Posts Tagged ‘openfeint’

DeNA weighs in with $393M Q4 sales numbers, $1.38B annual

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Japanese social and mobile games company DeNA has recently reported their fourth quarter and fiscal year results, totaling $393 Million and $1.38 Billion, respectively.  This fiscal quarter figure represents a 67.5 percent increase over the previous years’ Q4 numbers.  Additionally, this increase now sees DeNA reporting it’s sixth consecutive quarter of increased revenues, resulting in an achievement of the firm’s goals, raking in a massive $1.38 Billion in sales for the fiscal year.

“DeNA has met, if not exceeded, every goal we set for the company,” Tomoko Namba, CEO, DeNA, said in a statement. “We are very pleased and proud of our exceptional year in sales. Our diverse catalog, market expanding strategies and dedication to leadership in technology has fueled our global growth. We are looking forward to making our social mobile platform for games, Mobage, truly global in the coming year.”

DeNA’s success is attributed largely to their expansion of a number of their Mobage Open Platform titles.  This expansion arrived for both in-house and third-party titles, bringing the numbers up to 1000+ available titles within the network.  Likewise, DeNA decided to eliminate the brand-schism, and homogenized it’s Mobage brand, replacing the Mobage-Town moniker in Japan with a unified Mobage.  This consolidation arrives just months before DeNA plans a release of the Mogabe product lineup to Western markets.

While DeNA may have suffered a blow via the acquisition of OpenFeint by competitor GREE, their plans to head West haven’t been dashed.  The company has charted what they believe will put them on the top in this new market via a multi-pronged attack.  OpenFeint may have gone to GREE, but don’t forget that DeNA also has their own feet on the ground with the acquisition of ngmoco, as well as mobile app studio Gameview.  And now that they’ve got the IP in place, the company has also struck major deals with carriers, least of which being Japan’s NTT Docomo, as well as providing for a device to play on, with a Samsung deal leading the way.

Looking forward, DeNA is projecting a massive growth rate, and the spoils of war that come with it.  The firm is indicating that 2014 will see a $2.4 Billion operating income, primarily based on the expansion of Mobage, as well as their Open Platform/X-Border/X-Device offerings in Japan, China, North America, and Europe.

And while DeNA may be celebrating a healthy lining of the coffers, the Japan based company did take pause, and noted that in response to the devastating earthquake(s) and Tsunami, they’ve made major donations to humanitarian relief efforts, as well as opening their doors to employ persons from affected areas.

 

Japan’s GREE acquires OpenFeint for $104 million

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Announced late last night, Japanese mobile gaming platform GREE has plunged into the global gaming market with a massive purchase: OpenFeint.  According to the statement, GREE has acquired OpenFeint’s outstanding securities for $104 million.  In addition to the buyout, GREE is pumping the firm full of additional cash to fuel accelerated growth of the already massive platform.  OpenFeint staff members are expected to stay aboard, including CEO and founder Jason Citron, as GREE has also worked long term incentives into the deal.

In combination, GREE/OpenFeint will reach 100 million users worldwide, with a healthy 75 percent arriving from OpenFeint, who’s numbers have grown to include over 19,000 games developers in just two years.  GREE intends to incorporate their own social gaming and platform experience into the OpenFeint model and drive mobile social gaming to new heights.

“At GREE, we are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class US-based mobile social network, OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO of GREE in a statement.

The new OpenFeint/GREE program is already off to a head start, as the companies also announced a massive international expansion plan, with offices slated to soon open in Beijing, Singapore, and London.  The company is aggressively seeking top talent, and plans on doubling in size over 2011.

With over 19,000 traditional and free-to-play games developers taking advantage of OpenFeint’s connectivity and other offerings, the firm is the world’s largest cross platform social gaming network for smartphones.  Over 5,000 games incorporate OpenFeint technology, including App Store and Android Marketplace top sellers Fruit Ninja and Tiny Wings.  And one of the most obvious wins for GREE is OpenFeint’s already existing partnerships with leading mobile carriers, resulting in coverage on over half the US market share.

If OpenFeint’s name and Japanese investment rings a bell, you’ll remember that social/mobile gaming competitor DeNA has already provided investment in OpenFeint.  I guess we now know what “outstanding securities,” GREE is speaking to.  So the question remains: what happened with DeNA?  It would have appeared to any outside investor that DeNA was well on their way to an acquisition.  Initial investments to test the technology and relationship waters, and then, bam! the acquisition.  However, DeNA’s offices were raided by the Japanese FTC on antitrust suspicions this past December, possibly presenting a snag in DeNA’s otherwise full steam ahead acquisition aspirations.

