TriplePoints of Interest – Week of October 5

Where do you prefer to watch the League of Legends World Championships? Twitch? Azubu? Maybe you should tune in on…BBC! This and other news from the world of games!

BBC: the next big thing in eSports

ESPN, TBS, and now BBC! Game Informer reports that BBC Three will be streaming the League of Legends World Championships starting on October 15, including all four days of the quarterfinals and other supplemental programs. Commentators will be broadcasting live from London’s Wembley Stadium, adding BBC to the list of mainstream channels broadcasting eSports tournaments.

Spend to meet your Destiny

Bungie announced they will be adding microtransactions to Destiny on October 13. GamesIndustry International reports that Bungie added this feature to “bolster the service provided by the live team for another full year, as they grow and create more robust and engaging events that we’ll announce later this year.” Bungie will be introducing silver as the Destiny’s in-game currency.

Everything you need to know about Rock Band, you learn from GameSpot

Purchased Rock Band 4 and have a lot of burning questions? GameSpot has you covered with their “everything you need to know” guide that includes how to import old songs from previous installments–including on-disc tracks, which old instruments will work on the new system, and where to buy new gear.

Ads can be games too!

Zynga is experimenting with a brand new type of ads. Called SponsoredPLAY, the advertisements are delivered in the form of mini-games. Gamasutra explored an example using Progressive’s iconic character, Flo, who appears in one of the Farmville games as part of an ad. Zynga has since reported a double-digit increase in user ad engagement.
Photo from BBC

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of April 6

Welcome to a new weekly feature here on the TriplePoint blog: TriplePoints of Interest, where we recap the biggest news from around the games and tech industry, plus subjects we just can’t stop talking about around the office!

Fixing the image of free-to-play

The image of free-to-play games has been a hot topic as of late. Steve Peterson of GamesIndustry International describes why free-to-play games have built a bad reputation and how it can be fixed. He first cites how quickly widespread the business model has become as reason for the extreme divide on opinions from within the games industry.

He then suggests that in-game merchandise must improve on the game, not be required to play the game, and that players shouldn’t have to feel they must make microtransactions to remove “annoyances” in the game or get to the fun. Developers and marketers also must be clear about the ways to spend money in the game. If a developer does not feel it is beneficial to “celebrate” the microtransactions, then the microtransactions are probably not ones that should be built in in the first place and will likely anger players.

The YouTubers versus Nintendo: the saga continues

Nintendo’s controversial YouTube policies have caused another YouTuber to cease reviewing Nintendo games. Joe Vargas of the Angry Joe Show stated in a video, according to Polygon, that he will no longer make videos relating to Nintendo games after his Mario Party 10 video was flagged for copyrighted material, keeping him from making ad revenue. Mr. Vargas has also been a staunch opponent of Nintendo’s Creators Program.

Heroes of the Storm collegiate league needs a GPA boost

The rise of collegiate competitive gaming, while growing exponentially, has not been without its share of snags. Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm collegiate tournament, “Heroes of the Dorm,” has been marred with no-shows and website bugs, leading to a host of scheduling difficulties, according to Daily Dot. The $450,000 prize pool, and involvement of Blizzard and TeSPA (high-profile collegiate eSports organization) meant very high expectations for the tournament from fans and participants alike, begging the question of the effectiveness of allowing over 800 teams to participate.

Ads and Kids, like water and electricity, do not go together

Consumer advocacy groups are asking the FTC to investigate Google’s YouTube Kids app due to concerns that it aims advertising at young children on smartphone and tablets, according to San Jose Mercury News. The concerns cite laws on broadcast TV that prohibit TV stations from placing products around kids’ programming due to children having not developed cognitive skills to resist advertising.

An old dog returns to the doghouse: Mark Pincus is back!

Zynga announced that Don Mattrick, their CEO of less than 2 years, is leaving and will be replaced with former CEO, Mark Pincus. GamesIndustry International believes that the company’s great losses under his leadership caused the change, but credited Zynga’s sharp rise in mobile profits–from 27% to 60% of the company’s worth–over the last 2 years to Mr. Mattrick’s work.

Check back again next week for more of the top news from games and tech!
Featured image from Geek.com

Why Isn’t Instagram at Least as Evil as Zynga?

Instagram selling for $1 billion dollars generated surprise, and envy.

