- Sail Through Cancer Charity Event
Daily Deals Platform Exclusively For Members Of The Military Community To Debut In Hampton Roads Virginia Prior To Memorial Day
Hampton Roads, VA May 2, 2011- Troopswap.com, a Daily Deals site exclusively for members of the military community today announced a major milestone, securing in excess of $585,000 in private funding from investors who believe a life of service should have its perks. The company also announced a team of private/public sector individuals who will help guide their next level of implementation and development, featuring a management team led by former Army Rangers and Harvard Business School Alumni Matthew Thompson and Blake Hall and a product team headed by William Kern, formerly of AOL and Mixx.com.
“This represents an important step not just in our business but in the improvement of the lives of those who serve, and have served, in America’s Armed Forces and their families around the world,” said CEO Blake Hall. “The establishment of our community outreach campaign, led by Matt Thompson, as well as the infusion of capital puts us in a position where we can go from conceptual to actual in our business, and we are excited for the opportunity to delight the military community.”
Well-known investors backing the offering include: Frank Monestere, former Green Beret and current President/COO of LegalZoom.com, Paige Craig, former Marine and Founder/CEO of Betterworks.com and Kelly Perdew, former Army Ranger, winner of Season 2 of NBC’s The Apprentice, and CEO of FastPointGames.com Mr. Perdew also serves on the company’s board.
TroopSwap.com only employs military spouses and veterans for community outreach, providing much needed employment opportunities for those groups. 10% of TroopSwap.com’s profits are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. COO Matt Thompson said, “I served on four combat deployments and observed the Wounded Warrior Project in action on the front lines. It’s an incredible feeling to be part of a business where all of our activities are focused on creating social good for the community that we serve.”
The business model is structured along the lines of some of the biggest consumer deal platforms in the market but offers are exclusively for military members, defined as veterans, service members, spouses and their families. TroopSwap.com aims to take advantage of its unique distribution network and eventually provide a platform where military family members can buy and sell goods, find services and generally come together to get tips, advice and best practices from their peers in dealing with the challenges of life in the service – all without leaving a values based community that forms the most tightly knit fraternity and sorority in the world.
The TroopSwap.com Team is rounded out by an impressive array of talent. Tony Huynh leads the engineering efforts for the platform. Arjun Dhillon handles front-end engineering tasks and design. Caitlin Horn headlines a group of eight military spouses recently hired to spread awareness for TroopSwap.com on bases in Hampton Roads, Virginia – the largest military community in the world.
TroopSwap.com was recently featured at StartupXLR8R, an event hosted by iStrategy Labs at Microsoft’s Chevy Chase offices, and has received glowing reviews from the media and the military community. The first deals will debut in Hampton Roads, Virginia prior to Memorial Day. The company plans to expand the platform to more bases soon thereafter. Matt Thompson explained, “We are on a mission to make military life better.”
For more information about TroopSwap.com or to sign-up for the first military-only deals, visit http://www.TroopSwap.com or tweet @TroopSwap
Co-Founder and CEO
Phone: (615) 293 – 4702
Fax: (202) 600 - 7611
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Early spring is perhaps the busiest time of year in the sports and entertainment space. It features high impact events like the Oscars, Sweeps Week, “March Madness,” the beginning of the MLB and MLS seasons, and the NFL Draft. All of this is in addition to the improving weather outside (except in LA!) and a bigger focus for most of us on family commitments, which makes time management a challenge for everyone, and forces all of us, including the highest impact brands and properties, to find ways to cut through the clutter and achieve strong personal and business objectives.
