RockYou

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RockYou
Rockyou logo.png
Type Private
Founded Late 2005
Headquarters Redwood City, California
Key people Lance Tokuda and Jia Shen: co-founders; Lisa Marino: CEO
Services software applications
Website www.rockyou.com
Alexa rank negative increase 147,182 (April 2014)[1]
Type of site social networking
Available in English
Current status active

RockYou is a developer of social games and advertising products for social media. RockYou is involved in the development of social game titles, including Gourmet Ranch and the Zoo World franchise. Their advertising products are claimed to allow brands to interact with players in-game, supposedly "adding value-per-engagement for both brands and users".[citation needed]

History[edit]

Based in San Francisco, California, RockYou was founded in 2005 by Lance Tokuda and Jia Shen. The company's first product, a slide show service, was designed to work as an application widget. Later applications included various forms of voice mail, text and photo stylization, and games. As of December, 2007 it is the most successful widget maker for the Facebook platform in terms of total installations.

In May, 2007, RockYou was one of the companies invited to participate in F8, the event at which Facebook announced an open platform allowing third parties to develop and operate their own software applications on the Facebook website. Applications made for Facebook include Super Wall,[2] "Hug Me", Likeness, Vampires, Slideshows, Birthdays, MyGifts, and Emote, among others.[3]

RockYou then moved on to developing more complex social applications for Facebook, including Hero World, My Casino, Zoo World, and Toyland.

In October 2010, the company completed major layoffs and began to focus on higher quality social games.[4] In November, 2010, the company's founder and CEO, Lance Tokuda, stepped down from his position as CEO.[5] Over the next several months, RockYou announced the acquisitions of two game development studios, TirNua[6] and Playdemic,[7] as well as development agreements for two new games from John Romero's social game studio Loot Drop.[8] Playdemic's first game, Gourmet Ranch, was nominated in February 2011 for a Mochi Award for Best Social Game.

In April, 2011, Lisa Marino was appointed the new CEO of RockYou.[9]

RockYou's investors include SoftBank, Sequoia Capital,[10] Lightspeed Venture Partners, Partech International,[11] and DCM.

On June 13, 2012, RockYou acquired Bingo developer Ryzing[12] and relocated its headquarters to San Francisco, CA.[13] In August 2012, RockYou launched The Walking Dead Social Game based on AMC's hit series of the same name.[14]

Two other RockYou games were released in 2013: RockYou Poker (PC) and Movie Blitz (PC, Mobile), a movie quiz game that tests players’ ability to name a movie as quickly as possible by viewing a clip from its trailer.[15]

Controversy[edit]

In December 2009, the company experienced a data breach resulting in the exposure of over 32 million user accounts. In the controversy, it was revealed that the company failed to comply with the most basic security standards. The company stored all user account data in plain text in its database, unencrypted, exposing all that information to attackers. They also only required a five-character password, and did not permit the special characters that security experts recommend including in passwords. They then would e-mail the password to their users, despite the inherent insecurity of e-mail. The crackers used a SQL vulnerability that had been documented for over ten years. The security breach also revealed passwords to outside websites, such as Facebook and MySpace.

Rockyou was also criticized for its communication with users. It hadn't sent a notice to users days after the breach, and incorrectly reported that it only affected older applications when it actually affected all Rockyou users.[16]

Zoo World[edit]

RockYou's most played game, Zoo World is a free social media application where users try to build the best zoo they can. Participants can build on various islands, decorate their zoo with kiosks, trees, and a large variety of animals. In addition, it has features such as breeding animals, collecting objects, and visiting friend's zoo islands. The act of leveling up is based on achievements of tasks. Also, users can earn wildlife points, a bonus reward that can be used to buy special items, like ultra rare animals, and rare decorative items. Wildlife points can be earned by breeding animals, completing levels and trophies, or bought via PayPal or credit card. Lastly, around each holiday there are events, new animals, and new items to add to the zoo.

In May 2011, RockYou announced that Zoo World 2, the sequel to the original Zoo World, would be available on Facebook on June 8, 2011.

Current Social Games[edit]

  • Bingo By Ryzing
  • Bingo Blingo
  • RockYou Poker
  • Mall World
  • Fashion Designer
  • Zoo World
  • Zoo World 2
  • City Girl Life
  • Words of Wonder
  • Gardens of Time
  • Zombie Lane
  • Millionaire City
  • Crazy Penguin Wars
  • Kitchen Scramble

Past Social Applications and Games[edit]

  • Pieces of Flair
  • Horoscopes
  • RockYou Live
  • Speed Racing
  • Birthday Cards
  • Hug Me
  • Hero World
  • My Casino
  • Toy Land
  • Super Pets
  • Movie Blitz
  • The Walking Dead Social Game
  • Jackpot Bingo

RockYou Executive Team[edit]

  • Lisa Marino, CEO
  • Jia Shen, CEO of RockYou Asia
  • Josh Grant, Chief Operating Officer
  • Ed Zobrist, General Manager, Publishing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rockyou.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ Brad Stone (October 4, 2007). "In Facebook, Investing In a Theory". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  3. ^ Ellen Lee (September 3, 2007). "Widgets add flair to dress up Web sites". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  4. ^ techcrunch.com
  5. ^ techcrunch.com
  6. ^ gamesindustry.biz
  7. ^ techcrunch.com
  8. ^ venturebeat.com
  9. ^ insidesocialgames.com
  10. ^ "Sequoia Capital funds RockYou". 
  11. ^ "News". Partech International. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ http://rockyou.com/ry/allgames
  16. ^ techcrunch.com

External links[edit]