Let's Play Some Games Today

I had some technical issues with this blog yesterday afternoon that got in the way of doing this as part of my post on our newest investment Heyzap.

So I figured we can do it today instead. I’ve selected a bunch of strategy games from the Heyzap collection and they are available via the widget below. Try it out and let me know what you think.

I’m thinking about making a Heyzap games widget a permanent fixture in the right sidebar and I’d like to hear your thoughts on that too as well as what kinds of games you might like me to include in it.

heyzap.com – embed games

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#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Spencer Fry

    I haven’t really checked out Heyzap, and maybe this exists, but it’d be neat if there was a leader board specifically for each blog/website a game was embedded on.

    1. andrewparker

      I wholeheartedly agree. Think back to the original arcades… when you played Frogger at your local pizza joint, the leaderboard was a local leaderboard of other people that had played on that machine. It would have been too frustrating for everyone to try to compete on a global level. Site-specific leaderboards is a great idea, just like the original arcades did.

      1. Spencer Fry

        Exactly! I’d love to compete against the other commentators on this blog, but don’t really care about competing against the Web as a whole.It would be even more cool if it linked to your Disqus profile. 🙂 Imagine that!

  2. dodeca

    I love the concept, but the long load times are a bit of downer. Also, I expected to play it right in the widget and not as a lightbox. With that said, the gameplay was pretty fun.

  3. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    Fred, just a quick thought: I think Heyzap is a fun and interesting company, but there are just way too damn many widgets on your blog already. Despite its elegant design, that makes it long to load and it’s not unusual for a script to break it. Please don’t add another widget.

    1. Nick Molnar

      I agree. That would be just one more slip down the slope towards your old blog design where I could read a whole article before the sidebar finished loading.

      1. fredwilson

        I need a widget rotation scheme where only one or two load per page view

  4. domainvestors

    Very cool concept and I’m surprised at how quickly the games load! I’m not a big gamer but did really enjoy strategy games when I was younger. I encountered an error with Warlords – loaded fine at first and then blacked-out three-quarters of the screen so I could only see the top quarter.I’m using a Mac so assume it might have something to do with that.Might be cool to have on the site – it is definitely an interesting concept! With so many people that read your blog I’m sure you have a good amount of gamers that would certainly make use of this! If there was a way you could tie-in analytics to the system it would be very interesting to know what % of your visitors play and which games they pick!

  5. Benjamin Stingle

    Very interesting concept, Fred. Expanding the presence of casual games beyond the portal is the way to go. The question that interests me more, however, is not Where people find games, but Why they choose to play them. Hint: I’ve long found the best casual games through Delicious, and my own RSS feeds.

  6. Ed Freyfogle

    Love the blog and the comments from the community. Hate the widgets and crazy load time. Less is more.

  7. Tom Hughes

    I think for this to work, the game designers will need to develop games that are more instant-pickup games — games you can play with zero learning curve. “Boomshine” comes closest — you need to do one thing, which is click in the right place, and everything else happens. It also loads quickly; loading time will be an issue. My suspicion is that the game publishers approached this like the ad network people do: “here is a box, fill it with creative.” That works OK for ads but less well for games, which are (relative to ads) heavyweight Flash objects, with corresponding longer load times. Finally, I think bloggers and webmasters will want control over which games appear, more than they would want control over ads. Everyone understands that ads are placed without reference to editorial relevance; the expectation will be higher for games. For example, on our web properties, a tower-defense game or Tolkien-flavored game would be an unwelcome distraction, but something that relates to trading stocks or foreign-exchange or similar would go over very well. So we would need the ability to filter games by category or even curate individual titles.All that said, these issues feel surmountable, and the core concept is super-promising. I second the comment about site-specific leaderboards and the analogy to the video game at the local pizza shop. The reverse might also be appealing: it would be interesting to see the leaderboard for (say) World of WarCraft, filtered to the audience of a specific site. How many of your readers have levelled up?

    1. fredwilson

      All great points Tom. Thanks for sharing themHeyzap does give a lot of selection for the blogger and publisher so that’s the one point that I feel they’ve got a pretty good handle onThe rest are challenges that they’ll need to overcome

  8. lawrence coburn

    There was a well funded company called Bunchball that tried something similar a few years ago, but ended up changing directions. Here’s a review I wrote of Bunchball – there’s some interesting commentary from the founder on why they ended up going to a B2B2C model.http://www.sexywidget.com/m…Granted, it’s a different time now.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks for the link!

  9. rod edwards

    Fred, does HeyZap have any barriers to entry, or means of locking in early mover advantage? i.e.: what’s to prevent Yahoo Games (http://games.yahoo.com/free… from widgetizing their inventory and steamrolling smaller players? It strikes me that HeyZap is pretty exposed.

    1. fredwilson

      Totally exposed unless they continue to innovate faster than their competition, both current and coming

  10. momo1984

    Thanks for the post, I appreciate it.