Mochi Media Gets Into Virtual Currency Game

Mochi Coin PurchaseMochi Media is adding a virtual currency/microtransaction system to its network of online Flash games today. Players can use Mochi Coins to buy in-game upgrades for 16 titles from its game developer partners. Want a “tactical chain saw” in SAS Zombie Assault II>? (And really, who doesn’t?), it’ll cost you 600 Mochi Coins — around 75 cents, given the 800-to-$1 exchange rate.

Mochi joins an increasingly crowded and competitive market for virtual currency solutions to monetize online games, with Facebook’s own system soon to come. (And in all likelihood, a standards war among competing virtual currencies soon to follow.) With 100 million monthly unique users across its network, however, Mochi immediately becomes one of its lead players. I’m watching this space closely, because as I noted in my GigaOM Pro analysis of virtual worlds (subscription required), monetization of virtual currency is one of the market’s biggest opportunities. Unsurprisingly, while Mochi currently has no virtual worlds in its network, in a phone call earlier today, Mochi’s Jameson Hsu told me to expect MMO partnership announcements soon.

Image credit: Mochi/Ninjakiwi.</em

10 Most Popular Flash Games of 2008 — Mochi Network

UPDATED One reason casual game startups are still confident in these recessionary times is that the top titles attract millions of players. Our friends at casual game ad network Mochi Media have provided a list of the 10 most popular casual games hosted on its network, each of which is played millions of times every month on thousands of sites.

Update: “The most common theme that can be seen in the [most popular] games is that they are very simple to play and amenable to almost any demographic,” company founder Jameson Hsu told me by e-mail. “Most of the games have simple control mechanisms and can be confined to just the mouse.” Hsu won’t say how much each of these titles makes from advertising, but claims that the top developers on their network typically earn four to five figures a year month in ad revenue. (Mochi emailed us to say they misspoke, so we’ve updated the figure accordingly.)

What’s the secret to their success? “First of all, these games are simply fun,” Hsu said. Beyond that, Hsu says games that are quick to hook users do well, as are games that do so in new, original ways. While Mochi sees a lot of knock-offs of popular games, “when something unique comes out, it tends to strike a chord with people looking for something new,” he said.

The list of top 10 games is below. Read More about 10 Most Popular Flash Games of 2008 — Mochi Network

How Casual Game Startups Can Survive Recession

snowball-warriorThis year we watched a tremendous amount of money go into casual web game startups, many or most of which heavily depend on advertising as a revenue stream. As we’re all too painfully aware, however, when the economy turns sour, advertising budgets are among the first things to get slashed. So how will these companies survive through the coming quarters, until the economy stabilizes? I emailed the heads of five casual game startups, to get a sense of their strategy. After compiling their thoughts, three themes emerged: Read More about How Casual Game Startups Can Survive Recession

Where’s the Money In Casual Web Game Development?

[qi:115] For years, developing web-based casual games was little more than a hobby, a means of creative expression for game enthusiasts. Then advertising revenue started to reshape the casual gaming landscape — now, multimillion-dollar deals, flourishing startups like Mochi Media and Kongregate, and the attention of media giants Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are the name of the game. Sustaining the stream of quality games to play is now a business venture in itself, and with ad revenue streams at their disposal, developers stand to make a real profit off of their work. But just how much money can these new revenue streams bring to casual game developers’ pockets?
Read More about Where’s the Money In Casual Web Game Development?

Google Finally Launches AdSense for Games

Google today announced AdSense for games, a year after we first reported its intentions. Google has roped in game developers and publishers including Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media, games network Mochi Media. This new program would allow social games and flash-based web games to integrate video, text and image ads into the games.

Former Owner Gets Into Games

Jay Gould, a former owner of pioneering social network and video-sharing site, has launched Gamers Media, an ad network for casual game sites. It is one of several other startups, such as NeoEdge and Mochi Media, which launched last year, seeking to monetize the hugely popular casual games market.

After the bankruptcy of last year, Gould said he was looking for his next opportunity. He’d noted an advertiser rush to gaming sites while at Bolt, and decided that should be his next endeavor. New York-based Gamers Media reaches 20 million uniques and has about 40 properties on which it can place ads, and it has signed a partnership with Adify to build out its publisher network. So far, Gamers Media is profitable, but Gould said he doesn’t disclose revenue.

He did say the CPMs on his site range from $10 to $20 for brand advertising, with tactics such as page takeovers and custom-built “advergames” netting a higher CPM. The site shares an average of 50 percent of its revenue with publishers that range from Big Fish Games to Lycos’ Gamesville property. I love that the company is making money, and is profitable, but the value of Gamers Media is only as good as its publishers. It needs to corner the market fast — or score some exclusive arrangements with big publishers — in order to compete.

The GigaOM Show #18: Putting The Cash in Casual Games

In this week’s episode of The GigaOM Show, we chat with Jim Greer, CEO and co-founder of Kongregate and Jameson Hsu, co-founder and CEO of Mochi Media about monetizing casual games. We discuss a wide range of topics, including the upcoming launch of Google’s game-related AdSense network. According to some estimates, casual gaming is the fast-growing segment that accounts for about 10% of the $30 billion global video game industry.
Download the show in quicktime, windows media or Xvid formats. There is an HD download available as well.

Related posts:
* Casual games worth $2.25 billion. But where are they going?
* How Casual Games can become money machines.
* Inside the YouTube of Games, Kongregate