Final Fantasy Brigade Reaches 500,000 Users

According to a report by Social Game Info, Final Fantasy Brigade has crossed the 500,000 user mark. This amount comes less than two weeks after the game started on DeNA’s Mobage service.

Upon reaching the mark, Square Enix announced a few special campaigns happening in the game that will focus on classic summon characters Shiva and Ifrit. The game is currently available in Japan, though its not unreasonable to assume that a release in the West will come sometime.


Metal Gear Solid 3DS Will Be Limited In Supply

The snake-skinned 3DS will be made available exclusively through Konami Style. Purchasing the system will require entering a raffle of all things, with the price being 22,980 Japanese Yen ($299).

The Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater bundle, will include a copy of the game, the snake styled 3DS system, and two clear files as a bonus. The cutoff for entering the purchase raffle is February 3, and winners will be notified on February 10; the game will release on March 8.


Zynga Marketing Costs $300 Per New Customer, Says Analyst

According to an estimate by Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, he thinks that Zynga loses $150 for every new paying customer it acquires. This educated guess is based on the social gaming company’s confirmed $120 million marketing budget for the first nine months of 2011.

“Almost all of that [total] is for acquiring customers,” said Bhatia. “We also know that they had 3.4 million unique payers in the September quarter, which is up from 3 million at the end of December 2010. In other words, they added 400,000 additional payers and they spent $120 million to acquire them.”

This estimate suggests that ever new customer brought in costs Zynga $300, but that those customers only spend about $150 over the 12 to 15 months that players stay with the company on average. “That math won’t work for very long,” Bhatia noted.

Crucially, the company’s recent Hidden Chronicles on Facebook and Scramble With Friends on iOS haven’t been as successful as past Zynga games, and have battered the company’s share price as a result. “When we say that traffic hasn’t gone up despite new introductions, that’s telling us that maybe people are moving from one game to another, but you’re not really getting a lot of incremental people trying them,” said Bhatia.

“The really hardcore are, perhaps, finding themselves trying FarmVille, CastleWorld and CityVille. The newer audiences are trying and finding that this is all the same and leaving,” he added. “Again, the fact that there is such a small base of people who actually pay says that your risk is tremendous. This is spread out over 20 million people. You could say, ‘Oh yeah, 5 percent could get bored.’ Although, you only have 2 percent of your people paying, and God forbid if those guys get bored.”

Sterne Agee believes that the next year or so will be key for Zynga, as they try and find the next hit title in order to satisfy investors. “That’s the bottom line. Until they can find that, if it’s all incremental stuff that people are not really crazy about, it’s gonna be tough to put up the kinds of growth numbers that the stock’s multiple is implying,” noted Bhatia.


Zynga Might Add Real Gambling To Poker

Online gambling with card games might become legal in the U.S. and that could benefit social game developers, including Zynga. Zynga’s Texas Holdem Poker has over 6.5 million Daily Active Users and over 30 million Monthly Average Users.

“We know from listening to our players that there’s an interest in the real money gambling market,” said Zynga. “We’re in active conversations with potential partners to better understand and explore this new opportunity.”

Source: All Things D

Sony Says There Are Barriers To Streaming HD Games

Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House indicates that the company is looking to all viable means of distribution. However, he notes that there are significant barriers for delivering the highest quality HD experience through means other than a physical disc.

“There are clearly a lot of opportunities with regard to business models around games, all of which we’re interested in and are exploring,” said House. “Some of our group companies already have a stake in free-to-play models and so on. But in my view, for the very highest quality high-definition console gaming, I think there are still some significant barriers to streaming solutions.”

“Whether it’s in mobile or cloud-based services, there are opportunities there for more casual content and in our case potentially for legacy content, which we would definitely like to explore,” he noted. “But I think we are a ways away from being able to deliver the full-on top-end experience like that. The scale of data involved and issues around latency do mean that, at least for now, the easiest consumer experience is from physical media.”

“Having said that, we’re starting to see some growth in the number or proportion of our consumers that want to access their content via download. But I think it’s still pretty small,” he added. “Interestingly, some of our consumer data is saying that consumers’ expectation, or their perception of how fast their broadband connection is, doesn’t necessarily match the physical reality. So I think there’s an expectation gap there that needs to be overcome.”

Source: CVG

Resident Evil: Retribution 3D Gets Teased

The Resident Evil movie series keeps right on trucking with the upcoming release of Resident Evil: Retribution 3D. This teaser wears its Sony affiliation on its sleeve by starting out with promotions for various Sony products before shifting focus to the movie.


Send A Message From Mars

Part of launch of Disney’s John Carter – a sweeping action adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars) – fans can send a message to a martian. Enter some text into the box and send your Facebook and Twitter friends a message in Martian and share your secret message. Other games and engagements include a Martian decoder so you can decode Martian symbols. A puzzle mini-game allows fans to try and unlock the mysteries of Barsoom, a land that holds great powers and hidden treasures.

Activision Publishing CEO Talks Taking Advantage Of A Leak

During the leak of information on Modern Warfare 3, Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said he faced his “first real crisis on the job.” He had been with the company since leaving Deutsch less than a year prior.

“It wasn’t on our timetable; we didn’t instigate it,” said Hirshberg. “But it’s out there, and we can’t pull it back in. We weren’t ready for this, but we had to deal with it.”

In the half day meeting that followed, he said, “Our job today is to complete this sentence: ‘If this leak had never happened, we would have never been able to do ______ .’ And if we could complete that sentence, then we could go to bed tonight having turned a crisis into an opportunity.”

So using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube they immediately raised interest in the game and took the spark of interest and “poured gasoline on it.” Pushing things up four weeks ended up working out for the company pretty well.

Source: AdAge