Here is a look at our latest developments in sports and entertainment:
Major League Soccer. There is perhaps no faster growing sports property in North America than Major League Soccer. Their highly successful franchises in Seattle, Philly and now Vancouver and Portland, have made them the envy of all sports leagues in terms of launches in the past 20 years. Their cornerstone franchises in New York and Los Angeles are also mirroring the expansion franchise growth, which makes for a very exciting time. One of MLS’ biggest areas for activation remains in the digital space, and we are pleased to work directly with the league to develop and launch two fantasy games that we all think will help them expand their fan activation platforms and continue to make them a leader in brand growth - the MLS Salary Cap game that allows fans to compete in free and cash competitions (http://games.mlssoccer.com/scm), and the League Manger game that allows fans to participate in a “draft and trade” fantasy game featuring their favorite MLS athletes for the first time ever (http://games.mlssoccer.com/lm). The MLS project was just featured in Technorati, here is the link: http://technorati.com/sports/article/mls-kicks-off-into-the-digital/
American Idol. We all know what a game changer American Idol has been in popular culture. Everything Idol has touched has been a success, yet there is always a need to attract and engage fans even more. Therefore we are proud to have worked with Fox to create and launch a new engagement platform for the show that allowsfans to predict winners and answer trivia questions over the course of the American Idol season. We think this will help make a great property even better, and set the standard for fan engagement in entertainment. Please check it out at http://apps.facebook.com/idol_predictions/ and see if you can predict who will be safe next week!
Fortune League for Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). In January, we launched our first meta-game for a major MMOG based on SOE’s EverQuest II game. By creating a “snackable” game accessible inside of Facebook, we have created a way for fans to interact with the EverQuest brand in short bursts when they are unable to engage in full usersessions. We have also opened up new revenue streams via virtual goods and have created a way for sponsors and advertisers to connect with EverQuest users in new ways. Perhaps most importantly, it re-engages existing users with opportunities to earn rare and unique prizing that they can use inside of the “actual” EverQuest world. The game is live at http://apps.facebook.com/fortuneleague. We also received a nice write up on the site “Inside Social Games” at http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2011/03/21/fortune-league-fantasy-sports-league-everquest2-style/
The NFL. Even with talk of a lockout, football remains king in the world of fantasy sports. From NCAA spring football to the coming NFL Draft, no athletes have put themselves on the year-round map more than those who patrol the gridiron on fall weekends. As a stand-alone offseason event, the NFL Draft has morphed into a multi-faceted, all encompassing three-day sports and entertainment extravaganza. The interest in the draft pulls from fans, brands and all levels of media, as stars are born and franchises altered. To capitalize on this obsession with the NFL Draft, Fastpoint has partnered with “First Round Exchange” to provide a unique, draft-based fantasy game. Unlike other draft prediction games, First Round Exchange will let fans “in the know” capitalize on their knowledge of underrated and overrated draft prospects, and will certainly enhance the draft experience for all who play. The game can be found at http://football.firstroundx.com/scm
March Madness. Our work would not be complete in the spring if we didn’t continue to refine our engagement platforms with the NCAA Tournament. This year marked the second time we launched enhanced bracket games for MySpace, again helping the property offer enhanced content to its strongly engaged audience. The link is http://www.myspace.com/myspacebracket. And my Kentucky Wildcats are still in it!
MLB and Facebook Migration. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we are making our core fantasy sports games available andplayable on Facebook. This will give every one of our partners a tremendous edge in being totally integrated with a global audience who are using the world’s most popular social networking platform for engagement. Please check out our Salary Cap Baseball games on FB at: http://apps.facebook.com/baseballsalcap/
All of these elements again show the fluidity of our business and the ways we can engage multiple partners on different platforms that best suit their needs. Whether they are established media properties like US Weekly and the Bachelor or entities that are just beginning to see significant momentum, like Major League Soccer, Fastpoint Games can not only provide a unique solution, we can provide the best solution, on budget and with measurable results. And those results will help whomever we work with to effectively cut through the clutter.
We will have more news in the coming weeks, but I wanted to take a few minutes to update you now, wish you the best as spring arrives, and encourage you to sample some of our new offerings. We would appreciate your feedback on these games, and all of our work, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you again for all the support!
Kelly Perdew | CEO | Fastpoint Games
Fortune League is a purpose-made game in the same vein as fantasy sports leagues, but created for Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest2 players by Fastpoint Games, rewarding successful players with virtual good for use in the EverQuest2 MMO.
