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Ninja News Roundup: Facebook Acquires Oculus, King IPO, and Evaluating Features for GaaS

Posted by Greg Kathol

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Mar 27, 2014 8:08:00 AM

Ninja Round-up Katana GuyFacebook Acquires Oculus for $2B

One of the biggest surprises to come out of this week was yesterday’s announcement by Facebook that the company would be acquiring VR company, Oculus, for a blistering $2B ($400M in cash and 23.1M shares in stock).

First reactions to the announcement weren’t particularly positive - Minecraft founder, Notch, said he would cancel any talks of bringing the popular video game to the Oculus. The whole indie gaming and development community as a whole didn’t fare well with the news either, citing a distrust of Facebook, betrayment of loyal Oculus Kickstarter backers and the foreshadowing of a “Farmville” VR game.

While Facebook’s acquisition didn’t seem logical to most of Oculus’ loyal fans, many people thought otherwise. Oculus’ founder, Palmer Lucky, said that the acquisition is a huge opportunity for the company, because they’ll now be able to take risks and accelerate the company’s overall vision - and that the two companies have similar cultures and values. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that immersive VR gaming can be a huge opportunity and a new medium, allowing people to connect in an entirely new way.

Joshua Topolsky of The Verge wrote a fantastic piece on why Facebook bought Oculus - short answer: “to eventually own the internet”. Now that Oculus will have a large positive flow of money to work with and a new opportunity to go mainstream, do you think the company will become more successful than ever and advance the world of VR and VR gaming? Or will the acquisition eventually kill off the company? Let us know in the comments below.

Sour Market Debut for King IPO

Earlier yesterday morning, King, maker of the popular mobile/social game Candy Crush Saga, made their debut on the stock market, priced at $22.50 per share. Unfortunately by the close of trading, the stock was at $19 per share and down 15.56% - giving the company a market cap of $2.28B.

Throughout the day, the stock was in a volatile state, rising up and down from $22.50 to $19.08. Zynga, another social gaming company that went public in 2011, now trades at only $5.80 per share - do you think King will eventually share the same fate?

Evaluating Features for GaaS

Former Zynga executive producer and MIT alumni Xing Wang recently wrote an article on Develop Online about the careful decisions that need to be made when adding sustainable features to games.

In the article, Xing says “The most basic way to look at a feature’s success is to use experiments results vs objectives. Usually the goal of a feature is tied to a specific metric. A feature’s intention could be to raise ARPU, increase Retention or increase amount of vitals user sends. Then you can have an A/B testing and evaluate if indeed the feature met the target you set. However, a simple read of the experiment results can be misleading and doesn’t give the whole picture, and here are some other factors to consider.”

Sustainability, Repeatability, Cannibalisation and Trade-Offs are all key points that Xing discusses - you can read more about them here on Develop Online. Social Value White Paper Ninja Matrics

Topics: Game News, Game Industry

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