 

Mobile gaming platform Scoreloop bringing home 1M users per week

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Leading mobile cross platform social gaming platform Scoreloop has recently announced that they’re now adding one million new players per week. In November 2010, Scoreloop reported approximately 3 Million users per month coming through their doors.

This number shouldn’t come as a surprise, as mobile gaming is predicted to be a major market this year, as Android comes of age, and Apple’s iOS continues to make advancements in the gaming field. To this degree, Scoreloop is reporting a massive 100 million sessions served in 2010. This figure is qualified by Scoreloop as, “…where a gamer has actively used the social connectivity features of a Scoreloop-enabled game.” Additionally, the San Francisco based firm saw 350 million user submitted high scores, or, 11 scores submitted per second.

“One million new users a week is a magic number for Scoreloop, and it’s proof that users are actively taking advantage of the social element that we’re enabling thousands of developers to creatively integrate into their mobile games,” said Marc Gumpinger, CEO of Scoreloop. “Today’s announcement represents an accelerating rate of growth that’s no doubt driven by the significant SDK uptake and an increasing number of developers using our tools to leverage the freemium model.”

While these are fantastic numbers for Scoreloop, as noted above, 2011 is heating up to be the year of the mobile game. Scoreloop will face stiff competition from some big names, including, OpenFeint, what does DeNA have in store, and then there’s Kongregate who was, and then wasn’t admitted to the Google Android Marketplace.

 

The9 scores OpenFeint license agreement

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Chinese online game operator and developer The9 has recently announced a software license agreement with OpenFeint Inc. The terms of the deal center around a five-year license to use the mobile social gaming network software across the Chinese market, and was made via a wholly owned subsidiary.

Unless you’ve been camped out under a rock for the past few years, you’ll recognize the importance of OpenFeint arriving in China. Arguably the most successful mobile social gaming network software for iOS devices and Android devices, OpenFeint’s developer SDK can be quickly and easily integrated into any iOS and/or Android based game. With China’s massive gaming market, this cooperation has mutually beneficial all over it. OpenFeint currently has over 13,000 registered game developers using the SDK and integrating it into their games. The result? OpenFeint counts over 50 million registered users with approximately 4,000 games in the App Store and Google Market.

“We are very pleased to introduce OpenFeint’s software to Chinese mobile game developers and users. As the world’s leading social mobile gaming network software, OpenFeint’s software combines both social networking and gaming features that have great potential for development in China. We believe that our mobile social gaming network in China can deliver to our users, fantastic contents and an overall exhilarating gaming experience,” comments The9 CEO Jun Zhu.

Along with their subsidiaries and partners, The9 plans on building and operating a mobile social gaming network built on mobile internet across China. Listed amongst the cooperating partners are mobile communication carries, a factor that’s sure to expedite the process.

An interesting sidenote, you’ll remember that Japan based DeNA has a significant investment in OpenFeint, and has been on a buying spree beyond compare over the course of 2010. They’ve recently hinted at a European strategic purchase, but working their way into the Chinese market via OpenFeint could prove quite valuable for the company. If they can’t crack the market under their own name, there’s certainly no better option than to license out technology that you’ve got a significant investment in.

 

Digital Chocolate- using cross platform strategy to rocket to the top

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Digital Chocolate. If you’ve not yet discovered their offerings, chances are, you soon will. The cross platform producers have recently landed in the number 4 slot on Facebook in terms of daily active users according to AppData. This news arrives less than a month after Digital Chocolate’s previous announcement of achieving a strong 20 million monthly active user figure. By now counting over 4 million daily active users, Digital Chocolate has been able to take on, and surpass, some much larger names in the space, including Playdom (i.e. The Walt Disney Company), and PopCap Games.

According to Digital Chocolate, the secret is in the cross platform gaming sauce. “Our combined market positions on Facebook and mobile platforms make us a unique player in the industry,” said Marc Metis, President of Digital Chocolate. “We’ve broadened our success on Facebook across a well-developed portfolio and extended our social gaming brands onto new platforms like iPhone and Android.”

And broadened their success on Facebook they have. Digital Chocolate can lay claim to the second fastest growing game in the Facebook 2010 season; Millionaire City. Combined with their MMA Pro Fighter hit, Digital Chocolate sank some serious cash into the business, and was able to pump out Hollywood City, Island God, Vegas City, Epic Fighters, and Ninjas Rising on Facebook during the month of November. And it appears as though Digital Chocolate isn’t just a one trick pony, but has been able to attract 1.3 million daily active users outside the Millionaire City realm. According to Digital Chocolate, this figure accounts for more added users than any of it’s competitors, and with the 5 previous mentioned games, has more virtual goods games on the rise than any other Facebook gaming supplier.

