Micropayments appear on Android

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Microtransactions aren’t anything new to the PC/360/PS3 market or even the iPhone, but for the Android options were rather limited. Well today Sibblingz anounced that they will be bringing the first Microtransaction system to Android in their Facebook integrated app: Happy Island.

Microtransactions can be something great or something terrible depending on how well it’s implemented, giving away a free game and then charging a small amount for level packs is often the preferred way to go on mobile devices, rather than the less preferred way of charging $4-$5 for extra protection for a virtual horse. Happy Island looks to follow the usual Facebook method of charging you $2-$4 for virtual goods so you can beat your friends, which might not be in my taste but judging by how well the billion dollar company Zenga is doing there’s going to be some people who are super in to this.

The full press release follows:

Social Gaming Engine, Sibblingz, Focuses on Making Money on Mobile
Happy Island becomes world’s first freemium social game with Micro-Transactions across Facebook, iOS and Android

Burlingame, Calif.- Oct 20, 2010- Sibblingz is announcing today that after bringing the hit social game, Happy Island, from PC to the iPhone, iPad and Android, they’ve now launched in app purchases for the title. Once only available for purchase, the game is now downloadable free of charge and utilizes the same microtransactions on all three platforms. Happy Island uses Facebook, iOS, and Android, with the payment mechanisms Facebook credits, iTunes, and Google checkout respectively.

Launched in May, Sibblingz is a social gaming company that aims to give developers the ability to build a game that works across all Facebook and mobile devices using the exact same user data and social context by leveraging Facebook Connect. This includes functionality on Facebook, Android, iPods, iTouches, iPads and websites.

Sibblingz is focusing on monetizing mobile game companions to popular social titles on Facebook. CrowdStar’s Happy Island, which pulls in about 7 million MAU on Facebook, now has microtransactions on iOS using in app purchases, and micro transactions on Android Google checkout is coming later this week.

“Taking Happy Island from Facebook to the mobile world as a freemium product is a definitive step in making Sibblingz a complete trans-platform social gaming solution,” says Ben Savage, Founder of Sibblingz. “Now that the mobile game features premium virtual goods with micro transactions, it will give users a complete social gaming experience: play and spend anytime, anywhere.”

With virtual goods capabilities on Sibblingz, Happy Island users will be able to access the in-game store and acquire bazaars, beach bungalows, and bakeries from their mobile devices. Earlier mobile Happy Island users were charged for the app. With this latest version, they pay noting for the app but have access to virtual goods.

“We hope the success of Happy Island’s jump to the freemium model on mobile will set an example for other developers and brands interested in taking their game cross-platform,“ says Peter Relan, Executive Chairman of Sibblingz. “Sibblingz is pioneering the way to a world where your social game goes with you from your office to your car to your living room.”

About Sibblingz:
Sibblingz is a YouWeb incubated social games technology firm with offices in Burlingame, California. The company offers the first game engine made for the multi-device world enabling developers to take advantage of the massive growth in PC and mobile social game adoption. The Sibblingz platform gives developers the ability to build a social game that plays across all devices including uninterrupted game play. Games built on Sibblingz, enable consumers to play a specific game and continue the experience across the most popular PC platform such as Facebook as well mobile platforms including Google’s Android and Apple’s iDevices.

About the Author

Mark Dell
I have been writing about video games for many years and I love to be able to take them with me on my HTC EVO. I'm here to help you decide where best to spend your money on some of the great games in the Android Marketplace.

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