January 30, 2013
PlayPhone gets the Energizer bunny award. It keeps going and going and going. Today, the company is announcing that it has partnered with a number of major mobile game publishers to put their catalogs on PlayPhone’s social gaming network.
The San Francisco company has added new partners including Glu Mobile, Ambush Games, Pub Games, 7Seas, TreSensa, Evil Dingo, Youda Games, Nanjing Jike, Diamond Star, and Hui Games. PlayPhone said it had a strong fourth quarter and expects its new partners to add a lot of titles to its offerings. Those games include Contract Killer: Zombies (Glu Mobile), Magic Sword (China Wireless Arts), Blast Points (Pub Games), Hearts & Spades (Ambush Games), Crossword (Ambush Games), The Dark Man (7Seas), Governor of Poker 2 (Youda Games), Max & Mia: Ice Cave Adventures (Smuttlewerk), and Rapid Glide (Hui Games).
“After wrapping up a fantastic 2012, we’re thrilled that PlayPhone continues to be the go-to platform for game developers to distribute and monetize their games on smartphones and tablets,” said Anders Evju, an executive vice president at PlayPhone. “The addition of so many major developers puts PlayPhone on pace for a record 2013 and reinforces our commitment to continuing to be the most developer-friendly social gaming platform.”
PlayPhone launched its smartphone social gaming network in December 2011 and beefed it up again in July 2012. It bought the mobile marketing firm SocialHour in March for $51.5 million in stock.
PlayPhone’s entry is going to make the market a lot more interesting for developers and consumers as the company hopes to differentiate itself through cross-platform gameplay, payments, and social functionality.
PlayPhone has created a free-to-play app that runs on the Apple iOS, Android, and HTML5 platforms. The app lets players socialize with each other and play in the same online multiplayer game across different types of smartphones and tablets.
A user with an Android phone can play at the same PlayPhone Poker card table as someone with an Apple iPhone. They can send messages to each other and chat back and forth. They can sign on once via Facebook and quickly access all games. They can buy poker chips via the Apple App Store through in-app purchases. And they can also buy poker chips via PlayPhone’s other payment options.
PlayPhone has its own virtual currency (Playcredits), and users can access various carrier billing and payment options even on a closed platform such as Apple’s iOS. Players don’t have to exit a game to pay for a virtual good. Czerny said that the company has relations with more than 100 global carriers. PlayPhone is a preferred direct-billing partner with both AT&T and Verizon in the U.S.
While Gree and DeNA/Ngmoco have strong bases in Japan, PlayPhone was founded much later and has a smaller number of users. But PlayPhone began building its mobile social network in 2010. Gree also recently shut down its OpenFeint platform, angering a lot of developers.
PlayPhone has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Menlo Ventures, Cardinal Venture Capital, Coral Group, and Scale Venture Partners.
By Keith Andrew
The year when mobile punched past PC
As we consider the trends of the past 12 months and look forward to the next 12 months, we've asked the great and the good in the mobile gaming industry for their opinions.
Andres Evju is the EVP of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at social gaming specialist PlayPhone.
Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2012?
Anders Evju: It has to be mobile beating PC just about across the board.
Smartphone sales exceed PC sales by 73 million units in Q1 2012. Back in March, Android Surpassed Windows as #1 OS for internet-enabled devices.
In 2016, year tablet sales are projected to surpass laptop sales, while some analysts believe global smartphone and tablet base will surpass PC installed base by March 2013.
What was the most significant event for your company?
2012 was an incredibly successful year for PlayPhone including huge growth in active users, game developer support and engagement.
But the most significant event for us is the beta testing we're doing for the imminent launch of a major US carrier's games portal.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
For action games it's Clash of Clans, a great mix of combat and strategy - I can't put it down. For casino games, it’s Slots LIVE!, because it's crazy fun slots with lots of different machines, and I can play and boast with all iPhone and Android buddies.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2013?
US carriers re-entering the global content distribution space and actively driving their own games portals.
Undeniable signs point to carriers making huge impact in mobile ecosystem: massive marketing reach in all media, retail and handsets; they own the billing relationship with their customers; and they control handset real estate plus customer out of box and on-device experience.
What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you suggest for the industry?
Deliver as promised and continue to bring value to both developers and carriers.
SAN FRANCISCO, December 12, 2012–PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, announced today that developer adoption for its state-of-the-art social gaming network has increased by 41 percent with the official launch of its second-generation software development kit (SDK). With the closed beta version...
PlayPhone said today it has added 20 new games to its mobile social gaming network in time for the holidays.
