June 27, 2011 By the ZippyCart Content Team
London-based Mind Candy, the parent software company behind the wildly successful “Moshi Monsters” online game/social network just experienced a huge valuation boost – going from being worth roughly 35 million dollars to about 200 million dollars. This valuation increase is based on the recent sale made by Spark Ventures, where they unloaded about half of their stock in the company for a 1400% return on their initial investment. Back in September Spark Ventures’ own estimates put the value down at 35 million, but the recent sale forced them to update those figures.
So what’s the deal with these guys? Again, Mind Candy is the software powerhouse behind the wildly successful Moshi Monsters online social game. The game allows users (kids seven to fourteen years old) to make their own monsters and set them up cute little lives in a virtual world. Like all social games these days, users can buy goods for their virtual monsters using an in-game shopping cart. This element, like most other online and social games, is what drives the revenue stream for Moshi Monsters and Mind Candy.
The massive value-change, driven by something so hollow as new investors putting shares into a shopping cart, has some people speculating as to the existence of a tech bubble. Whether it’s the bubble perceived in America spreading overseas, or just a UK/EU clone, the threat of imminent collapse has many crying for caution. Some say that these numbers can’t possibly be true and are too good to last. Thomas Teichman, chairman of Spark Ventures, had this (typically-British) response:
“There is worry out there that things have gone too far in the States. This is a proper business with proper revenues and it’s priced sensibly, on real metrics rather than dreamy forward numbers.”
Which could possibly be a swipe at Groupon, whose IPO has been swirling in controversy ever since it filed papers a few weeks ago. More and more stories are surfacing about businesses who had more people putting merchandise in their shopping carts than they had money coming in from the deal. However, with a famimly-friendly gaming and social model, virtual shopping carts that use real money, and a rapidly-growing user base (1 in 3 British kids has a Moshi Monster), Teichman isn’t joking when he says that this is a “proper business.”
June 24, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Gamesalad announced today that gaming engineers using their proprietary drag-and-drop development platform can now publish titles that work with the HTML5 standard. This means that customers will soon be seeing HTML 5 games showing up in their shopping carts. Developers will also be able to embed their games for play on any of the most popular browsers which support the new standard.
GameSalad provides a platform for even the least computer-savvy person to build a game. The drag-and-drop user interface is very user friendly and has been used to create more than 8,500 web-based and iOS games. Thirty of those games broke into the iTunes Top 100 apps. At the time of publishing, Gamesalad only supports Mac OSX, with its primary focus on getting those using Apple’s iOS to add HTML 5 games to their shopping carts. Chief Product Officer Michael Agustin says that the Android Marketplace and Apple’s App Store are the primary methods of discovery for Gamesalad games.
HTML 5 is becoming the most widely adopted next-gen method for media playback and development and is expected to replace Flash. Most developers prefer the capabilities of HTML 5, which is built to handle media-rich web-based apps with ease. One of the biggest draws towards HTML 5 is the fact that it is a very mobile friendly platform. With HTML 5, web content is delivered as you are actively browsing, with little need to download content or install plugins. As the mobile marketplace becomes a larger portion of the online gaming world, developers are looking for ways to make their content more accessible on mobile browsers.
Steve Jobs and Apple have long been promoters of the HTML 5 standard, choosing to eliminate Flash support on any and all iOS devices. The transition from a heavily Flash-based mobile web to HTML 5 has been a long and painful journey, and many consumers choose Android phones explicitly for their Flash support. But as more online game and website developers move towards HTML 5, Apple will likely begin to tap into the huge potential and get more games into users’ shopping carts. Apple’s most recent mobile product, the iPad 2, features a high-powered graphics card that is nearly twice as fast as its predecessor.
June 20, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Smith and Tinker, a Bellevue, Seattle-based game development company, has just released their most recent iPhone game, entitled “Marvel Kapow!” For $1.99 you can put the standard version in your iOS shopping cart. There’s a 3-D version that sells for $3.99, and also a free version (which probably has ads and such, like the free versions of many paid apps typically have).