Adding to Digital Chocolate’s success is their cross platform stance. As we’ve seen already, becoming, or being, too dependent on one outlet (read:Facebook) can be akin to the proverbial, “Putting all your eggs in one basket,” Digital Chocolate also focuses on the mobile. They’ve been in the space for quite a while, in particular the free-to-play arena, as Digital Chocolate was one of the very early adopters of OpenFeint technology. Since this time, they’ve gone on to expand their mobile offerings, as well as the platforms that run them. When speaking mobile gaming, naturally the iPhone must be included, but Digital Chocolate also has a number of pixel packed punch in the Android world. They’ve recently released Millionaire City, MMA Pro Fighter, and Hollywood City for both platforms, and have promised a number of additional titles soon. With over 100 million worldwide mobile device downloads, clearly Digital Chocolate is on to something here, and is certainly worth keeping an eye on over the coming year.

 

DeNA continues expansion: acquires Social Games maker Gameview

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Japanese mobile games portal and provider DeNA has successfully acquired Mountain View, CA based Gameview Studios. You’ll remember that DeNA, while by no means a new player, made waves back in August when their Q1 financials pointed to a very healthy $279M take. Apparently, they’re not wasting any time in putting these funds towards expansion efforts.

gameviewGameview Studios, previously known as Bayview Labs, LLC, was formed only this past April, and produces social gaming apps for the iOS platform, with Android games already in development. Their free offerings include Tap Fish: Exotic and Tap Birds. With the addition of Android ready games, Gameview hopes to hold “a firm position in the smartphone market.”

DeNA’s main thinking behind the acquisition is to form and alliance between Gameview, and their loyal fans, and MiniNation, DeNA’s smartphone social network, ultimately driving fans to discover (and play) more DeNA games.

DeNA makes no secret about their “aggressive” foreign investments, as the company is keen to snatch up social app developers and push their own “X-device” and “X-border” strategy. DeNA’s X plans promote game development and distribution across not one, but all smartphone platforms. I.e. diversity is the key.

And lest we forget, DeNA’s been quietly sinking roots in American gaming, backing iOS developer Aurora Feint – creators of OpenFeint, as well as natching up Bellevue, WA based social dev IceBreaker. If OpenFeint and DeNA’s X program sound fairly similar, you’re not alone. With fingers attached to purse strings, it’s clear that DeNA is having a decided influence on OpenFeint, and vice versa.

DeNA’s also been deeply involved in their home country as well, creating the Yahoo! Mob-ag, developed in conert with Yahoo! Japan. In terms of long term development, DeNA has even created a $27.5 million incubation fund to promote social gaming. Or, as I like to call it – early recruitment.

“Our acquisition of Gameview today is congruent with our goal of rapidly expanding our mobile footprint as a leading brand and platform in mobile social gaming,” says DeNA CEO Tomoko Namba. “We were impressed by the creativity and passion that the Gameview team has for creating addictive and engaging gaming experiences, and we’re excited to welcome them into the DeNA family.”

 

Digital Chocolate uses OpenFeint to produce first free-to-play iPhone title

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

OpenFeint, a leading social networking platform solution provider, recently announced a partnership with game developer Digital Chocolate to help produce the company’s first free-to-play title for iPhone and iPod Touch. Titled Fantasy Warrior Legends, Digital Chocolate’s game is now available for free at the App Store.

IMG_0040Only about a month and a half after Open Feint’s announcement of their social features for free-to-play iPhone games, Digital Chocolate is utilizing these tools, and providing players with the options to post scores on leaderboards, track their progress, access live forums and chat with other OpenFeint players to share tips and tricks about the game.

“We’re excited to launch Digital Chocolate’s first freemium game on the OpenFeint social gaming network. With an engaged community of more than 17 million players, OpenFeint is the perfect platform to launch a social, RPG game,” said Jason Citron, Founder and CEO of Aurora Feint, Inc.

Fanstasy Warrior Legends is Digital Chocolate’s fourth title using the OpenFeint technology, but the first to be offered as a free-to-play. Players engage in a heroic battle as “Rento”, and must ultimately destroy the evil Demon Lord. The title was specifically designed with iPhone and iPod Touch features in mind, players use the multi-touch feature to navigate and fight monsters by touching and tapping screen controls. Likewise, Digital Chocolate is also using the microtransactions feature of the Apps Store, with a digital market built in that will allow players to make RMT’s for virtual goods that will enhance their game experience.

“Fantasy Warrior Legends is our first free-to-play game that will contain an in-game social platform, and with OpenFeint’s collaboration, we will be able to give users a sense of community,” said Trip Hawkins, Founder and CEO of Digital Chocolate (formerly founder of EA). “This allows us to give consumers an even more engaging RPG adventure.”