Perhaps people can understand a strategic rationale for Facebook buying it, or competitive impulse, but the befuddlement remains.  You can hear the suppressed snicker coming from the mainstream business prairie: they weren’t making money, but hey, for the team itself, hooray!  Everyone agrees they’re really nice young men, who network and took risks.  They are poster boys for the Stanford-Silicon Valley axis.

Would people feel the same way about Instagram as a company if they did make money from their users?

They could insert an ad, spam your friends, or give you a premium upgrade only if you filled out a survey. They would share in Zynga’s original sin. There are other reasons Zynga may or may not be evil — options cancellations, labor practices and the like — but it is unlikely these are abnormal and surely the case that they are examined intensely only in the wake of their basic game philosophy of, and success from, compulsion loop design.  “Copying” is the other charge, but widespread in the industry, and goes back to the dawn of video game time.

Imagine an alternate history where Zynga relied on the capital markets instead of their user base to monetize. Imagine they sold for $1 billion just on the promise of how a user base could be monetized rather than how they actually did monetize. Zynga monetizes now, Instagram monetizes later, and by a different corporate entity.  Anyone that believes “Zynga is evil” must also hold that the corporate shower of riches on Instagram is even more nefarious. Their user base was “hooked” on beauty instead of compulsion loops, only to be revealed ultimately as corporate assets, passively awaiting their harvesting by Facebook.

When Shay Pierce of OMGPOP turned down the offer to join Zynga, he went out in a blaze of Gamasutra glory.  He warned:

When an entity exists in an ecosystem, and acts within that ecosystem in a way that is short-sighted, behaving in a way that is actively destructive to the healthy functioning of that ecosystem and the other entities in it (including, in the long term, themselves) — yes, I believe that that is evil. And I believe that Zynga does exactly that.

A “good” company is one which provides goods or services of real value in exchange for a fair price. A good game company recognizes that its developers are the ones who create that value, and treats them as valuable, especially if they are good at what they do. It follows practices that are sustainable. And it ensures that, at the end of the day, the world is a little better for having their goods and services.

An evil company is trying to get rich quick, and has no regard for the harm they’re doing along the way. It’s not making things of value, it’s chasing a gold rush.

This evil company moving fast on an acquisition was taking very normal preventative steps for their intellectual property. But the game Shay made and “loves,” Connectrode, was in jeopardy, or so he thought.  A game whose video is self-described as an “Addictive” “evolution” of Bejewelled, Mario, and so forth.  In other words, Zynga, just not as successful.  Even the art form of the haughty public resignation letter was an iteration on something that had been just been done two weeks before.

What are the PR lessons from the respective public responses to the startling ascendancy of these two different companies?  The strategy for public positioning of companies needs to take two powerful psychological biases into effect: anchoring and confirmation. One creator of addictive iterative games calls Zynga evil and it is uncritically accepted and propagated. NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower rips off Corporation Inc. only to have Zynga do the same to them, but is lauded for their sarcastic lob.

While a private company, Zynga was transparent to the point of being cavalier about their culture, aims, and monetization.  That could have originated out of Silicon Valley philosophy, carelessness, or speed.  Whatever the reason, no effective or persistent defense was made about the value that they were bringing to bear.  The fact of the matter is, Zynga games are fun too: objectively so.  Fun in the very elemental sense.  They are friendly, brightly colored, and not too taxing.

Is this worse than any other form of consumer entertainment product that isn’t a labored indie film?  “Gamerz” protest too much and play these games in bespoke fashion. Yup we’re just doing it for research. For our kids. To see what’s happening in the industry.  Let me see just how stupid…level 10 is.

Cow Clicker is a nice shot at Farmville — it’s also a shot at Skyrim?

Skyrim is so much higher quality but, quick, what is the literary quality of these place names: Eastmarch, White Run, Dragon Bridge, Winterhold.  Quality is a difference of degree rather than type. In each game you customize, click, and level up, with a different number of dimensions and more bloodshed than in Castleville.  Obsessed with communicating their corporate growth, Zynga never made it OK to like or admire their games as a product.  The financial prospects Zynga demonstrated saved the game industry from a normal console transition downturn.  There is no Kabam, Kixeye, Funzio, Crowdstar, and so on without Zynga.

