Social Gaming Roundup: iPad, Frosmo, Statistics, & More

Zen Bound 2Zen Bound 2 Revealed for the iPad – Despite the buzz circling Apple’s new iPad, little has been actually seen regarding games on the coming platform. However, via a post from Kotaku, we’ve been able to catch a glimpse of Secret Exit‘s Zen Bound 2, a “sequel and a revision” of the original iPhone application. In a nutshell, the original rendition is about attempting to wrap a rope around an oddly shaped object, with the sequel’s concept being more of the same. However, as you can see, the bigger and more powerful iPad sure does make it look better. A full gallery can be found here.

Frosmo Expands to Asia – Frosmo has seen a good deal of success with its tournament and team-based platform of the same name, in terms for social gaming. Already the company has expanded its collection of titles across Europe and into Facebook, but now the Finnish company is expanding into the Asian game market as well. Currently, the company is slated to let 10 different Asian game companies use its tournament system, and be available through 51.com, China.com, Ren Ren, and Mixi.

PlatagoPlatogo Gets Casual Games Facebook Ready – Though third party firms helping developers socialize their titles is nothing new, a social games platform from Austria, Platogo is looking to socially enable casual games directly for Facebook. Dubbed “Platogo Wrapper” this tool allows developers to integrate their games into Facebook withonly a few lines of code. With this new tool,  apps will be able to take advantage of Facebook friend invitations, leaderboards, achievements, and player challenges.

Game Investments Dropped 29% in 2009 – It would seem like the video game industry has seen some hefty decline due to the recession as VentureBeat reports that of 115 game startups, only $663.1 million in funding was raised during 2009 (discounting those with undisclosed amounts). That is 29% lower than the $936.8 million raised in 2008. In fact, had it not been for Zynga’s acquisition of $180 million deal from Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies, the year would have been down a depressing 48%.

Kings Of Leon RevengeTapulous Taps Into Kings of Leon – The popular rhythm-game company for the iPhone, Tapulous, has added another new title to its collection of Tap Tap games. The new app is dubbed Kings Of Leon Revenge, and if you hadn’t guessed already, features, well, the Kings Of Leon. In addition to hosting 10 of the band’s top songs, the new game will also include a curious “Battle Mode” that will allow users to directly compete with each other using the iPhone’s bluetooth capabilities.

Unity Games Gain a Social Platform Through dimeRocker – More and more frequently, social games empowered with Unity3D are appearing around both Facebook and the web. To that end, Overinteractive Media Inc. has announced the launch of a new social platform, specifically tailored to support Unity enabled games, dubbed dimeRocker. Through the platform, games will be able to support microtransactions, achievements, leaderboards, friend invites, challenges, and be deployable on both the Facebook and MySpace networks. Already, around 150 developers have signed up for the service’s beta stages.

Penny DropFacebook App Penny Drop Teams Up with Kiva – A simple Facebook application called Penny Drop – powered by CircusPop – is out to help the working poor. The quasi, game-like app consists of players using tokens (earnable through logins every few hours and inviting friends) to drop the price of featured items by one cent until someone purchases it. However, working with Kiva, from March 11th to March 22nd, for every token used in Penny Drop, a penny will be donated to Kiva in order to help poor entrepreneurial individuals and businesses grow.

Gowalla Adds New Platforms & Branded Goods – Location-based iPhone app Gowalla has launched its social game on two new platforms this past week: The Android and Palm’s webOS. In addition to this new support, the game is also bringing branded virtual goods to the table from the Travel Channel’s show, Food Wars. With the new deal, players will be able to earn special badges and virtual items by visiting locals featured during the show.

IMVU adds Voices as a Virtual Good – Popular teen-oriented virtual world IMVU announced a curious partnership with Vivox this Thursday. Now, the virtual world will be capable of integrating voice services, but beyond being just another feature, it will also add a new source of revenue. Currently, 25 different voice styles are being offered for the cost of 990 IMVU Credits.

GameCoinsSometrics Launches GameCoins.com – Social analytics firm, Sometrics announced the launch of GameCoins.com this week – the company’s first direct-to-consumer play. Game Coins will serve as a community site for gamers, allowing them meet new people as well as participate in forums and blogs that revolve around various social games and virtual worlds. More than this, however, the site, per its name, will also be an online marketplace for virtual goods and currencies. From the portal, players can make use of the Sometrics Offer Solution to complete ad offers and earn goods and currency for their MMO, virtual world, or social game of choice. The company tells us it plans to help grow the community through users discovering relevant content in searches. The idea is that by helping people play these games better, its monetization services will get even more usage.

50% of Gamers Will Earn Virtual Currency – According to a survey performed by comScore for Offerpal Media, and released at the Game Developers Conference this week, alternative payment methods enable greater monetization capabilities that one would think. Derived from comScore and Offerpal’s own monetization analytics, 53.3% of players are “very likely” to complete a marketing actions (i.e. completing a survey, watching a video, or shopping online) in order to earn virtual currency for their favorite games. Conversely, only 22.8% of those surveyed stated they’d be willing and able to buy it.

In fact, 29.7% of social gamers actually don’t have the means to buy virtual currency in the first place; at least not with cash options. Curiously, even among those that could, 34.9% stated that they were “very unlikely” to do so.