Much like fantasy sports leagues, players receive a fixed amount of coins to draft a team for their league. However, in place of real life statistics, players have to match the stats of their team to weekly objectives which are a mix of any 4 or 5 of the following game statistics:
It is spring across North America, and with the warm weather sports fans, especially those interested in the numbers crunching of fantasy, usually turn their thoughts to the baseball diamond. Along with football, the fantasy world has been dominated by the intricacies of baseball since its inception as rotisserie baseball almost 30 years ago. With that fantasy niche and a long season rich in content, baseball also grew as a dominant player in the digital space while most other sports were feeling their way along. MLB.com became such a large player in the digital space that it was able to expand its focus, and literally its bandwidth, to help other sports and properties launch their digital footprint over the years. CBS Sports got a boost from MLB.com in its early adaptations of “March Madness” to the web, and others like Figure Skating, Pro Volleyball and even soccer turned to “BAM” and their leader Bob Bowman for help in understanding and managing the digital space.
However over time, most sports have done some great self-examination to understand their consumer and find ways to best manage and then streamline their digital presence on their own.
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were full of joy, merriment and great sports match-ups. Now that we have had a chance to re-energize our batteries, it’s time to kick-off the New Year with some exciting news.
The team at Fastpoint Games is pleased to announce the partnership with Sony Online Entertainment to extend its popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) title, EverQuest II (EQ II), in a brand-relevant way onto the Facebook platform. Together, the teams developed Fortune League, which aims to achieve three key goals.
1. Give existing players of EQ II a new way to engage with the MMO on Facebook, in short, “snackable” sessions throughout the day.
2. Introduce new players to the franchise.
3. Create an additional revenue streams.
Please find the game here on Facebook: Fortune League. Facebook was the platform of choice for SOE for several reasons including user demographics as well as reach. According to recent reports, Facebook was the No. 1 visited site in the U.S. for 2010, beating out Google, and boasts more than 500 million active users, who, according to Facebook, spend over 700 billion minutes per month interacting with the site.
To date, we have not found another MMO franchise that has successfully integrated a casual game on Facebook with the outside MMO environment to the extent that we have in Fortune League. The game allows users to engage with a series of exciting, weeklong quests on Facebook by pulling in live performance data, such as damages, deaths and healings, directly from EQ II. Fortune League rewards players’ abilities to assess quests, hero performance, situational opportunities and disasters and other players’ actions in a live trade market with valuable and unique prizes that can be used in the free-to-play and subscription versions of EQ II. The prizes for the first four-week adventure include AA Scrolls, XP Potions and Tattered Wings.
We hope you will join forces with us today in Fortune League! Build a party or join an existing league and be among the first to test out the alpha version at: http://www.facebook.com/fortuneleague.
We welcome your thoughts and feedback and look forward to keeping you posted on new milestones. This is a huge win for the Fastpoint Games team and we are thrilled to be able to share it with all of you.
And if you haven’t had enough Fantasy Football, please check out our Salary Cap Playoff Game @ http://football.rotohog.com/scm/ and get your team before tomorrow!
Stay tuned for more news about new partnerships and expanded solutions. And, as always, thank you for your support through a fantastic 2010 and we look forward to all the great things to come in 2011.
Players Earn EQII in-game rewards while playing Facebook’s newest competitive strategy game
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – January 7, 2011 –Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) and Fastpoint Games, a developer of live, data-driven games, today announced the alpha launch of Fortune League (http://apps.facebook.com/fortuneleague/), a fully integrated Facebook game. Fortune League allows EverQuest® II (EQII) fans and players to play a casual game through Facebook that players can enjoy and earn rewards for use inside of EQII. The introduction of Fortune League continues SOE’s tradition as an industry leader in online social gaming, bringing a new type of fully integrated MMO title to Facebook; this also marks its fifth release on the platform.
“Fortune League invites players to experience a casual strategy game on Facebook based on the world of EverQuest II while offering the opportunity to reap in-game rewards,” said Dave Georgeson, producer of EverQuest II. “It’s a great way for Facebook users to play a casual game with exciting quests, and even provides the ability to share achievements with their Facebook friends.”