Don’t flash your headlights in urban areas.  Al Gore claimed to have invented the internet.  Zynga is evil.  People look uncritically for confirmation of their beliefs.

Take two casual photographs: Mark Pincus is photographed in Vanity Fair, lord of all he surveys, from his condo.  He’s already rich.

The most smug photo I can find of the Instagram guys is still that they’re jus’ brogrammers, in some class B office space, maybe fresh from hacking:

We can not help but interpret these photos with information we already know.  Imagine the positions were reversed: the above photograph was of a photo filter CEO.  Beautiful city, shaded to orange.  Below, the punk manipulators of lonely middle America.  Don’t the smiles look a bit more cocky, the office more ominously clinical?

The lessons between Instagram and Zynga, both dazzling and great companies with different public perceptions:

1) Companies should zealousy discuss the value they are bringing to the world.  Discuss the vision that inspires the product line, not just the anecdote behind the corporate name (though that humanization is probably Zynga’s most effective consumer media message.)  Failure to do so opens interpretation to lowest common denominator possibilities – you’re just in it for the money.

2) Companies — but more particularly, the people creating them — should not talk about the financial benefits they have subsequently reaped or were going to reap.  Descriptions that someone is now “rich” are hard to latch onto, be envious of and tear apart.  Specific dollar figures are easy to.  (See any public executive officer compensation report.)  Rare is the response of a Paul Graham to any quantification of income inequality.  This works in reverse too. Simply saying one is charitable has minimal effect.  Giving away half of your income is tangible: even if you’re not giving it to old Skype employees.

3) Transparency is only effective if complete, and properly segmented. There is no such thing as complete information. If your transparency is simply “shocking revelation” (or even tongue-in-cheek revelation, or whimsical attention-getting revelation) it will be pulled out of context.  Zynga was transparent, Instagram was not but Zynga didn’t win any points from the blogosphere or the professional community for it.  When in conversations you need to know the motivations of the reporter (/analyst/blogger/customer.)

4) When monetizing something that had previously been free (or uncluttered), you have perilous waters ahead.  Success with many customers will mean failure with others.  You may risk backlash.  Proper messaging about the changes need to be done in advance, not in response.

Communications plans should incorporate strategies for success as well as failure. Aim for transparency but support it with a clear narrative.  Journalists start out wanting to like you. They want to see a company succeed; to talk about the transformations made possible by technology, and see the local kid do good.  Zynga was once that kid, just like David Morin’s path.io might be today – and at a crossroads. Are they a visionary networker or cynical monetizer?

 “A few weeks before f8, Morin had coffee with Mark Pincus, the erstwhile founder of Tribe.net, co-owner of the sixdegrees social networking patent, and early investor in Facebook.  Pincus told Morin excitedly that he intended to build a poker application for the new platform.  “It won’t work,” Morin asserted dourly.  “Games aren’t viral.” Pincus went ahead and launched Texas HoldEm Poker on Facebook, starting a company called Zynga, which was headed for huge success.” –David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect

When pushed, most entrepreneurs will confess their jealousy for this early insight. It is easier to discount the visionary as evil, that they are somehow winning through unfair play. “Zynga is evil” might be the Phiten necklace of the videogame industry: Something objectively not especially true but a (consoling) motivator, at least until the Zynga buyout offer comes around.

 

 

Playing in an Asynchronous World

The recent rise of mobile as a key platform in the gaming space is accompanied by meteoric growth in asynchronous gameplay. Not what you typically envision when hearing of the latest “multi-player videogame,” asynchronous games do not require the two or more participants to be playing simultaneously; rather, players make turns at their convenience. Chart toppers such as Words With Friends, Hero Academy and Draw Something have millions of people around the world playing asynchronous games daily.

The appeal of this detached gameplay mode on the mobile platform is obvious: by not having to participate “in-sync,” players are free to go about their day, logging in to make a move only when it’s convenient. Growing up, getting a quick game of StarCraft going with my friends required planning in advance to ensure everybody was free (or hoping they were signed into Ventrilo). Now the rich, social experience of multiplayer gaming is available anywhere, anytime, and with any of your hundreds of Facebook friends.

Without a doubt, asynchronous gameplay is bringing millions of new gamers online. Everybody from busy professionals to even busier moms can find time throughout the day to glance at their phones and lay down a quick 20-point word or crudely sketch a sunflower for their friends. These types of people that could never carve out a two-hour block of time to delve into the latest RTS or explore the world of a new MMO are exactly the target audience for asynchronous games.

