Zynga’s long-term prospects relating to its growth and overt dependence on Facebook.

Source: AdWeek

Crytek Looks To Free-To-Play, Mobile Development

Crytek director of global business development Carl Jones says that the company is looking more towards mobile and free-to-play. The German developer is currently developing the free-to-play shooter WarFace and its engine technology is also be used in other free-to-play titles, such as MindArk’s Entopia Universe.

“At the lower end of the development scale where you maybe aren’t creating such complex games, you’re generally delivering more content throughout the lifecycle of the game,” explains Jones. “If you’re trying to create content on a weekly basis, which is quite often necessary in a free-to-play, mobile or casual game, your pipeline to get it out there has to be super-fast and very robust. And that’s something we’re concentrating on a great deal.”

“Obviously we continue to build on our realtime tools,” he says. “We don’t want to end up with massive teams having to work on games in future. There are some very, very big name studios that have made games that you would think are a success, but actually they’re closing down because the sheer cost of making that game was too high. Obviously that’s untenable, except for a very small number of games per year.”

Source: Edge

Team Fortress 2 Hat Economy Worth $22 Million, Says Estimate

Paul Manwaring recently did an analysis of the economy of Team Fortress 2, calling it appropriately the “hat economy.” Including all the various elements that go into making items for the game, he puts the value somewhere around $22 million.

“There will be more items sold in the store, more promotional items, more unusual hats and many one off special items (such as earbuds) {link no longer active} to add to that total. Earbuds alone, once awarded to all Mac users, are valued at $20 each. Once again we have no details of numbers awarded, but the value of this single commodity will likely rest at over $1 million,” writes Manwaring. “At the end of the day, however, no matter how large TF2′s economy actually is, it stands as a testament to the potential of this market. Virtual economies are still untested. Whether it’s Zynga flailing on the stock market, or Chinese  ’gold farming‘ horror stories, virtual economies do hit the headlines. Until the sheer weight of these operations start to become noticed, however, the broader picture will not emerge.”