Fortune League is a collaborative effort between SOE’s San Diego studio and Los Angeles-based Fastpoint Games. The social media strategy game brings players the lore and adventure of EQII in real time by integrating performance data such as damages, deaths and healings directly from the MMO environment and utilizes it to form Hero Stats. Fortune League also rewards players’ abilities to assess quests, hero performance, situational threats and other players’ actions in a live trade market and compensates leaders with points, cosmetic upgrades and prizes that can be used in the free-to-play and subscription versions of EQII.
“Sony Online Entertainment is ahead of the curve with the introduction of their premiere EverQuest II franchise to Facebook users,” said Kelly Perdew, CEO of Fastpoint Games. “We worked closely with the SOE team to complement their popular MMO title in a unique, brand-relevant way onto the Facebook platform. Fortune League aims to provide existing players with a fun, new way of engaging with the depth and adventure of EQII, in short, snackable sessions, while also introducing new players and creating a new revenue source for the franchise.”
Be among the first to play the alpha version of Fortune League today at: http://apps.facebook.com/fortuneleague/
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online game console and wireless devices. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, PlanetSide®, and Star Wars Galaxies, as well as the recent kids’ phenomenon Free Realms™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on all entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, and Tucson, AZ, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development across various platforms and genres for audiences of all ages.
SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest and PlanetSide are registered trademarks and Untold Legends and Legends of Norrath are trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
About Fastpoint Games
Fastpoint Games is a leading developer of live data-driven games for the fortune 500 brand set. The company’s award-winning, highly scalable platform and games-as-a-service model enable marquee brands such as Us Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times, Go Daddy and MySpace to provide their fans compelling games across their channels quickly and with minimal resources. Data-driven games invest users in client content and services by making that content central to the entertainment experience and applying motivating game mechanics to engage, reward and monetize their users. Fastpoint Games is privately held and based in Los Angeles, Calif. Investors include Allen & Co., Mission Ventures, DFJ Dragon and Sports Capital Partners Worldwide.
For more information about Fastpoint Games visit www.fastpointgames.com or follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fastpoint-Games/115877845140808 and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/fastpointgames.
New Entity will Leverage RotoHog’s Rich Heritage in Fantasy Sports and Expand Learnings into Entertainment, Social Media, MMO, Politics and Regulated Gaming Markets
LOS ANGELES, November 29, 2010 — Fastpoint Games (www.fastpointgames.com), a developer of data-driven games for businesses in the fortune 500 set, today announced its official launch as the parent company of well-known fantasy sports developer, RotoHog. Under the Fastpoint Games banner, the company will apply RotoHog’s deep understanding of how to create rapidly configurable games using structured data to drive consumer engagement to help brands in other markets like social media, entertainment, MMO, politics and regulated gaming, create games that will grow their audience, engage their users and monetize more effectively than ever before.
“My goal is to introduce the company to new markets that haven’t yet realized the potential value of utilizing live data-driven games to drive participation from their audience,” said Kelly Perdew, CEO of Fastpoint Games. “Those we work with find tremendous value in our model and services.”
For the past 14 months, the company has leveraged its proven technology platform to power games outside of the fantasy sports segment and successfully made traction in the entertainment and casual games space. We have partnered with social media platforms including hi5, Facebook and MySpace, and released 58 games for 16 clients across 21 sports and entertainment seasons for marquee clients including US Weekly, NASCAR, ABC, Los Angeles Times, Go Daddy.com and Sports Illustrated online, to name a few.
“We set out to develop a fun and engaging experience to bring our readers’ interest in celebrity to gaming. Together with Fastpoint Games we developed our Celebrity Fantasy League, now entering its third season,” said Romina Rosado, Executive Producer for Usmagazine.com. “Fastpoint Games is a great partner and made this a turnkey experience for us.”
