Social gaming becomes more and more popular all over the world. It is growing and developing very quickly and attracting millions of people. Playdom is a leading game developer that is concentrated on social, online gaming. The organization has a variety of popular names on the iPhone, Facebook, Myspace etc., for instance, Mobsters, Wild Ones, Market Street, WSOP, and Sorority Life. This game developer has something for each of us ”“ Overdrive for adrenaline addicts, Sorority Life for stylish people and Poker Palace for the gamblers. A lot of users on Facebook and MySpace play these games almost every day. “Playdom is the latest company that we’re hearing some interesting things about ”” including a rumor about its revenue numbers and financing plans, a board member who’s also a Facebook executive, and a lawsuit”ť (Eldon). The main residence of Playdom is situated in Mountain View, California, with studios in USA: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Eugene, Boulder, Chapel Hill; Buenos Aires, Argentina and so on. The history of the company started in San Francisco Bay Area. It was founded in February of 2008 by graduates Ling Xiao and Chris Wang from Berkeley and Dan Yue from Swarthmore College. In November of 2008, Playdom got $43 million in financial investments in its Series A funding.
Vice President of Analytics, David Botkin, remembers that three of their first ten workers came from Pat Hanrahan’s lab at Stanford: “They dropped out of their PhD programs to come build video games, so we sort of had Tableau in our blood from the start. One of the first tools put in place was Tableau”ť (Tableau Software). In 2009, together with games providers Zynga and Playfish, Playdom brought to the market worth $300 million in online sales of the valid goods through a social network. In May 2010, Playdom was considered by Lead411 as one of the year’s “Hottest Silicon Valley Companies”ť. In 2009, it claimed a deal with paid card provider InComm, that is how users can buy cards in stores by cash, and then use codes on cards to get identical numbers of virtual currencies in Playdom games. These cards are made for young people who do not have admission to credit card or mobile-account payments. On May 2010 they got Acclaim Games. On June 2010 Playdom declared the purchasing of gaming developer Hive7. This indicates the fifth purchasing of the year. On July 2010, Playdom declared it recognized Metaplace, Inc. Details of the deal were not announced. “We boast the #1 game on MySpace””Mobsters””and some of the fastest growing Facebook applications. Fueled by explosive growth on Facebook and an expanding pipeline of new games and features, we are one of the fastest growing social gaming companies on the planet”ť ”“ they claim at the website (Playdom). Every day the company has more than 44 million active users per month and 5.2 million users. Playdom is growing like many other gaming companies. It has increased from 60 to more than 110 workers and still hiring. And in June, it hired some gaming industry veterans, among wom is former EA chief operating officer John Pleasants. On July 2010, The Walt Disney Company gave 763 million dollars for Playdom. Getting Playdom, Disney strengthened its already sensible digital playing portfolio, got and is able to give to consumers new ways to cooperate with the company by such popular social networks as Facebook and MySpace. Playdom is demonstrating itself to be a serious competitor in the expanding world of social gaming. It is also declared to increase on European social networks and enter the European market. Lloyed Melnick, general manager of the company, shares that soon their apps and games will be available in the major European languages on Facebook. After that they are going to enter main European social networks. “We have a deal with StudiVZ, agreements with all three Russian networks and Netlog same as with Nasza Klasa who is rolling out games and we are one of the first partners. Hopefully, we will launch our games on Skyrock and other social networks as well”ť ”“ says Melnick (Sujka). There are many different types of online games, from simple social flash games to the action or fantasy online games. Now Playdom has become the third social game company in the world with about 42 million players in one month.
Edward Wong in his article gives some short descriptions of Playdom’s famous games.
1. Social City
It is a real-time simulation game, which is accessible on Facebook.com and iPhone platforms. Remarkable that it was marked as the “Best Social Network Game”ť. With the help of this game you get a possibility to build your own cities, and you need to control free time, manage factories and other houses in order to keep your inhabitants happy. Not so easy task, by the way. And earning money by modernizing!
This game gives you totally 65 missions and much more new essence. You may play it on Facebook.com and iPhone platforms, then you may invite your friends to create a team to struggle in the “mafia lifestyle game”ť (Wong).
3. Mobsters 2: Vendetta
It is an action game that is available on Facebook.com that is the continuation to the famous online “Mobsters”ť. This variant of the popular game will take you to different places. Besides, you may experience the rowdyism, invading a warehouse and so on. Good luck in it!
4. Sorority Life
Accessible on Facebook.com, “Sorority Life”ť is a game that was created particularly for the girl gamers. You alter your avatar and found your own sorority! In this game participants go to virtual SPA-salons and shopping, spending on the new dress or a hairdress about 2,5 dollars. And there are a lot of various missions in this game, for instance, getting 5 house members and beat your competitor’s sorority. Any case, your goal is “to lead your sorority to be the most popular on campus”ť (Wong)! Experts notice that the market of network games has quickly turned from promising in concurentive. Now every week on Facebook appear some new games. Including based on already popular brands and recognized images. Soon the whole family of Disney’s heroes will be added to them.
Eldon, Eric. “Playdom Another social gaming company playing it smart with virtual goods”ť. 8 Apr. 2009. Web. 7 May 2011.
Eldon, Eric. “Playdom: Upwards of $50 Million”ť in Annual Revenue, and Growing”ť. 1 Oct. 2009. Web. 7 May. 2011.
Fahey, Rob. “Magic Playdom”ť. 31 Jul. 2010. Web. 7 May 2011.
Playdom Ups Its Game By Analyzing Customer Behavior Data. Tableau Software. Web. 7 May 2011.
Kim, Hanna. “Playdom”ť. 7 Dec. 2010. Web. 7 May 2011.
Playdom. Web. 7 May 2011. <http://www.playdom.com/about>
World Series of Poker; Playdom. “Playdom and Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment Team to Launch the Official World Series of Poker Game on Facebook and Other Social Networks”ť. 29 July 2010. Web. 7 May 2011.
Hahn, Jason. “Playdom Climbs the Charts, Advertising Evolves in Social Gaming”ť. Web. 7 May 2011.
Sujka, Sebstian. “Playdom Entering the European Market: Interview with Lloyd Melnick”ť. Web. 8 May 2011.
Wong, Edward. “Playdom: A facebook Game Company and list of its games”ť. 4 Apr. 2011. Web. 8 May 2011.