Top global social gaming developer Happy Elements today announced that it has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round. Led by Legend Capital with participation from existing investor DCM, the new funding will be used to expand more aggressively in Western markets and to make an entry into the mobile entertainment marketwith the launch of several new smartphone games in 2012. The capital will also be used to aggressively recruit diverse talent from across the globe and to strengthen its leadership position as the social game developer with the strongest overall presence in Asia’s principal markets.
Archive for the ‘Social’ Category
Tencent Pengyou.com’s popular games this month
According to statistics from Tencent Pengyou.com, Zynga’s CityVille has performed well since it launched on July 26 and it now ranks 6. GameLook believes Tencent will do everything to make CityVille a big success to attract more foreign games giants.
Kunlun has three TOP10 games on Pengyou last month. Hoolai’s Hoolai Three Kingdoms ranks the third. ismole’s Ninja Village ranks the forth and it will enter QZone soon. KingNet has two TOP10 games and Shenma Three Kingdoms is a new game. Fanhou’s HomeWorld ranks the first.
Renren’s popular games this month
Renren’s game user counting system is special in that it is based on most active users. Fanhou’s puzzle game Fairy Tale City ranks the first, which is very impressive considering its HomeWorld on Pengyou. 5minutes’ Little Anchor ranks the tenth and Kingnet’s Pirates King Hook Ups ranks the eighth. The recent popular fishing game Fishing Tatsujin ranks the second. Fishing games are much diversified and many developers have made similar games.
Tencent’s biggest movement this month was the launching of open mobile flash gaming platform.Tencent’s VP announced that their open platform had nearly 80,000 registered developers since it launched a month ago. Currently 40,000 applications are entering the platform and 3 game applications have 10 million users respectively. Tencent’s social platform has 100 million active users and some games have already got revenue of 10 million Yuan.
Tencent Launched Mobile Flash Gaming Platform
Tencent Pengyou.com change its Chinese name to “PengYou”
[IMPORTANT NOTE]: The preparations for app access to Qzone
Tencent Suffers a Net Loss of RMB 10+ Million after Acquiring Comsenz
Sina is quickening its pace in opening its gaming platform. The micro gaming platform will be opened in August and it will be free for all developers in the first year.
Sina Weibo launched micro gaming platform
Sina to Issue Virtual Currency in the Third Quarter [...]
According to statistics from Alexa, KaiXin’s traffic has fallen 65% in the past 18 months ; its Baidu search volume has decreased to 100,000 a day from a peak of 800,000, which shows a falling attention index from Medias. KaiXin is not only losing users but also attention of the whole Internet industry. Sina Weibo and Tencent are the dominant giants while KaiXin and Renren have lost people’s favor.
Only until May 2010 did KaiXin start third-party applications access and 14 applications went online; it became open in January and now has only 213 applications, which is far below Tencent’s “80,000 developers and over 400,000 applications”. KaiXin may lose its IPO opportunity this time, while its major opponent Renren’s share value keeps falling and the price is lower than the issue price.
Mobile games developer Glu Mobile (Nasdaq: GLUU) announced a partnership with Chinese media company TOM Group (HKEx stock code: 2383) in “a strategic partnership that will include the development of a smartphone storefront community for the Chinese market.”
This cooperation will combine Glu’s high-quality social mobile games with TOM Group’s mobile internet cloud experience and e-commerce infrastructure. Both companies will bring unique assets to the partnership which is focused on building glu.cn into a leading smartphone community portal in China, which is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“This partnership with TOM Group is a significant step in our global strategy and will accelerate our smartphone growth in China,” said Glu President and CEO Niccolo de Masi. “Glu.cn is scheduled to launch in Q4 2011 and we believe it will become quickly recognized by the Chinese gaming community as the leading destination for high quality smartphone and tablet games.”
Today we pay highly attention to Mirae Asset’s raising their forecasts for China’s gaming industry growth this year. They have expected a growth of 28% for the online games industry, instead of the previous 23%; the total revenue of China’s online games industry would be 45 billion Yuan in 2011. They also said the web games industry would reach 6 billion Yuan and the social games industry 1 billion Yuan, increasing by four times compared with 2010.