The game is a simple one, where users employ the touch screen to activate the powers of some of Marvel’s heaviest hitters: Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, and Spiderman. Each has a unique ability to block, smash, slash, and capture, which you’ll need to fend off the mass-produced minions of some of Marvel’s greatest villains (Magneto and Venom were featured in promo shots, but don’t be surprised if Loki is somewhere in there too!). With all the movie tie-ins for those characters – each one has their own starring film, if not several – you can expect a lot of comic and movie fans to put this title into their shopping cart.
This new release is a rebirth of sorts for the once-mighty Smith and Tinker. The brainchild of former Microsoftee Jordan Weisman, the company came to be in 2007. It quickly brought in $29 million in funding from a veritable superhero team (like the Avengers!) of backers, including Paul Allen. Their first major project was a fighting concept called “Nanovor” that you may remember from its heavily-advertised debut back in 2009.
The game didn’t catch on with its target demo – younger boys – and many a shopping cart passed the game and left it sitting on shelves. There’s still a slew of Nanovor stuff up for grabs on Amazon, but reports say that it’s no longer supported. Their new Marvel game has a much broader appeal and takes full advantage of the saturation of smartphones. They also plan to expand their gaming operations to other touchscreen devices.
Part of Smith and Tinker’s rebirth called for some hard decisions and deep cuts. They dropped from 55 employees down to less than 10, putting it back into that fast and lean ballpark that some of the most successful startups find themselves in. Their leadership has been shaken up as well, with Disney veteran Joe Lawandus taking the helm, while Weisman remains on the board and contributes to creative projects when appropriate. Disney, by the way, is the current owner of Marvel, and if there’s one thing that Disney knows how to do, it’s getting people to fill a shopping cart with merchandise.
June 10, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
This just in: men and women are different! Common knowledge, we know, but the internet has been abuzz lately about the results of a (surprisingly balanced) study of male and female shopping cart behaviors inside online social games. The study looked at 1550 online social gamers, 53% male, 47% female – a pretty close sampling, especially considering how widely online activities can vary by gender (males and females prefer different sites – also not big news).
The study was conducted on users of the MocoSpace online gaming service. The service features a diverse array of games including Moonbase, Crime City, Happy Farm, and many others. The range of different games gives them great potential to monetize advertising and in-game shopping cart revenue throughout a variety of user demographics: young, old, male, and female. CEO Justin Siegel had this to say:
“Our research shows that from a business perspective both genders demonstrate high levels of engagement, which is good for advertisers – but men and male-dominated titles tend to drive bigger revenues for mobile social game developers.”
According to the study, 69% of male gamers made in-game purchase through virtual shopping carts, compared to only 31% of women. But the really telling statistic was that even with double the number of men buying virtual goods, they accounted for nine times the volume of items purchased!
There are many reasons for this difference in behavior. First off, men spent slightly more time gaming, clocking in at 21 minutes on average, compared to women’s 19 minutes. This increased time spent gaming could translate into a desire to increase their “standard of living” within the game (“standard of gaming,” let’s call it).
Games with in-game currency systems that let you use real money to buy upgrades and other gameplay enhancers usually have two systems: one where you can earn currency the old fashioned way, by grinding out gold and other game resources/currency and another where you can just straight up buy virtual items through a shopping cart system, or else allow you to buy premium currency. After evaluating how much time it would take to earn the in-game currency that they need to get what they want, they might just say “forget it” and drop a few dollars instead.
Whatever it takes to get that +5 fire sword, right?
June 9, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has acquired German social game developer Scoreloop. The acquisition was seen as a way for RIM to further develop social gaming applications for its devices. So far the financial terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed. The Munich-based company specializes in developing an “ecosystem” that aims at building communities capable of generating revenue from mobile games. RIM executives are hoping the move will have mobile gamers filling their shopping carts with purchases and provide them with a more valuable gaming experience.
RIM says on its blog that Scoreloop will “take gaming to a new level of social integration” on BlackBerry platforms. The current BlackBerry platforms are notorious within the industry for being the least developed in terms of social gaming which could be a key reason why the company made the purchase.
