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IDG invests in mobile gaming company Playsimple through seed program

Your Story

IDG Ventures India has invested in PlaySimple, a mobile social gaming company through its seed fund programs. The company is focused on mobile games in the trivia, word and puzzle categories, co-funder Siddharth Jain said.

playsimple IDG invests in mobile gaming company Playsimple through seed program

Siddharth and his co-founders were earlier working for Zynga and were closely involved in games such as Mafia Wars and Bubble Safari and have worked on innovations around gameplay, engagement and analytics.

Yezdi Lashkari, a former executive, at Zynga, also participated as an angel investor as part of the round. Neither company disclosed the amount invested.

The money will be used to build a portfolio of mobile casual games targeting the global markets. Playsimple also plans to increase its team from six to 20 and is looking to hire game designers and UI experts, said Siddharth.

“We are targeting global markets, primarily the English speaking countries,” he added.

Besides Siddharth, the founding team comprises of Preeti Reddy, Suraj Nalin and Siddhanth Jain, who worked together at Zynga. The team has also previously worked at companies such as Bain, Walmart Labs & Yahoo.

“Globally, mobile gaming is a very large, growing market. Gaming is a hits business, but the ones that succeed do take off rapidly towards profitable growth in a short period of time,” Karthik Prabhakar of IDG Ventures India said.

 “The team at PlaySimple is young and highly experienced in building/scaling mobile games for the global markets,” he added

PlaySimple has already released a game title, GuessUp. With this funding, the company is targeting to release multiple games over the next few months in early 2015 before they look to raise their next round of capital.

IDG launched its seed program earlier this year to discover interesting investment opportunities at a very early stage. It has already invested in recruitment startup Mynoticeperiod.com and mobile ad retargeting firm SilverEdge through the program.

IDG’s USA fund has invested in 8-9 gaming firms, the most prominent of which was Funzio, which was acquired by Japanese gaming giant GREE in 2012.

Its China fund also has about six gaming and animation investments listed on the website. PlaySimple is IDG’s first mobile investment in India.

Several gaming companies have also raised money in recent months. In November, MadRat Games, a Bangalore based offline gaming company, raised $1 million from Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.

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On the hunt for attention, media outlets gamify the news

Digiday

And now, for their next reader-engagement trick, publishers are taking a few lessons from your PlayStation.

The world of video games is coming to the news. While publishers are used to telling stories in text and, recently, in video, some are looking to add a dose of interactivity to their news in an effort to attract more readers and keep them around longer.

Last week, Al Jazeera launched “Pirate Fishing,” an online game that puts players in the role of a journalist as he investigates an illegal fishing trade. Players, who start as “junior researchers” get points by watching videos and filing clips in their notebooks, helping them earn “senior reporter” positions and ” specialist badges.” The game was based of an Al Jazeera video series originally published in 2012.

Read on…

Not Just Playing Around: Why Brands Should Take Mobile Gaming Inventory More Seriously

Mobile Marketing Daily

The global mobile gaming market is expected to generate $23.9 billion by 2016, yet misconceptions about mobile gamers abound. Many marketers assume mobile gamers are mostly male, mostly kids, or mostly nerds who live in their parents’ basement. But the data tells a different story.

Let’s delve into the truth behind 4 big myths about mobile gaming:

Myth 1: Mobile gamers are all men.

Mobile gamers in western countries are actually 48% women. Some popular apps skew more female than average: a recent survey found that 59 percent of Candy Crush players are women.

Myth 2: Mobile gamers are all kids.

Actually – they’re more likely to be parents – or even grandparents. 48% of moms say they play mobile games. 38% of Candy Crush users have at least one child, and 32% of those users play games with their kids. Moreover, the population of older gamers is significant and growing fast.29% of mobile gamers are over 50 and the number of Americans over 50 playing mobile games grew 148% from 2012 to 2013.

Myth 3Gamers are nerdy shut-ins.

Some 62% of all gamers say they play with others, either online or in-person. 32 percent play with other family members. And not only do mobile gamers play with friends, they also are channels for viral growth: 40% of Candy Crush players use recommendations from family and friends to choose new games to play.