GameLook believes the follow trends will influence on the future of the social games industry:
1. The openness of social network advertising and platforms.
Social games and web games are based on the browser, while the main difference between the two lies mainly in platforms and ways of promoting. Web games rely on “spam flows” to attract more users and social games depend on viral marketing on social network. If the cost is very close, more web games will launch on the social network in the future, and Tencent, Renren will be the preferred platforms. Tencent’s openness and monetization of SNS advertising will be very important for games companies.
2. The similarity of social games and web games.
Many social games companies’ products of 2011 have the quality of traditional web games, like player killing features and high ARPU, which is very similar to Kabam’s games on Facebook. The second generation of social games will be very similar to web games while also has the traditional viral characters.
3. Mobile devices’ promotion to the development of social games.
Mobile SNS platforms like DeNA、GREE、MIXI and Ameba are very successful in Japan; SNS games bring large revenue to Facebook and it is developing an iOS mobile platform “Sparta”. All these trends have influenced the domestic games industry: Tencent’s mobile platform is also under rapid growth. Mobile devices are natural SNS tools and they can best adapt to social games.
4. Tencent announced cooperation with Zynga during the Chinajoy and Cityville has come to Tencent’s Pengyou platform and later on QZone. More overseas social games companies will enter China’s market with more innovative games.
The social games industry will increase by four times in 2011 is very likely to happen, considering DeNA had reached the goal in one year and it only has 27 million users, Tencent, however, has 100 million active users.
Jiang Huang, CEO of Social games developer Hoolai Game, claimed yesterday that the company had raised $20 Million led by Sequoia Capital in the second round of financing. Several other foreign investment funds had joined with Sequoia Capital.
Hoolai Game’s popular social game Hoolai Three Kingdoms was released on Tencent’s Pengyou at the end of 2010 and on the QZone at March, 2011. Huang has revealed that the game’s DAU was over 10 million and its revenue was at Top3 of Tencent’s third party games.
Hoolai Game has closed its first round of financing before but the details were not revealed.
Social games developer Boyaa today announced that it has received $6M in seed funding from Sequoia Capital. Kui Zhoul, partner of Sequoia Capital China, has entered Boyaa’s board of directors.
It is reported that Hongyi Zhou, Qihu’s CEO, was one of Boyaa’s investors and Zhou has cashed out all his shares ($3 million) after the funding.
Boyaa is one the earliest IT companies engaged in social network games and multimedia software development in China. The company has successfully developed Boyaa-Texas Poker, Happy Baby, and Monopoly etc. The company has performed very well in overseas markets.
Renren.com’s CEO Jiang Liu revealed yesterday that they were going to launch an open mobile platform very soon.
“Renren’s smart phone users were up fourfold from this January to May.” said Liu. Renren is about to double its R&D investment on mobile Internet.
According to Liu, MMOGs are very hard to operate on mobile platforms. Social games are more likely to be presented on browsers. “The best distribution channel of games is through the client, and the browser is the most widely used client.”Liu said.
Yahoo! Kimo (Yahoo! Taiwan), the largest web portal in Taiwan, and Game Flier International, a local operator of online games, on July 25 jointly announced their cooperation to operate social network and web games on Yahoo! Kimo’s social network platform.
Game Flier will shift Minik, its social network game platform launched in March 2010, to Yahoo! Kimo’s social network platform and remain responsible for operations including introducing new games, while Yahoo! Kimo will be responsible for advertising to attract users, according to the companies. The cooperative platform will be launched on August 3, 2011. More than 100 social network and web games will be available by the end of 2011, Game Flier said.
According to statistics from U.S. research company Parks Associates, there are 600 million social game players around the world; the social game market value will be 4 billion dollars in 2015, comparing to 1.5 billion dollars in 2010. In Taiwan, about 5 million, or 45.5% of Internet users are game players. Though only 10% of Taiwan’s social games are in Chinese, over 30% Taiwan game players expect more Chinese social games, ranking the first in demand.
