appnext aims to improve game discovery and ad revenue for developers now on mobile

f95780e42d9290a80bc75e424264f340Social games network appnext has announced that it has brought its in-game advertising network to mobile. Game developers will now be able to bring players to other games and applications through unobtrusive in-game advertising in their mobile applications. With Facebook’s heavy emphasis on mobile in the last year, the addition of mobile advertising looks to solve the pain points of app discovery and interruptive advertising.

With appnext’s mobile game monetization and discovery network, game developers can present advertisements through an in-game event or with the branded “More Games” tab. The company has shared that this network can generate up to a 25 percent increase in engagement rates. When clearer game descriptions were included, the complementary games offered results in higher quality clicks meaning a better conversion rate. (more…)

Betable primes for new funding round, valued up to $100 million

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Real money gaming platform Betable has raised a new round of funding as reported by PandoDaily. Led by Venture51, the round is expected to be around $15 to $20 million valuing the company at either $80 or $100 million.

Betable did not start as a real money gaming platform, but instead started as a gambling stock exchange. The company offered its investors to cash out during this restructuring with Atomic Ventures choosing not to reinvest. Betable does not develop games itself, but instead handles processing, legality and compliance of real money gambling in depending on where the gamer is located.

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Kakao celebrates social games first anniversary, makes $311 million in first half of 2013

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KakaoTalk has gained a lot of traction not just as a messaging application, but as a social games platform as well. Since launching its social games service at the end of June 2012, Kakao has more than 30 million out of its 100 million users playing its catalog of 180 games. The company has announced that these games have generated revenue of 348 billion Won (around $311 million) in the first half of 2013. This is an increase of 193 percent from Q4 2012, where the company earned 118 billion Won ($105 million).

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Kabam valued at $700 million after secondary financing

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After a huge 2012, Kabam is primed to make a big splash in coming months. According reports, the social gaming giant is now valued at $700 million after a private sale of $38.5 million in common stock. The company also reported that it reached $180 in revenues in 2012, up 70 percent year to year.

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Angry Birds Star Wars II due in September, partners with Hasbro for Telepod figures

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It was only a matter of time, but Rovio’s incredibly popular Angry Birds Star Wars is getting a sequel. The game will be made available across mobile app stores on September 19th as announced on the Rovio company blog.

In addition to the game’s release, Rovio has partnered with Hasbro to release over 30 Telepod figures relative to the 30 different playable characters in game. Telepod figures are physical toys that can be purchased in stores to be scanned by the device’s camera to then be playable in game. Telepod figures have become incredibly popular with the rapid success of Activision’s Skylanders franchise. This is the first instance of the Angry Bird franchise using toys that directly accompany the game experience.

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DeNA China partners with chip designers MediaTek to promote its social games

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Japanese mobile-social gaming juggernaut DeNA has announced that its China subsidiary will partner with Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek, Inc. to promote its social games. This is the first partnership with an upstream mobile phone supplier for DeNA China. MediaTek’s chips are used in numerous mobile phones and the partnership will make it easier to distribute more of DeNA’s games to more people.

Through the partnership, DeNA will be able to provide its mobile gaming platform, Mobage, pre-installed on devices that use MediaTek chips. Mobage has nearly 50 million users in Japan which is more than a third of Japan’s total population. In China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the platform has gained more than 20 million gamers. This is very similar to the Pokki, Zynga and Acer partnerships we covered last month.

Though it has yet to find as much of a reputation in the U.S., DeNA has a large following in Asia with numerous high profile titles such as the Transformers IP. Last year, it saw a 22 percent increase in revenue year-to-year with profit increasing three percent. This partnership will be helpful to the Mobage platform in China, where it has already experienced decent success. A similar partnership stateside could potentially interpose the platform to more widespread usage.

Hasbro purchases majority stake in Backflip Studios

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In the interest of strengthening its mobile gaming offerings, Hasbro has purchased a majority stake in Backflip Studios, best known for games such as Paper Toss, DragonVale and NinJump.

As announced on its blog, Backflip Studios will remain based in Boulder, CO and will continue to be run by its current management team. It will continue to operate normally, supporting its current IP as well as developing new titles for the future. The studio will also have the opportunity to use Hasbro’s robust brand catalog of board games and toys.

Hasbro has paid $112 million in cash transactions for 70 percent of the company. (more…)

Caesar Interactive Entertainment surpasses Zynga in social casino games

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According to a new report by Eilers Research, Caesar Interactive Entertainment has displaced Zynga as the number one social casino game publisher as originally reported by VentureBeat.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment, as a subsidiary of Caesar Entertainment, is part of the world’s largest gaming company. It has built its social gaming portfolio with studio acquisitions such as Playtika and Buffalo Studios as well as through partnerships with Microsoft and Electronic Arts. With these acquisitions, Eilers Research reports that Caesars now holds 18.6 percent of the overall social casino market in the second quarter.

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Amazon expands GameCircle to all Android Devices

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Originally designated for use for Kindle Fire devices, Amazon’s game service tool GameCircle, has now been released for all Android devices. The free service helps users monitor achievement and leader boards as well as utilizes same game syncing for multiple devices.

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BlueStacks introduces GamePop Mini, subscription based ‘free’ game console

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With many hardware developers looking to bring mobile gaming to the big screen, mobile virtualization company, BlueStacks, is announcing GamePop Mini, a second vehicle to deliver its GamePop mobile gaming service. The console will be provided for free as long as the user pays a $6.99 monthly subscription free. (more…)

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