Social Gaming News Roundup: Women are Profitable for Papaya, Zynga’s Games are Engaging, Tiny Speck Launches Glitch

RockYou Finds Social Gamers are Flush with Friends and Disposable Income — Social gamers are socially active, increasingly sophisticated, highly suggestible consumers according to a study commissioned by social gaming company RockYou. Some of the highlights of the study included:

  • Social gamers spend 13 hours per week on social networks and an average of 9.5 hours per week on social games
  • Social gamers have made 20 new friends through social gaming
  • 24% of players report they have clicked on an ad in a social game and made an online purchase
  • Social gamers make frequent purchases in real life, especially on entertainment

The study was conducted by market research firm Interpret on behalf of RockYou, and polled 2,000 social gamers (60% of whom were female) over the age of 18 who lived in the US and played at least one hour of social games a week.

Chinese Social Game Maker Papaya Finds Women Most Profitable — Beijing based PapayaMobile has found its most profitable gamers are women. According to Papaya, 4% of the players of its social mobile games are “whales” and 69% of those whales are women. Whales are defined as the most enthusiastic and dedicated players, willing to spend more than $100 on a game and responsible for 60% of the company’s revenue. PapayaMobile was last on Inside Social Games in February, when executive Si Shen contributed a guest post about the rise of location-based social games in Asia.

Setgo Teaming with Teepee to Expand Its Gaming Portal — Games discovery portal Teepee is expanding its offerings, partnering with startup developer Setgo to bring its new game Castaways to the platform. Teepee games offers casual gamers a curated experience, giving members access to a selection of games based on their profiles and incorporating the social features of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Both companies are based in the UK.

Facebook Credits Prove Profitable for Double Down — Double Down Interactive is reporting a massive surge in transactions since adopting Facebook credits as its in-game currency. According to a press release from the Seattle developer, revenues are up 50% in since their game Double Down Casino made the switch. On July 1st it became mandatory for all Facebook games with virtual goods to use Facebook credits, a move that was praised by some developers for promoting cross-game liquidity.

Zynga Goes Sequential with Mafia Wars 2 Comic — Zynga is prepping its fans for Mafia Wars 2 with a digital comic that reveals the back story and main cast of the upcoming social game. While larger game studios such as Ubisoft and Capcom have been using comics to promote high profile launches for some time, the move is a first for Zynga. The comic was created in collaboration with UDON, a Canadian art collective specializing in promotional artwork for the entertainment industry.

Real Prizes Coming to Facebook Games — Two new companies are seeing if combining social games, real world prizes and Facebook could be the next big thing in social media advertising. On September 29th Titan Gaming launched a beta version of a new games network on Facebook called Games and Prizes, the same day that startup Dobango released a Facebook version of its game play2Win. While each service is slightly different, play2Win focuses on letting players earn coupons and gift cards with smaller, local retailers, while Games and Prizes focuses on driving user engagement through branded games, the end result is the same — both services give Facebook gamers the chance to earn discounts and real prizes, and both services reward players for referring friends.

Google+ Gets Big Fast — Google+ has seen a huge influx of new users and traffic since entering open beta last week. According to data from analytics firm Experian Hitwise, traffic to the site is up more than 1200%. The total number of users is also likely to have crossed 50,000,000 according to analyst Paul Allen, who estimates the site is gaining 2 million users a day. We covered Google+ this week as social gaming heavyweights Zynga and Kabam brought their popular CityVille and Global Warefare games to the new social network.

EA Moving Into Social Game Marketing With New EA Legend Platform — EA announced this week it has developed a new game marketing platform called EA Legend. The platform was designed to help developers market their mobile, social, online and console games, by giving them access to EA’s existing user base of 300 million people. EA Legend will be officially unveiled on October 4th. In the announcement, EA touted that it had increased its audience by 30% this year, a great deal of that upswing coming from EA new Facebook game The Sims Social, which now has over 60 million monthly active users.

Raptr Finds That Zynga Draws Core and Casual Gamers — Zynga is great at engaging and converting players, and the appeal of their games is increasing even with hard-core gamers, according to a new report. Gaming based social network Raptr surveyed its membership and found that fans of Zynga’s “Ville” series log as much time on the social games as fans of the top core gaming franchises. In addition a third of XBox 360 gamers have played a Zynga game, a 50% increase over last year. The study also found that Zynga players logged in, on average, 8 times a day, and that Zynga games are played for three times longer than the rest of the top 10 social games combined. The full report can be read here.

Kobojo Commits to Expansion in Latin America — Leading French social games publisher Kobojo is beginning an aggressive international expansion, opening an office in Madrid and bringing on European games industry veteran Nicola Cencherle to oversee operations in Iberia, Italy and Latin America. According to Cencherle, Kobojo’s goal is to localize its games for 10 new languages before the end of the year, expanding that number to 20 by 2012, with a particular focus on Latin American countries. Kobojo recently translated their flagship Facebook game PyramidVille into Portuguese.

[Launch] Tiny Speck Finally Releases Surreal Social Game Glitch — San Francisco/Vancouver based developer Tiny Speck released their long incubating social game Glitch this week. The brain child of Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield, Glitch is a surreal social game that tasks players with expanding and exploring and expanding the Glitch universe. The catch is that the persistent world comes with it’s own highly unique rule set — for example, eggs come from eggplants, and pigs hatch from eggs. Players can do almost anything they want, but the game is designed to be highly social and cooperative.

[Launch] Vostu’s New Social Soccer Game Golmania on Facebook, Orkut — Brazilian social gaming company Vostu unveiled its latest title this week, Golmania, a real-time, multiplayer soccer game that enables players from all over the world to join teams, play in real soccer stadiums and organize private tournaments. The game is available in Portuguese, English and Spanish and utilizes Vostu’s multiplayer engine, which allows players on separate social networks to play and chat with one another.

[Update] Big Bang Theory Facebook Game Sees Solid Growth — The sitcom The Big Bang Theory launched a Facebook tie in game last week called The Big Bang Theory: The Mystic Warlords of Ka’a. The digital card game, based on the character’s favorite game in the show, has seen decent growth since its launch, currently sporting just over 60,000 monthly active users. The game was developed for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment by Dire Wolf Digital.