Welcome to another edition of the Casual Connect Round-Up, bringing you news from Casual Connect 2010 in Seattle. This edition sees the news that Family Feud has partnered with WildTangent to bring a game-changing update to the Family Feud Facebook game, and the news that hi5 has expanded their reach and focus by creating a new developer portal.
Family Feud Integrates WildTangent BrandBoost
WildTangent has announced that social game publisher iWin has chosen to integrate the WildTangent BrandBoost platform into the Facebook game Family Feud. The integration will see the game updated to allow users to participate in short activities, like watching videos or clicking on ads in order to unlock complimentary episodes of the game (for those who don’t play the game, a user is limited to a set number of free episodes per day).
This update, says Peter Negulescu (president of iWin), will allow the publisher to keep players engaged in the game for longer periods of time, via these ad-centric activities that will give players who would otherwise never purchase episodes with real funds a chance to play the game more than they originally could.
To try Family Feud for yourself, head over to the game’s page on Facebook.
hi5 Launches New Developer Portal
Social entertainment site hi5 has announced the launch of a new developer portal that will allow developers to more easily (and quickly) add their content to the hi5 platform, thus reaching the site’s large user base with as little hassle as possible.
For one, the developer portal will see developers now having access to hi5′s gift economy, which allows third-party games to provide gifts and in-game items to players, which can then be shown on a profile page for all to see. This is but one of the viral channels that hi5 says will allow developers to get their content discovered on a large scale.
“With the release of our new developer portal and support for Facebook-compatible APIs, it is now nearly frictionless for developers to publish their games in our network.” said Alex St. John, President and CTO, hi5, via a company press release. “As of today, anybody who has made the investment to create a social media game is simply throwing money away if they don’t publish it on hi5 as quickly as possible. It’s virtually effortless.”
St. John has put his proverbial money where his mouth is, especially when it comes to his insistence concerning Facebook’s flaws, as he took on a personified version of Facebook in a sumo wrestling match at this year’s Casual Connect, and has been quoted by TechFlash as saying that his network can provide what Facebook can’t.
Clearly they [Facebook] discovered a new kind of game platform, that’s hugely popular, and they’re going to squander it. That’s hard for me to see, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to go, look, let me show you guys how to do gaming in this environment correctly. It’s great that you paved the way and discovered it, but it’s clear that you’re not really going to focus on being very good at being a gaming platform, and I know how to do that.
For more information about the Developer Portal, head over to the company’s website.
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