RIM says that Scoreloop will be “bringing expertise in creating social and collaborative gaming toolkits for mobile developers to the BlackBerry platform.” The software should allow these developers to build different social media features for their applications. Scoreloop software enables developers to add Facebook and Twitter connections as well as in-app purchases and virtual currency.
RIM’s VP of global alliances and developer relations wrote “We’re excited that the Scoreloop team is joining the BlackBerry Developer team and bringing their expertise in creating social and collaborative gaming toolkits for mobile developers to the BlackBerry platform.”
He also added “Scoreloop is a pioneer in mobile social gaming and offers a customizable and cross-platform social mobile gaming developer tool kit.” Empowering developers is one way that smartphone manufacturers make their platforms more attractive to potential partners. Apple developed a huge lead in the app department by virtue of having the largest market share and users with lots of time and disposable income. However, developers say that they find Apple’s policies somewhat exclusionary and tight-fisted. Android is rapidly closing the app-gap with its more open marketplace, as well as the fact that third parties can distribute their own apps, and the existence of other app marketplaces entirely, like Amazon‘s Android App Store (and Mac Store!).
As Apple begins to threaten RIM even more with the release of a new competing service to RIM’s BBM, RIM must step up in order to survive. Apple’s new instant chat app for exchanging text messages, photos and videos is extremely similar to the service that many BlackBerry users hold on to as being unique. Whether BlackBerry’s acquisition of Scoreloop has anything to do with Apple’s newest threat is still officially unknown.
June 9, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Electronic Arts officially announced that they’d be bringing the Sims to Facebook in what they will be calling “Sims Social.” The announcement was made at the E3 electronic gaming expo in Los Angeles and has been met with excitement and anticipation. A launch date has not been revealed and a Facebook page for the game says simply that the Sims Social is “coming soon.” Rumors are also circulating that a mobile app for the game will be released as well.
Many future users are asking questions what the newest Sims game will include. From what has been already reported it will allow players to build a dream house, start friendships and flings, and embark on all kinds of exciting adventures. The game will be free but don’t put away your shopping carts just yet. The Sims Social will allow users to purchase in-game items such as new clothes and other ways to enhance the lives of their virtual selves.
EA said that it was motivated to bring more of its already-successful titles to the social giant because of previous crossover successes. In addition, the Executive Vice President of the EA Play Label said that the dramatic increase number of Internet users has created a larger market for the Sims. Increase access to the internet, especially broadband internet, has increased opportunities for many online businesses, including ecommerce solutions and shopping carts.
This is not the first time The Sims has gone online. The Sims had been online for several years until officially being shutdown in 2008. However EA executives are promising a whole new experience. The VP said that the Sims Social will feature a completely different experience from The Sims Online. “It’s like comparing apples to oranges.”
In the Sims Social players will have the ability to create and customize their own person – a standard feature of most Sims games. The key difference between Social and previous versions is that the Social version’s environment will be completely populated by the player’s friends and not artificial intelligence. Of course another function of the game will be to incorporate a monetization strategy. Players will have several options when paying for additional Sim services via an online shopping cart system.
June 7, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
The group "Lulzsec" is behind it all
Sony has been in hot water with hackers for the past couple months. Earlier this week we reported that the Playstation Network had enabled their services and ecommerce solution after “beefing up” security measures. Well, Sony has once again reported that over 100 million user’s information has been compromised and leaked. This time it is from www.sonypictures.com.
The group that has taken credit for this breach is a hacker group called Lulzsec.
The information that was compromised from Sony includes email addresses, Sony passwords, dates of birth, full postal address, phone numbers, and gender. Credit card information has not been taken or leaked from the ecommerce solution as far as we know. In addition to the user information that was stolen, 20,000 online music coupons have been given out by the hackers.
Nintendo also reported that they had been hacked recently as well. However, no information had been taken at all. Lulzsec stated that they would never do any harm to Nintendo, but instead just showed them they had a breach in their security. “We sincerely hope Nintendo plugs the gap” the group said.