The expansion is timely since mobile developer Gree will soon shut down its OpenFeint mobile social gaming network in favor of its...
SAN FRANCISCO, November 30, 2012 – PlayPhone®, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, announced today it has been selected as the winner of Red Herring's Global Top 100 Award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising global private technology ventures. This follows PlayPhone’s selection...
by BRIAN ANTHONY THORNTON
Evju’s long and winding journey towards the videogame industry began in 1990′s Norway, where he found himself addicted to playing Snake on his Nokia phone while working at NetCom GSM, a local wireless carrier. “I knew that Java was coming...
SAN FRANCISCO, September 18, 2012 – PlayPhone®, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced that it has ramped up the games offerings for its state-of-the-art social gaming network, PlayPhone Social Gaming Network (PSGN), for mobile devices supporting Android, iOS, HTML5 and Windows Phone 7 platforms....
GREE's acquisition spree won't last forever
POCKETGAMER by James Nouch
With the launch of PlayPhone's second generation SDK for its cross-platform Social Gaming Network, the company is looking to entice developers with a new suite of tools.
PlayPhone®, Inc., a pioneer in mobile social gaming, today announced a multi-title publishing agreement with globally renowned Jump Games to bring its mobile games catalog to the PlayPhone Social Gaming Network (PSGN). Known for its strong partnerships with media studios all over the world, Jump Games’ portfolio...
SDK 2.0 Introduces PlayPhone’s Revolutionary POP!® (Performance Optimization Platform) to Test and Improve User Engagement and Monetization Continuously in Real Time.
PlayPhone®, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today introduced its second generation Software Developers Kit (SDK), a comprehensive suite of free tools designed for optimizing game...
Version 2.0 boasts new tools aplenty
POCKETGAMER by James Nouch
With a focus on flexibility, PlayPhone has unveiled second generation SDK for the firm's Social Gaming Network, introducing a new suite of new tool to aid developers in the process.
PlayPhone claims the...
PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced its state-of-the-art PlayPhone Social Gaming Network (PSGN) experienced a 400 percent growth in the first six months of 2012, including a record 12 million game sessions and 3.5 million gameplay hours in the month of June alone....
Enjoys 400% growth in first 6 months
POCKETGAMER by Keith Andrew
PlayPhone's Social Gaming Network enjoyed a 400 percent growth rate in the first six months of 2012 according to stats released by the mobile social specialist.
As a result, PlayPhone claims the...
PlayPhone™, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, announced today it is the recipient of the 2012 Red Herring's Top 100 Americas award, a prestigious list honoring the year's most promising private technology ventures from the North American business region. PlayPhone CEO Ron Czerny was on...
PlayPhone CEO Ron Czerny to Present Company's Business Strategy to Selection Committee
SAN JOSE, Calif., May 18, 2012 ? PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, announced today it has been selected as a Finalist for Red Herring's Top 100 Americas award, a prestigious list...
First Four Alawar Entertainment Titles for Android Available by Month-End
SAN FRANCISCO, May 16, 2012 PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced a multi-title publishing agreement with Alawar Entertainment, the international renowned casual games developer and publisher, to bring a selection of its...
True Cross-Platform Player Matchmaking Realized in Less Than 250 Milliseconds For Games On PlayPhone Social Gaming Network (PSGN)
SAN JOSE, Calif., March 20, 2012, PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced that InstaMultiplay™, a breakthrough cross-platform technology innovation for its state-of-the-art PlayPhone Social Gaming...
Company Drives Global Cross-Platform Mobile Gaming with Integration of All Leading Platforms -- Android, iOS, HTML5, and WP7
SAN JOSE, Calif., February 27, 2012, PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced support for Windows Phone 7 (
"Mango") in the SDK for its state-of-the-art...
Large Volume of Android, iOS and HTML5 Titles Added to PlayPhone Social Gaming Network Portfolio from Top Developers
SAN JOSE, Calif., January 26, 2012, PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced that it has ramped up the games offerings for its state-of-the-art social...
PlayPhone Social Gaming Network Delivers Rich Mobile Social Gaming Experience to 35 Million Registered Users
SAN JOSE, Calif., December 14, 2011 PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced the formal launch of its state-of-the-art social gaming network, the PlayPhone Social Gaming Network (PSGN)....
Developers Have Complete Control of Social Games Monetization via PlayPhone Social Gaming Network (PSGN) with New Management Tools and Back-End Integration
SAN JOSE, Calif., October 28, 2011 PlayPhone, Inc., a global leader in mobile social gaming, today announced the release of PlayPhone PXP™, a full suite...