Recently, I became completely addicted to Zynga’s Words With Friends. My phone buzzed constantly with updates – after all, with 10 or 15 games happening simultaneously, there’s always somebody free to play. I am, and imagine I always will be, a huge Scrabble fan, and my initial enthusiasm motivated the first few weeks of play. However, after a few months of playing WWF, I found myself oddly numb to the experience. Sliding my finger across each subsequent “New Move” notification pop-up seemed more and more of a chore and less about enjoying the game. I was no longer playing because I was immersed in the game, but rather because felt beholden to making the next move so my friends would not be left hanging.

A few months back, I finally snapped out of my daze and started reflecting on the experience, ultimately concluding that I expected too much of asynchronous gameplay. Like most of my daily electronic information flow, the game simply became another source for that short, addicting burst of serotonin so many of us crave in the Digital Age, with little to gain that could not be found in a casual glance at Twitter.

I may think that I’m a busy person and at times certainly am, but I’m no mom rushing kids to soccer practice and dance recitals. In retrospect, I probably spent close to two hours a day keeping up with WWF – not exactly a “non-disruptive” amount of time. Keep in mind, this was not two hours I scheduled specifically for play, but like with most players, time taken in small increments throughout the day that quickly added up to the point of distraction. This most convenient form of gaming was not only sucking an hour or two out of each day, but also doing so when I should have been focusing on work or enjoying the company of friends.

A few months free of Zynga’s iron grip and I’m making a point to schedule time for the sort of immersive gaming that I used to know and love, inviting friends over for a game of Super Smash Bros. or investing the time to set up a game of Risk or Settlers of Catan. I still play the occasional game of Draw Something or Scramble With Friends, but my notifications have all been turned off, and the icons are gone from my home screen. Now, I play only when I’m truly not busy or have made a point to invest some time.

Asynchronous games are part of a wider push in the tech space to make everything as convenient, connected and on-demand as possible. “No time to sit down and play? Just have these bite-sized snippets instead!” That’s great for people on the go, but for those of us accustomed to the deep immersion that comes with truly investing yourself in a game, with setting up your StarCraft hotkeys and arguing over which dictionary to use for Scrabble, there is more than a bit of magic missing so far, in asynchronous gameplay.

While I may sound like the exception to the rule in the face of so much overwhelming success, evidence suggests many others experience the same burnout and disappointment after the initial rush to play. However, I’m confident that the next generation of asynchronous game developers will mitigate these issues with innovative new features that not only keep us hooked, but also tear us away when things start to get out of hand and our entertainment threatens to become a chore.

 

Social Game Soapbox: Pop-Ups and News Feed Noise

“How many pop-ups is too many pop-ups?” asks the Frisky Mongoose. Shouldn’t there be a more reasonable cap on pop-up notifications, so players can get busy playing (and spending money, for that matter)? Log-in interruptions are particularly bothersome in my opinion, but some games are offering smoother entry these days, so I’ll just assume that’s been noted and move along…

Beyond logging in, when you finally do get to tend to your social game goings-on, it seems like there’s a pop-up every 3-4 clicks. I have hundreds of trees on my farm, and if I want to harvest them all one-by-one, I should be able to without having an annoying pop-up in my face after every 4 trees!

No – I don’t want to send free gifts to my neighbors right now. If I did, I’d click on that enormous Gifts tab staring me in the upper eye. No – I don’t want to check out the new virtual items. If I do, I’ll go to the store.

For games with such simple play mechanics, it just seems downright unreasonable to interrupt the only real “gameplay” you offer. It’s almost like you’re playing a FPS (think Halo or Call of Duty), and the developers randomly throw a pop-up notification during an important battle sequence. Sure, social game pop-ups aren’t going to leave any casualties, but they still disrupt my gameplay experience all the same.

My humble suggestion? Change the gameplay for more experienced players so they don’t have to deal with an entry-level info dump every session. We know already.