The hacker organization tweeted that they would hack for Nintendo or even Sega if requested:
“We love Nintendo and Sega, if anything we’d hack *for* them. If you’re listening Nintendo/Sega, you, you uh… you want Sony hacked more?”
Sony has reported the incident to the FBI, but Lulzsec does not seem intimidated by this at all. Earlier last week the group hacked Infraguard, a private-sector affiliate the the FBI. They stole user information along with defacing the website.
One may be wondering why on earth hackers hate Sony so much. One hypothesis has it stemming from an incident that occurred about a year ago. If you recall, a 21 year old hacker named George Hotz was able to unlock the Playstation 3. Sony retaliated by suing the young man. Hacker activist (“hacktivist”) groups around the world have since boycotted the brand.
This Sony hacking campaign has been dubbed “Sownage” (Sony + Ownage). We will have to continue to watch and see how all of this unfolds. Sony must figure out how to plug this hole in their system and ecommerce solution and stop jeopardizing users’ information before people stop using the services at all.
If you are on the Sony Network it is suggested that you change your password, and any passwords that are connected with your account.
June 5, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Origin - EA's New Online Game Storefront
Electronic Arts – EA (ERTS) – has decided to step into the realm of digital game sales with ‘Origin.’ Their new ecommerce solution plans to sell games to PC owners via the web, with high hopes of inter-title connectivity between releases. The biggest competitor for EA is going to be Steam, a Valve service that does essentially the same thing.
With Origin you download the ecommerce solution one time for free and then have to shell out for each game you would like to download.
EA also intends to bring connectivity between all devices that carry the same game. Let’s say you are playing ‘Battlefield,’ one of EA’s top-selling shooters. You go on your mobile device and play it to hone your sharp shooting skills on the go (always a good idea). As long as you are signed into your account on the mobile device, those experience points will transfer directly to your PC.
Instead of just downloading your games off of the Android market or Apple App store, Origin is said to be coming to mobile devices as well. This means you will download the Origin application to your phone, then further download your games from the ecommerce solution app.
Reports indicate that the platform will start with 150 game titles come the launch date. Preview editions of Battlefield 3 and FIFA ‘12 are scheduled to be part of the roll out. Hardcore soccer fans will definitely want to be among the first to throw the preview of FIFA ‘12 in their shopping cart. The service will also allow you to communicate with friends, see who is online, and join the games that they are in as well. This is very similar to the Xbox Live platform.
Origin is only going to be available on PCs for now. Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 already have their respective online console ecommerce solutions.
EA recently reported that their revenue from digital services was $833 million. That is a little over 20% of their overall revenue. EA no doubt anticipates that their digital revenue will grow to with Origin. Since the beginning of the year EA’s share price has gone up 48%. Today (Origin release date) the stock opened at a low $23.98 due to an after-hours fall, but has quickly gone back up to $24.37.
You can check out the official launch of Origin on their website. The beginning of the end for games on disks has been coming for a long time. This is just one more nail in the coffin.
May 9, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
The PlayStation store is back online as of Friday morning, though the PlayStation Network’s online gaming services are still under maintenance. Sony began the final stages of testing the security of the new PlayStation Network and Quirocity media streaming services Thursday, a key step in bringing the network closer to relaunch. Over the past several weeks, the company has been rebuilding its servers and doing a complete overhaul of its security layers.
The Playstation Network, which allows users to play games and access the PlayStation store online, has been offline since April 20th after suffering a severe, sophisticated security hack. The company had been using outdated web server software and had no firewall in place to keep hackers at bay, an issue that at least a few Sony employees were made aware of in the months prior to the security breach. It took Sony seven days to inform PSN users via e-mail that the personal information of over 77 million users was compromised, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birth dates and PSN login information.
No major credit card companies or PSN users have reported cases of fraudulent transactions as a result of the attack, and Sony has yet to confirm whether any credit card information has been taken. The company did state that it cannot rule out the possibility – although the credit card information was encrypted, it is possible that the decryption key was stored on one of the compromised servers. Sony says that it is likely that financial information tied to nearly 24 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts has been compromised.