OpenFeint will feature Fantasy Warrior Legends in the exclusive “Free Game of the Day” spotlight on Sunday April 11th, 2010. During the promo, users will be able to download 400 in-game gems for free to beef up their action-adventure gameplay.

 

Open Feint launches social features for free-to-play iPhone games

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Announced late yesterday, Burlingame, CA based Aurora Feint officially opened their private beta of OpenFeint X, a solution for developers to have the ability to create free-to-play games, including those stocked with microtransaction based virtual goods. The company positions the product as a logical adoption, given the runaway success of free-to-play games on social networking platforms.

openFeint_logo“OpenFeint X is by far our most ambitious and transformative effort,” said Jason Citron, Founder and CEO of Aurora Feint Inc. “We know that there is tremendous interest in creating the next Zynga, CrowdStar, and PlayFish of the iPhone. We also know that developers who aspire to these ambitions want the platform on which they can build these kinds of lucrative businesses. OpenFeint X is exactly that platform.”

Launched in conjunction with strategic partner DeNa Group, OpenFeint X will be rolled out in phases over the coming months. Core services of OpenFeint X will be fee to developers. The up side to using Aurora Feint’s toolkit is the exponential exposure devs will gain from the community. Social features include a chat wall, similar to Facebook, a newsfeed showing recent in-game activity, and game nudges, again all taken from the Facebook platform page here. Most notably, OpenFeint X includes tools for developers to fully integrate a full virtual goods store, detailed analytics, a game-specific currency, and downloadable game assets.

“OpenFeint X is the culmination of bringing the best of Xbox Live and Facebook’s App Platform to the iPhone, and extending the multi-billion dollar virtual goods social gaming economy to mobile,” said Peter Relan, Executive Chairman of Aurora Feint. Relan also holds the same position at CrowdStar, the #2 Social Game developer on Facebook, which makes huge hits such as Happy Aquarium, Happy Island and Happy Pets.

Relan concludes, “OpenFeint X is the platform on which the next big social gaming companies will be created.”

The existing OpenFeint platform currently powers social gaming services for over 12 million users, and has a monthly growth rate of 25%.

 

iPad arrives – Devs spring into action

Friday, January 29th, 2010

What would this week be without at least a mention of Apple’s latest creation (and announcement) the iPad. While there’s plenty of material out there ranging from why to Colbert’s bold proclamation “Give me an iPad”, the iPad has at least gotten a reaction, good or bad, out of pretty much everyone even remotely connected to the handheld electronics device field. Considering the proliferation of mobile phones, the iPhone in particular, this would encompass a wide majority of folks.

213722-3But what does the iPad mean for games developers? An entirely new playing field. A number of games houses reacted almost immediately to the announcement, with the overwhelming consensus positive and indicating that they’re already hard at work on iPad ready apps.

iPhone dev studios OpenFeint and Scoreloop were two of the first on the scene, clearly having someone waiting, literally, on Mr. Jobs’ every word, just waiting for the cue to click and release the info to the world. Scoreloop says that they’ll have an iPad specific upgrade from their popular Astro Ranch iPhone game that will take advantage of the iPad’s increased screen real estate, appropriately titled Astro Ranch HD. While not pointing to specific examples, OpenFeint Chairman Peter Relan states, “We have plans for some really special features for the iPad that will make social gaming even more immersive.”

Ok, so far so good. New platform, new, tailored games for this platform….now, show me the money. Ngmoco, who took full advantage of Apple’s decision to allow microtransactions within iPhone games, said that their freemium first person shooter, Eliminate would port well from iPhone to iPad, and that their currently-in-development co-op version of Eliminate would do the same. Likewise, EA demoed their Need for Speed Shift title at the Apple announcement and confirmed that they already have a number of titles in the works for the forthcoming iPad. EA did not confirm that these titles will contain microtransaction elements, but given their proven commitment to the business model and gaming associations, it’s very likely.

I mention above that the iPad announcement creates an entirely new playing field for devs. And while the opinions have been wildly circulating, the one that keeps showing up on my radar is “But…it’s just a big iPod.” Certainly from an esthetic point of view this comment has merit. However, once the device is in hand, as Kotaku had access to, it’s quite clear that this is no iPod. While Kotaku editors has trouble controlling the majority of games they tested on the iPad, they did report that menu driven games, such as EA’s The Sims 3 played very well. What this indicates is that an entirely new sub-genre of social, casual, and all around ‘games’ may develop as studios rush to push out iPad read/compatible games. Apple currently does not allow the sale of virtual currencies within the games operating on their platforms (there are however a number of ways around this), they have confirmed that the iPad will support in-app transactions through the iPhone OS 3.2.

Apple’s iPad is expected to begin shipping in late March of this year. Should be a VERY exciting summer.