Even outside the game – I guess I mistakenly thought the Facebook Games tab reorganization would eliminate news feed notification noise. Nope. Time to revisit the news feed rant…

Have we crossed the line between social and spam yet? Facebook game notices in your news feed are like the new high-tech pocket protector – sure to repel friends at every sighting. I like playing, but not so much that I’m willing to alienate my friends who don’t care that I found free fuel on the farm today. Some people create dummy Facebook accounts to conduct their social gaming (and not to annoy friends), but that’s not even technically allowed in the site’s TOS.

What’s a rule-abiding user to do? I don’t know the answer, but I do hope social game developers can overcome this tightrope before players give up the balancing act and jump off for good. Being a geek is one thing, but being a social network spammer is totally uncool.

This article was originally published on Frisky Mongoose.

Hungry for More Challenge and Chance in Social Games

This weekend over at Frisky Mongoose, I rambled off a lengthy list of reasons why people play social games, and I think its fair to say that Facebook game developers are doing a lot of things right.

Now can they change their click-only interfaces to feed players who are hungry for more?

People will click as many times as they need to make what they want out of a social game. But after all the shopping and buying of virtual items, sending gifts and helping neighbors, harvesting crops, feeding animals, cleaning and decorating… Continue reading Hungry for More Challenge and Chance in Social Games

Facebook Nixes App Notifications, Social Games Get Email Alert Incentives

Now that Facebook apps can no longer send notifications to users, social game developers are implementing new methods of keeping in touch with their players. Here’s an overview of recent game updates from a few top social titles, as reported on FriskyMongoose.com.

First, in case you’ve been under a rock, the background: Facebook notifications will cease to exist in their previous form, starting this week. According to Mashable, developers of games and other Facebook apps will now be required to either send email updates to users (assuming they’ve agreed to receive them), or hope that users will read about their updates via fan pages and new feeds.

An additional counter feature will also be relied on, which displays the number of app related notices you have next to the application’s name in your left menu navigation on the Facebook homepage (for those applications you have bookmarked). However this is as close to universal notifications as the updated system comes, making those who were tired of logging in to see a big 20+ digit in the corner of their screens very happy campers indeed.

One of the most popular new features is an email alert system. Facebook games are rewarding players who register with all kinds of exclusive in-game items, like new recipes, shells and armor. Continue reading Facebook Nixes App Notifications, Social Games Get Email Alert Incentives

Virtual Goods and The New Digital Retail Revolution

Earlier this week, New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Center played host to a convergence of two trade shows, as both the 107th American International Toy Fair and Engage! Expo welcomed a diverse group of exhibitors and speakers.  For certain attendees, the pairing of Toy Fair with the Engage! Expo, a conference that focused primarily on virtual goods, might have at first seemed somewhat out-of-place.  Beyond the giant stuffed animals, puzzle games, and highly popular robotic hamsters that populated much of Toy Fair, Engage! showcased  leading entrepreneurs in the new digital retail phenomenon – the virtual goods industry.

As reported by Inside Network and covered here on TriplePointPR.com, this year, the virtual goods industry is projected to drive $1.6 billion in revenue in the U.S. alone.  While the ability to purchase virtual goods has existed in online communities for quite some time now, the phenomenon that is social gaming hasushered in a brand new audience for microtransaction purchases – the general consumer.

While traditional retailers and toymakers struggle to survive the stormy and rather unpredictable economic recession, the virtual goods industry is booming.  Selling non-physical items, the providers of virtual goods have seen just as much (and presumably more) success than long time brands and veterans of the physical toy industry present at the Javits Center this week.  The reason for such success is simple – the provider of the virtual good, which can be looked upon as a modern toy manufacturer, is smarter and armed with more consumer information than the producer of the antiquated physical retail toy.

Continue reading Virtual Goods and The New Digital Retail Revolution

Facebook and the Fate of Social Gaming in 2010

Facebook Logo

Facebook is staggeringly huge. They have over 400 million active users, half of whom log in on any given day, over 500k active applications, and can rattle off plenty of other impressive totals for those who’d like to listen. As an open platform, they have provided companies like Zynga and PlayFish with millions of dollars in revenue, and provided many other developers with a shot at financial success. Despite these achievements, and despite an estimated company valuation that extends into the billions, monetization remains the one aspect of Facebook’s business that hasn’t matched their growth. With this week’s sure-to-be-critiqued changes, that last piece of the puzzle may be ready to fall into place. But first, a bit of background…

On January 21, a group of the Bay Area’s social gaming forces descended on Google’s Mountain View campus for a panel discussion hosted by Peanut Labs and Google Orkut. The evening was inspired by a post on Three Rings CEO Daniel James’ blog which laid out some predictions for the industry in 2010. The panelists included folks from Zynga, RockYou, PlaySpan, Three Rings, Outspark, and Inside Social Games, and they all seemed eager to share their opinions, even if most kept their cards close to their chest while doing so. As the discussion progressed, one thing became crystal clear: the growth or decline of social gaming in 2010 will rest largely on the shoulders of Facebook.