In an attempt to keep millions of PSN users from jumping ship, Sony is offering a “Welcome Back” program on the PlayStation Network, which includes 30 days of free service from its premium subscription program and free downloadable content for all users. Quirocity is also offering 30 days of its Music Unlimited service for free. In a letter to users Thursday, Sony CEO Howard Stringer also stated that all PSN users in the US will have one year’s free access to an identity protection package through Sony. The European region is currently working to provide a similar service to its users.
The company has advised users to cancel their credit cards and change their login information to combat the possibility of identity theft. The matter is currently before Congress and under investigation by the FBI.
May 2, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Check out exclusive comics for Dungeon Siege III via the Dark Horse comics ecommerce solution.
In their efforts to ramp up publicity in anticipation for the 2011 release of Dungeon Siege III, Square Enix has teamed up with Dark Horse comics (publishers of Mike Mignola’s acclaimed Hellboy and BPRD comics) to release a series of four comics fleshing out the world and backstory of Dungeon Siege III. The first comic is already available on Dark Horse’s website, accessible through their fully-featured ecommerce solution. Users can sign up for a free acount and view the comic book for free using the site’s reader. They can also use an iPhone or iPad to read the comic via a reader app (also available through their ecommerce solution platform).
The Dungeon Siege series is a medieval fantasy role playing game that takes place in the fictional kingdom of Ehb. The series has spanned two games already and a pretty unsuccessful movie starring Jason Statham (which they are even making a sequel to, albeit without the Dungeon Siege name anywhere in the title).
This third installment is the first game to be completely owned and produced by Square Enix, which acquired the rights to the game some time ago. Other developers have also tried their hand at interstitial installments, including Mad Doc Software and SuperVillain Studios. Series creator Chris Taylor is attached to participate in production and keep the game true to his original vision of gameplay and the fantasy world it’s supposed to take place in
This is the first time that the company behind the game has tied in with a comic book. There will be a grand total of four stories, three released online via the Dark Horse ecommerce solution, with the final installment being an exclusive bonus for customers who preorder through Walmart. The books will be drawn by artists Iban Coello (the artist behind Iron Man: Iron Protocols) and Sergio Abad (who drew Transformers: Prime), with stories by Jeremy Barlow (who wrote for Star Wars: Rebellion).
April 29, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
There are very few arcade inspired games that can withstand the cruel mistress of time, especially with the continuing advances in gaming technology, it’s become that much more difficult to retain the attention of mass gamers. Enter Mortal Kombat and the rules of arcade expiration dates no longer apply.
Since its release, the classic fighter has made its way to the top of many gaming blog indexes and even ranked toward the pinnacle of Amazon‘s best selling list. So what exactly is the secret to Mortal Kombat’s recurring success?
It’s actually quite simple: creators have updated the game’s famously gory battles and finishing moves to something that mimics what would expect to come out of a SAW movie, added a twisted story mode element, but still retained the 2D side profile that every veteran gamer would be familiar and fell in love with from the beginning.
The narrative backing of Mortal Kombat is something new that may initially have fans doubting the game’s true nature (especially since Mortal Kombat: Armageddon’s story mode turned out to be less than dazzling) as a macabre duel between two insanely gifted fighters. But rest assure, the developers have come along way since Armageddon.
The story starts up where Armageddon left off, with Thunder God Raiden, under a relentless attack from Shao Kahn, the evil emperor whose life goal is to merge the Outworld and Earth realms together — an endeavor that threatens the destruction of the planet. Raden, in all his psychic gory, sends a message to his past self in an attempt to prevent the end of days. Past-Raiden sees this message through a series of hazy visions that incline him to help the people of the Earth Realm compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament, which decides the fate of the two dimensions.
Mortal Kombat‘s new story starts off by taking on the role of actor Johnny Cage, whose egotistic personality and killer shades take him through a journey that leads the gamer toward more fighters and lively cut-scenes which reveal the origins and incentives that brought each fighter to the tournament. I’ll leave the rest of the story up to you to figure out. Just know it won’t be a stroll through the meadow, unless of course your stroll consists of a back spring, round house leg sweep, knee to face combo; and your meadow is filled with rows of human entrails, fertilized by the remains of a man’s dying breath, fed by a river of tears and shattered dreams.