Fastpoint Games processes millions of bits of data each day and leverages a proprietary cloud-based platform that is inherently more flexible, scalable, and technologically savvy. The proven format allows products to integrate across multiple channels; every component is configurable, making it easy for clients to make changes based on real-time data and feedback from consumers. The company’s experience in developing this type of game, allows for a quick turnaround from concept to delivery, and enables marketers in virtually any industry to meet business goals quickly and effectively.
“During this year’s World Cup, Fastpoint Games engaged a million active players on hi5 by launching their soccer game, World Futbol Challenge, on our platform,” said Kevin Gliner, senior vice president of production at hi5. “Fastpoint Games provides quality, scalable content that our large audience base enjoys playing, and we look forward to bringing more of their games to the hi5 platform. “
The casual games market is estimated to hit $2.25 billion a year with a projected growth of 20 percent annually. According to a recent Nielsen NetView study, Americans spend more time playing games online than interacting with e-mail, logging more than 407 million hours each month.
Fastpoint Games is a privately held company and recently secured $3.9 million in Series C funding from VC fund Mission Ventures. Previous investors include DFJ Dragon, Allen & Company, and SCP Worldwide.
About Fastpoint Games
Fastpoint Games is a leading developer of live data-driven games for the fortune 500 brand set. The company’s award-winning, highly scalable platform and games-as-a-service model enable marquee brands such as US Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times, Go Daddy and MySpace to provide their fans compelling games, across their channels quickly and with minimal resources. Data-driven games invest users in client content and services by making that content central to the entertainment experience and applying motivating game mechanics to engage, reward and monetize their users. Fastpoint Games is privately held and based in Los Angeles, Calif. Investors include Allen & Co, Mission Ventures, DFJ Dragon and Sports Capital Partners Worldwide.
For more information about Fastpoint Games visit www.fastpointgames.com or follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fastpoint-Games/115877845140808 and Twitter @fastpointgames.
Atomic PR for Fastpoint Games
Whether on social networks, mobile apps or gaming hubs, consumers around the globe are engaging with games. But, unlike the past, most gamers aren’t playing solitary games, they are playing branded games in social atmospheres. Not all games are created equally, however, so brands need to know what works and what doesn’t before they log on.
by Kristina Knight
Casual games brings in more than $2 billion each year with an expected annual growth rate of 20%.
“I think that more people are comfortable with game dynamics, the engagement with Facebook and the social games inside is building that comfort level even more,” said Kelly Perdew, CEO of Fastpoint Games. “Game mechanics are applicable over more than just games. We’re looking at more sophisticated rewards programs, educational elements, training programs. Gamer mechanics drive behavior and large organizations are seeing that now. Content hooks [consumers] and once they see the fun factor, they become even more involved.”
What’s more the theory behind gaming can be translated to work within a number of other revenue streams by sending branded messages through a game to engaged consumers.
Fastpoint Games is the leader in fantasy sports games with users averaging 9:40 and just over 10 pageviews per visit. The company has launched 57 games for 15 clients across 21 sports/entertainment seasons over the past 14 months.
“Right now people are becoming very comfortable using micro-payments to play games,” said Perdew. “We have seen that ‘freemium’ models actually generate more revenue than revenue from people playing premium models. Even though [gamers] are making payments that are 1/20th the amount [of premium players], over the course of the game play, we are getting more revenue.”
So, allowing gamers to play for free is one thing brands need to consider while they are in the game creation phase. Another tip, think about where consumers will play, and make allowances based on screen size.
“A lot of people think that Brand A can create the same feel from a desktop [ game] in a mobile device, but mobile is a different place,” said Perdew. “Efforts need to be focused on the things that mobile users want to do on their mobile device - not on the whole game, because putting an entire game on a mobile screen isn’t feasible and won’t transfer.”
Perdew suggests that mobile will become a bigger playing on the gaming front as smartphones become more widespread.
“Users want what they want when they want it. If they want to play a game, they want to play at that moment and not later on,” said Perdew.
Fantasy sports outfit RotoHog has restructured the company to include a new brand name, Fastpoint Games, for its games development business.
