Ouya console shipping to Kickstarter backers with 104 games, available in stores June 4 (Original)
The era the of $99 gaming system has begun. Ouya's Kickstarter backers will be getting their hands on the console first, as the company already started shipping to backers on March 28 with 104 games.…
Nintendo invites browser and iOS developers to Wii U with Nintendo Web Framework (Original)
Many game developers said that they aren't working on Nintendo Wii U games ahead of GDC 2013. Even if they aren't making Wii U specific games, Nintendo is working overtime to make sure indie developers can easily port their games to Wii U using technology like the Nintendo Web Framework.…
Intel (finally) gets into the gaming game (Original)
Intel pushes enhancements to DirectX 11.1 which enable better graphics and improved performance with its next generation HD Graphics core built into the upcoming Haswell CPU release. Offering better performance and unique features, Intel is challenging the discrete GPU makers on their own turf.…
Facebook Now Hosts 250M Monthly Gamers, Paid Out $2B To Devs In 2012 (Original)
Facebook stood loud and tall at today’s Gaming Developers Conference, revealing that around 200 games on Facebook.com boast more than 1 million active users. Plus, more than $2 billion was paid out to game developers over the course of 2012. That’s an increase of 30% over 2011 levels.
The number of Facebook gamers has steadily risen over the last two years, from 205 million in August of 2011 to 235 million in August 2012. Now, Facebook has surpassed the 250 million mark.
However, Facebook has yet to hit the same level of gamers it saw in 2010 as the percentage of Facebook users who are gaming on the platform is actually decreasing. In 2010 around 50 percent of Facebook’s users were gamers, which would roughly amount to 250 million gamers.
Still, Facebook is clearly generating growth where it matters: engagement and revenue. The total number of payers on Facebook has increased 24 percent in the past year, and 20 percent of Facebook’s daily users play games on the social network.
The social network also announced that 55 percent of the top 400 iOS apps are integrated with Facebook. In fact, Facebook drove 263 million clicks to Apple’s App Store and Google Play from mobile.…
Fitocracy’s 1M Users, Including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Are More Engaged Than Any Other Social Network Besides Facebook (Original)
As quantified self devices and services come into their own, gamified social fitness tracker Fitocracy has found itself smack dab in the middle of a movement. But alas! The YC-backed company isn’t shoving wrist bands, smartwatches or pocket pedometers in the faces of its users. In fact, founder Richard Talens believes that the quantified self devices of today actually encourage the wrong strategy of “eat less, move more.”
Instead, Fitocracy has grown to host over one million users, which it announced this morning, by focusing on true progress through gamification. Talens explains that streaks, as seen with the Nike FuelBand (11 days making goal, for example) can be both motivational and demotivational. Rather than focusing on the number of days you can work out in a row, the focus should be on running a faster mile time or lifting heavier weight, aka progress.
This is how Fitocracy keeps its users in shape. Talens told TechCrunch that Fitocracy users are in the app for more than five hours a month, making them more engaged than users across any of the other social networks except Facebook.
“They come back seven days a week, even if they’re not working out, just because they’re so engrossed by the community,” said Talens.…
Zynga CIO Debra Chrapaty Named Nirvanix CEO, Sees Analytics Play For Storage Company, Continued Rivalry With AWS (Original)
Zynga CIO Debra Chrapaty has a new job as the CEO at Nirvanix, the Khosla Ventures backed enterprise storage company that she expects to further compete with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and extend into the business analytics market.
Chrapaty initially joined Nirvanix last November as chairwoman of the board when Khosla became lead investor in the company that is also funded by Intel Capital. She replaces Dru Borden, who will remain a part of the Nirvanix leadership team as senior vice president of planning & development and remain as a board member Chrapaty will start her new job in April.
Chrapaty led Zynga’s build out of its infrastructure. While there, Zynga became AWS largest customer before she directed the build out of the company’s own gaming cloud.
Prior to Zynga, Chrapaty worked at Cisco, helping direct the development of its collaboration platform. Before Cisco, she worked at Microsoft where she said in an email she built out Windows Azure.
Nirvanix has earned a place in the market for its capability to store petabytes of data. Chrapaty said the company builds out storage infrastructures for the cloud, on-premise or hybrid. Its technology replaces more traditional technologies like magnetic tape and EMC/ NetApp boxes.…
GDC preview: A few thousand video game developers walk into a bar … (Original)
The 26th annual Game Developers Conference begins this Monday in San Francisco, and we look ahead to some of the themes and projects we expect to see coming from the show.…
888 Holdings becomes the first online gambling company to win an online poker license (Original)
Online poker players have a reason to celebrate. 888 Holdings has been granted the first online gambling license since 2006 and will set up shop in Vegas.…
Zynga calls it quits with Facebook, log-in no longer required (Original)
You're free to play Zynga games outside of Facebook! Spare your Facebook friends your invites and connect with Zynga players free of Facebook login.…
Zynga.com Makes Facebook Connect Optional As It Looks To Build An Independent Platform For Players And Developers (Original)
Last March, Zynga announced its ambitions to create a web and mobile platform for social games. Zynga.com is a destination for both the company’s own games as well as for third-party developers who want to leverage Zynga’s social feed and users. In September, Zynga debuted its first third-party games. And today, Zynga is rolling out a number of changes to Zynga.com, namely how you sign in.
The platform itself allows developers to post to the stream of social gaming activity at Zynga.com, and also to include social features like chat and real-time multiplayer. One of the major changes with this update is how players sign in. Previously, you signed in via your Facebook login, and your experience was built around all your previous Zynga gaming interactions on the social network (based on your permissions). With the new sign-in, you actually sign in with a Zynga account that is created and Facebook Connect is optional.
You can still integrate all of your Facebook game boards, progress and friends, but this is no longer required. Reading between the lines, it appears that Zynga wants to continue down the road of becoming less reliant on Facebook for social interactions and more. This isn’t particularly surprising considering Zynga and Facebook’s new terms that were released late last year.…