Myth 4: Mobile gamers don’t have money to spend.

Last year, the worldwide mobile gaming market was worth a whopping $16 billion. That year, mobile gamers in the U.S. spent $26.10 each on their favorite games. This fast-moving market is expected to grow even more this year.

It’s time for brands to abandon their misconceptions about mobile gamers and to grasp the opportunity to engage with consumers in the games they love. Brands that overlook gaming inventory — particularly tablet inventory — are missing out on a significant audience at a time when it’s engaged and spending. Smart marketers will think beyond the 4 big myths about gaming audiences and embrace the opportunity mobile gaming inventory presents.

Game Marketing Summit Dazzles

Alist Daily

The game industry’s marketers gathered at the 2014 Game Marketing Summit in San Francisco yesterday for a day packed with interesting speakers and networking, capped with the Game Marketing Awards. The event was focused on the changing landscape of game marketing, and some of the top marketers in the game business explored what’s changing and how marketers can take advantage of the opportunities afforded by these changes.

Carolyn Feinstein, SVP Global Consumer Marketing for Electronic Arts, and the co-chair of the GMS board of governors, started off by saying “I’m pretty sure I’ve never been on a stage with this many women at a gaming event.” At least in one area of the game industry there’s a good gender balance. Feinstein went on to note that the massive changes in the game industry from digital ,mobile, live streaming and more, requires changing tactics and strategies to engage consumers and drive business.

Brian Cooley, CNet’s editor at large, used his keynote address to present a series of technologies to watch for the near future: Wearable tech, connected cars, connected home, the next billion mobile customers, and television. Cooley noted that smartwatches, fitness devices, and what he called “glassware” are all likely to be major categories, driven by a growing array of inexpensive sensors. The smartphone will be an important hub device for all of these wearables, and thus games may be able to take advantage of some of these platforms and their capabilities.

While connected cars and connected homes don’t hold much potential for game makers, the drive to get the next billion people on mobile devices does, as the $25-$50 smartphone arrives with tremendous impact around the globe. Finally, while 4K TV just represents an image quality upgrade (similar to the difference between DVD and Blu-ray), the potential for TV content to be delivered “over-the-top” instead of bundling into cable packages is already affecting the Xbox One and the PS4, as Microsoft and Sony begin producing original content.

Next up was a panel on Live streaming: Your Next Generation Marketing Platform, with SOE president John Smedley, Marcus “djWheat” Graham of Twitch, and Bart Koenigsberg of Hi-Rez Studios discussing the vast impact live streaming has had. ” It’s nothing short of a revolution,” proclaimed Smedley, noting that SOE is investing heavily in live streaming. Graham talked about the impact of Twitch Plays Pokemon, and how the developers of Daylight were inspired by that to include some crowdplay features in their upcoming game.

Continue reading…

World Tech Update 01/ 24/14

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Lenovo makes a big buy, Nintendo cuts expectations and Ford enlists U.S. universities to help drive its automated cars.

World Tech Update – 12/12/13

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Instagram announces a new direct messaging service, a robot fights crime and PC World offers its top 5 products of the year.

Great Gifts Under $200

TechHiveLogo NEW Great Gifts Under $200

Holiday Cheer for $200 or Less

It can be hard to find the right present for that geeky someone special. To help, we’ve uncovered some great gift ideas for the tech nerds in your life–whether the designated recipient is a tablet obsessive or an old-school record collector. Best of all, each gift here can be had for under two Benjamins.

World Tech Update Video – 11/21/13

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Microsoft’s Xbox One prepares for launch, NASA’s Maven takes off and the International Space Station hits an important milestone.

World Tech Update Video – 11/14/13

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Sony preps its PS4 for sale, Amazon will deliver on Sundays and Motorola intros a low cost Android smartphone.

World Tech Update – 11/1/13

IDG News Service
Coming up on WTU this week the FAA changes the rules on powering off gadgets, Lenovo hopes long battery life will sell its tablets and NASA plans to send 3D printers into space.