Overall, the new Mortal Kombat is a worthwhile purchase for those gamers who enjoy the classic arcade style of fighting, and a few gallons of blood and guts. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a classic fighter retain the vintage style of gameplay that made the game a household name. Noobs and veterans alike should expect to take a sadistic please from the game.
April 26, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
"Admit it! You put a copy of LA Noir in your shopping cart and then covered it up!"
The buzz about LA Noir, the latest offering from Rockstar Games, has been building since the game was announced, but now the release date is drawing near and eager fans are scrambling to put a copy in their shopping carts. Increased action on the game, available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 only, has landed it on Amazon’s “Top 100 Games” list for the last 34 days (PS3 is at position 9, Xbox at 12 – number 1? Portal – duh).
Rockstar always puts out great games, being the powerhouse behind the wildly successful Grand Theft Auto series. They’ve apparently turned the tables, choosing to apply their hyper-stylized eye to the brave men and women (well, actually, in Noir they’re all men, because, you know, that’s the time period) who uphold the law, serving and protecting the citizens of LA against brutal slayings that mirror the factual “Black Dahlia” murder.
The Grand Theft Auto games were each landmarks in the gaming world, and each featured a unique style, so fans are confident that they can pull off the larger-than-life world of 1947 LA. In GTA III, the start of the current generation of amazing GTA games, players worked their way through the underworld of a fictionalized version of New York City called “Liberty City.” The next game changed things up a lot with a setting called “Vice City,” which was a thinly veiled reimagining of Miami, FL, circa 1980, complete with classic hits on the radio. GTA San Andreas took on the gangster culture of southern California. The games have come full circle with GTA 4 (what about all those other games in between?) returning the player to Liberty City. In every version, the great style (and solid gameplay) got gamers to drop copies into their shopping carts in record numbers.
Setting is an incredibly important part of videogaming, especially in an immersive sandbox game like the GTAs or Noir. Players spend their time traversing the world, performing various tasks for rewards (experience, money, items, etc.). If the world isn’t immersive and convincing, then players aren’t going to stay engaged for long, no matter how good the story is or how fun the gameplay is.
Speaking of gameplay, while Rockstar’s inversion of premise (good guys helping people instead of bad guys hurting people) has opened up new gameplay mechanics. Whereas previous games featured running, gunning, driving, and killing (which will ALL appear in Noir), when the inevitable double-crosses came, it was part of the story, there was nothing you could do about it.
In Noir, you are a cop who eventually becomes a detective. Learning how to read people and gaining intuition (expressed as an in-game ability that can be leveled up through successful cases and missions) is all part of the job. The longer you play, the better you’ll get at interpreting (and interrogating) suspects and even your own partners and superiors. Remember: this is 1947 LA, anything could happen, and nothing is what it seems. With all this to look forward to, our question is: will you put it in your online shopping cart?
April 25, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Mobile gaming and mobile ecommerce software platforms are changing gaming, entertainment, and sales.
In a move that could have a major impact on the US mobile gaming and mcommerce worlds, Japanese social and mobile gaming company Gree has acquired US mobile gaming startup OpenFeint for about 100 million dollars. The collaboration brings together Gree’s 25 million users with OpenFeint’s 75 million users, giving the team an impressive reach right off the bat.
So far there are no plans to completely merge the two groups, but Gree has opened an office in San Fransisco, near OpenFeint’s Silicon Valley offices. Also, the entire team at OpenFeint is staying on board to continue growing out the company. Performance incentives have been put in place and the entire organization is excited for the opportunity that the influx of cash and partnership with Gree will bring to the table. Says OpenFeint CEO Jason Citron:
“We are excited that Gree shares our belief in the OpenFeint network and are ecstatic to partner with a renowned global leader to build a multi-billion dollar business. Together, we will deliver the strongest global ecosystem of gaming networks to our combined 100 million users.”