Today’s most important news is Zynga’s cooperation with Tencent. We noticed that Tencent had said Zynga was the first foreign game company entering Tencent’s platform; Zynga would not be the only foreign game company but it would always be the most important one. We can see that in the future more overseas social game companies will enter Tencent’s platform.
Tencent’s VP announced today that their open platform had nearly 80,000 registered developers since it launched a month ago. Currently 40,000 applications are entering the platform and 3 game applications have 10 million users respectively. Tencent’s social platform has 100 million active users and some games have already got revenue of 10 million Yuan.
Though the user base is quite large now, GameLook believes the income is far from reaching the peak. DeNA’s social games had revenue of just $5.6 million 2009Q3, while in 2011Q1 it was $393 million (as shown below). Thus Tencent’s platform will also enjoy a rapid growth stage. Who will be the winner depends on the game’s time of launching and the developer’s relationship with Tencent.
Tencent is partnering with Zynga, the largest developer of games on Facebook Inc.’s site, and launching a Chinese version of CityVille. The game will first launch in beta on Tencent’s Pengyou platform, and will later launch on its main QZone platform. It will be developed by Zynga’s Beijing-based Zynga China studio, featuring elements inspired by China’s pop and traditional culture. The new game is part of Zynga’s strategy to build a “truly localized offering,” the company said in a statement.
As mobile platform has become very important in global game industry now, GameLook has asked Tencent and Zynga whether they have any specific cooperation plan on mobile scoial games. The two companies did not answer it directly but we believe they do. The biggest question is what the share proportion of game income might be. GameLook makes a guess at fifty fifty, as most Chinese social game companies get less than 50% while Tencent has a larger appetite.
This is the first time for Tencent to bring foreign social game companies to its social network, indicating Tencent’s opening up to the world. GameLook has heard many foreign game companies are negotiating with Tencent and Zynga is the most prominent and important one. Many of them are seeking overseas agency for their games, which come from Facebook, South Korea, Japan and etc. Now the situation for Chinese social game companies is becoming very complicated for they are competing directly with foreign game giants.
Yiguang Chen, CEO of Hubei DuDu Network Technology Co., Ltd. has revealed that 265G would announce a 20 million RMB investment on local web game developers on the “2011 Web Games Leaders Summit”.
Chen said that they are going to cooperate with local companies and studios and work seamlessly with the cartoon industry. In the future, the Optics Valley Game Industry Park will represent the quality of “Made in Wuhan”.
265G.com is one of China’s first Online Medias and has nearly ten million users. Its major component is 07073.com, which has received a strategic investment from Baidu.
Besides, 17173.com, duowan.com and many other game portals also have web game channels, but their articles are not deep enough.
Yesterday, Sina launched it’s micro gaming platform, which is based on Weibo.com. Sina boasted the platform will connect more than 100 million users and developers will be supported to enter the new market. The platform now has a ranking system, an achievement board and a paying channel connected to Sina’s virtual currency, Weibi.
The platform has 6 social games. Boyaa has already put it’s Texas Hold’em poker on it and the game has 900 players until now. The platform has just started and it’s performance remains to be seen. Sina has promised the platform will be free for one year, and then the ratio will be 7 to 3.
According to a latest report, Sina Weibo (literally “Sina microblog”) will issue its virtual currency to minorities in this third quarter and then promote to all later. It is said that besides the products and services provided by Sina Weibo itself, the currency can also be used to pay for the products and services provided by other third parties, which could mean Sina will rely on third-party applications to increase its income in the future, since Weibo credit is to be bought by RMB with an equivalent amount. However, the questions as for whether Weibo credit is compulsive or whether other payment methods will be removed are still not certain yet.
Shanda Games announced that they had launched its own light web game studio “UUGame” yesterday, which is seen as another important progress of Shanda’s “3A” (All-Star, All-Platform, and All-Region) strategy.Shanda Games‘s CEO Qun Zhao said:”Shanda is making every effort to enter into all gaming platforms, including social and mobile games.”UUGame is mainly developing web games and social games. Comparing to traditional web game studios, UUGame has the advantage of non-client and cloud computing. Their games also focus more on entertaining and social contact. UUGame has developed 10 games and they will be released soon.