The company’s business-to-business segment will carry the new name, with key clients including NASCAR, Sports Illustrated, the United Football League and others well outside the sports industry. The RotoHog brand will be used exclusively for consumer-facing fantasy sports games.
“RotoHog has really strong awareness in the core sports fantasy gaming space, but among our enterprise clients, particularly outside of sports, it actually was something of a liability,” said Kelly Perdew, chief executive for the Los Angeles-based company. “‘Built by RotoHog’ wasn’t necessarily something you wanted with a game like the one we’ve built for Us Magazine and caters almost exclusively to women.”
The new name, logo and corporate identity for Fastpoint Games was developed internally, largely under the guidance of Katrina Osio, who was hired by Perdew earlier this year to be the company’s head of marketing.
“Fastpoint Games is simply something that has a much better, much more versatile, enterprise-type feel,” Perdew said. “It cuts across our various sectors and genres much better. We don’t have to explain away to people what RotoHog means anymore.”
With the split of RotoHog and Fastpoint Games, the company also has closed an additional round of venture capital funding, for an undisclosed amount of money. Roughly a year ago, the company secured a $2 million Series C round of funding from longtime backer Mission Ventures. A separate $2 million Series B round in March 2009 also involved Mission Ventures. The company’s core group of investors also is leading the new round, Perdew said, and a formal announcement of the funding is expected later this year.
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
’Tis the season for sports, turkey and thanks. On that note, I want to take this opportunity to thank RotoHog’s partners, vendors, investors and employees for contributing to our most productive year ever and share some new and exciting developments.
First, we repositioned the company and will be doing business as Fastpoint Games moving forward. Fastpoint Games is focused on building live, data-driven, multi-platform games for clients to engage, reward and monetize their audience. By leveraging our fantasy sports expertise in developing games around statistics and live scoring, we are able to provide clients gaming solutions around any set of live, structured data to deeply engage, reward and monetize their audiences.
Second, a year ago we set some very aggressive goals for our company: extend our reach to new business sectors, broaden our game offering to include social and casual solutions around any set of structured data, expand our international presence, and streamline our proprietary game platform to deliver quality, scalable and flexible solutions for our clients quickly. I am proud to report that we made significant strides in each of these areas.
• Since launching our new platform, just over a year ago, we have developed and operated an impressive 58 games for 16 clients, across 21 sports and entertainment seasons.
• When I last wrote in June, we had recently launched games for Us Weekly and “The Bachelor.” Since then we delivered casual sports games for Sports Illustrated, Bloomberg Sports, and the Los Angeles Times; extended fantasy sports games to new niche sports including games for UFL and AVP; and, continue our casual game solution for the entertainment sector with a second season of Celebrity Fantasy League and a soon-to-be announced game for the MMO gaming audience.
• We extended our experience and offering in social gaming mechanics; developing and operating several games in Facebook, hi5 and MySpace.
• Since June, we released three games introducing international players to fantasy sports, collectively reaching over one and a half million users across Asia, Latin America and Europe. Games revolved around World Cup and the English Premier League matches.
• We implemented several “best practices” and configurable game formats to streamline our game development process and can move from contract to game delivery in as little as four weeks, without compromising quality.
• In the last two months, we introduced a new syndicated gaming option for independent publishers who desire a turn-key game solution. More than 12 companies have already opted for this model and there are more on the horizon.
• Additionally, the team extended our monetization solutions beyond freemium and premium models to include virtual goods.
While we embrace our heritage and continue to power award-wining fantasy games, we look forward to the exciting challenges ahead as we move onward with this venture and expand our reach to other industries that want to use online games to interact and engage with their customers. Stay tuned for more news about new partnerships, expanded social gaming solutions and further developments in the international market.
As always, thanks for your continued support, it is very much appreciated. If there is anything we can assist with or questions we can answer please do not hesitate to reach out. And I’d love your feedback on our new look and feel at www.fastpointgames.com.
CEO, Fastpoint Games