February 27, 2010 – This Week in Social Games

The Social Games industry had a flurry of news this week. A report indicated Zynga could be worth more than $3 billion, Playfish announced that players sent 60 million valentine’s day virtual goods across Pet Society, Zynga confirmed that there will be no subscription for Farmville, WildTangent entered the advertising game with BrandBoost, we talked with Manu Rekhi at Lolapps about their Dante’s Inferno game and more! Read on for more.

Video: Jesse Schnell Looks At The Future of Facebook Games

Carnegie Mellon University Professor and Gaming Industry Veteran Jesse Schnell discusses Facebook games, virtual goods, a new style of development and the next era of game design and development. The presentation, entitled “Design Outside the Box” was given at the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit 2010 in Las Vegas, and has been virally spreading around the web. Also, Nickelback lost a popularity contest to a pickle 🙂

Study: Volume of Brain Structures Predicts Gaming Success

A recently published study found that achievement in a video game could be predicted by measuring the volume of three specific structures of the brain. Intrigued by something he noticed about gamers, Kirk Erickson, a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, decided to investigate why expert game players tend to have improved measures of attention and perception, but when training novice game players, those measures could not be improved, even over 20 hours of practice. His theory was that novice players couldn’t learn because the veteran players had specialized brains, and he put this to the test in his latest study. The study may in the future be a stepping stone to understand how the social benefits of social gaming attract players of different

Interview With Manu Rekhi, Vice President of Marketing, Business and Corporate Development At Lolapps

I recently had the chance to talk with Manu Rekhi, the Vice President of Marketing, Business and Corporate Development with Lolapps and a former Senior Product Manager with Google. Socialtimes.com had recently covered the implementation of Lolapps’ Dante’s Inferno application and we wanted to get a bit more information on the development of the application, the social gaming industry in general and the next steps for Lolapps. Click below to listen.

WildTangent Launches BrandBoost for Social Games

Today, Redmond, Washington-based WildTangent announced the BrandBoost advertising platform which allows social game players able to buy virtual goods by viewing ads. This follows a trend of recent expansions of virtual good purchasing options, including OfferPal’s Tasks system and Peanut Labs Media’s Cherry Deals Discounts.

Playfish’s Pet Society: 60 Million Valentine’s Day Virtual Goods Sold

Sebastien de Halleux, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships for EA Interactive, recently told Forbes that they had sold 60 million virtual goods on Pet Society in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. In addition, “tens of thousands” of real-world flowers were sold, up 20% from the same period and same promotion last year. The real-world flowers are one of Pet Society’s innovative features, where users are able to gain virtual currencies by purchasing flowers online from within the game. This publicly reported news also marks a shift for Playfish, who used to hold their cards close to their chest prior to being acquired by EA, a public company.

FarmVille To Remain Free, No Subscription Fee

Rumors have been circulating about Farmville supposedly introducing a subscription fee into the game, but CNET is reporting that they will not be charging any subscription fee. The game has been in BETA since launch, and while the upgrade to the full version will likely involve some important changes, it’s doubtful that Zynga would use the occasion to alienate the majority of users on their largest game.

Report: Zynga Worth More Than $3.3 Billion

A new report by Global Silicon Valley Partner’s NeXt Up Research states that Zynga, the world’s top Facebook Application developer, may have a valuation of more than $3.3 billion. This is based on 35% growth over the next four years to expand this year’s revenue projection of $460 million to $1.1 billion in 2014. In addition to the valuation, the report’s analysis includes some interesting facts about their sources of revenue and user behavior.

Nickelback Loses Facebook Popularity Battle To Random Pickle

Title says it all. Click to know more!