Specifically, the discussion hinged upon upcoming changes to the way Facebook interacts with applications (changes that are now being put into effect). Prior to this week, any programmer on the planet, given some development time, could make money off of a Facebook game without Facebook earning a single cent. Devs could even use Facebook’s tools to grow their game virally for free, sending messages to users and posting notifications on players’ newsfeeds.

This was, originally, in Facebook’s best interest, since being an open platform helped them attract the attention of thousands of developers. It also meant that Facebook owned all the users these games collected, making the developers reliant on the platform for their successes. This setup worked like a charm, allowing folks like Zynga and PlayFish to reach a huge audience and turn an enormous profit.

Now the folks at Facebook have, understandably, decided they want to monetize the successful system they’ve developed. As a bonus, they’ve also figured out a way to clean things up in the process. The new “games” page borrows heavily from Apple’s app store setup, providing users with lists of the most popular games and info on what their friends are playing. Meanwhile, the recently introduced Facebook Credits will provide users with a universal in-app purchasing system. Finally, once the changes are solidly in place, applications will not be allowed to send notifications directly to their users, cutting down on the “spam” messages that many have complained about over the last year.

Facebook Games Page
(Image courtesy the Facebook Blog)

This promises to make the user experience significantly smoother on Facebook, but it also marks a significant shift in power behind the scenes. By making developers live within the framework they’ve established, Facebook is forcing devs to rely far more heavily on traditional outreach like PR and advertising for growth. Advertising is of particular interest to Facebook, especially when you consider the incredibly valuable ad space they now have to offer on the “games” page. Facebook Credits, meanwhile, will let them take a measure of control over in-app purchases (as well as a small cut of the profits) while solidifying their grip by getting users to tie their credit card info to the platform.

Thus, the new system still provides developers with room for viral growth, but it’s not going to be the rampant, sometimes questionably spammy, growth of the past. Facebook is taking control of the platform, both for their own sake and, ostensibly, for the sake of their users. This could be bad news for the developers who have been really cashing in, but as with Apple’s app store, developers that are willing to play by the rules should still be able to profit handsomely.

At least, that’s what Facebook is hoping. Only time will tell whether this plan will bear fruit or put a chokehold on the rapid growth of social gaming on the platform. Either way, 2010 is going to be interesting times for the social gaming industry!

Selling the Farm: Virtual Goods Summit 2009

vgsummit09logo1

Unless you have been living under a social media rock for the past few months, you (or if you are not willing to admit it, “someone you know”) have most likely participated in the latest sensation to hit the games industry – social gaming.  Redefining the market and shifting demographics of those traditionally associated with gaming, companies such as Zynga, Playfish, and Playdom have charged into the space by storm, and as made evident at last week’s Virtual Goods Summit 2009, are here to stay.

Uncertainty looms for the future of social gaming hits such as "FarmVille"
Uncertainty looms for the future of social gaming hits such as FarmVille

There are skeptics who believe social gaming could potentially just be a current trend.  With simple gameplay mechanics and questionable depth, maintaining active users beyond a few months could pose a challenge to even the most successful of social gaming companies currently finding success in the casual market. A potentially more dangerous threat to such companies lies within questionable corporate practices, which has led to some recent backlash as exposed last week by TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington:

“In short, these games try to get people to pay cash for in game currency so they can level up faster and have a better overall experience. Which is fine. But for users who won’t pay cash, a wide variety of “offers” are available where they can get in-game currency in exchange for lead gen-type offers. Most of these offers are bad for consumers because it confusingly gets them to pay far more for in-game currency than if they just paid cash (there are notable exceptions, but the scammy stuff tends to crowd out the legitimate offers). And it’s also bad for legitimate advertisers.” Continue reading Selling the Farm: Virtual Goods Summit 2009