That’s really what mcommerce/mgaming team-ups like this hint at: constructing a large-scale entertainment company that can deliver content a variety of ways (socially, via mobile ecommerce software platforms, etc.). Users are looking for their entertainment through increasingly varied delivery systems: smartphones, tablets, and internet-ready HD TVs. It’s a changing world and Gree and OpenFeint are ready for it – even as brick-and-mortar companies like Gamestop expand into the social sphere. Gree’s Japanese rival, DeNa, is also ready for the change. They recently purchased US game development company NGmoco. They dropped over 400 million in the deal.
With all this expansion in the mobile and social gaming sphere, heavy hitters like Zynga could have a rude awakening in store for them when competition heats up. Migration into mobile gaming is natural for gaming and mcommerce companies as smartphones are increasingly showing themselves to be a viable revenue stream for ecommerce software platforms. Games have already proven their earning potential in the social realm, where the sales of virtual items in exchange for real money have allowed established companies like Zynga to bring in millions of dollars.
Gaming companies aren’t the only ones muscling into the mobile ecommerce software sphere, credit card companies are already starting to mark their territory with their own mobile payment systems. This is in addition to the revenue stream from traditional phone payment methods like charging purchases made using a cell phone directly back to the user’s bill, which is then paid at the end of the month.
Numerous retailers are using mobile ecommerce software embedded into their apps to increase sales, either directly through the mcommerce capability of the app or through in-store sales after price comparison and other research that has been done via the app and the user’s smartphone’s additional capabilities. With the ever-expanding smartphone market, especially the Android system, branching out into mcommerce and mgaming is a smart move.
April 19, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
The 2011 Masters is over, the coveted green jacket has been slipped onto the shoulders of Charles Schwatzel, and what is left in the wake of an intense performance on the green, is another Tiger Woods’ headline (sigh). This time (thankfully so), Tiger Woods is making headlines for actual golf-related news.
Put Tiger Woods in Your Shopping Cart!
In EA Sports’, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters, golf fans can relive Tiger’s glory days (a la pre-mistress scandal), his four wins at The Masters, and play for a coveted green jacket. Despite Tiger’s on-going year of bad press, this is a video game shoppers are actually rushing to put into their online shopping carts. At $55 a pop it has cruised through its largest first week of sales in the series’ 14-year history.
The Masters sold about 225,000 units in its first week of availability (March 29 – April 5), outperforming the previous record holder Tiger Woods ‘08 by 17 percent in the U.S.
In addition, the iPhone and iPad versions of the title was the number one top-grossing sports game on Apple’s App Store throughout the launch week and continues to make dents in Amazon’s storefront.
The Masters comes as a major improvement as gamers have criticized the series for its lack of additions year over year. However, EA reports that within the same week of launch, DLC revenue jumped 200% from the previous year. This means that in addition to buying copies of the game, people are putting plenty of Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 add-ons into their shopping carts as well. The game boasts an updated career mode, an all-new caddie feature, Jim Nantz broadcasting the play by plays, and not to mention its incredible, digital graphics (you can almost smell the fresh cut grass).
Golf experts and game critics have praised the game’s realism and detailing of the major golf courses including the famed Augusta National Golf Club. EA accredits much of this success to the excitement over the 75th year of The Masters, although some speculate it may have something to do with Tiger’s public and controversial return to the green.
Companies like Gillette, AT&T, Accenture, and Gatorade dropped the golfer in the midst of multiple scandalous affairs last year, but EA Sports remained by Tiger’s side. During the same time, EA saw the golf video game franchise drop 50 percent from 2009 figures and the biggest drop in sales for its bestselling Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11 game. However, EA’s commitment to the Tiger is paying off as golf fans across every console have played a total of more than 7 million games of the The Masters. According to Forbes’ blog, that’s the equivalent to 2,515 PGA TOUR seasons in online tournaments.
These record sales are great for EA Sports, signalling a turnaround for its bestselling golf video game franchise, but maybe it just means the game’s success will be sweetening the alimony pot for the former Mrs. Woods. Perhaps life will imitate art and just like The Masters, Tiger will also bring some major improvements to his game this year.