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WildTangent is a game network, privately held in the United States that powers game services for several PC manufacturers including HP, Dell, Toshiba, Gateway and Lenovo. Collectively, WildTangent’s owned and operated service reaches over 20 million monthly gamers in the United States and Europe with a catalog of more than 1000 games from nearly 100 developers.
The company also manages the advertising sales for a group of gaming properties including Mochi Media, Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms, PopCap, PlayFirst, Jagex’s RuneScape and FunOrb properties, as well as Artix’s AdventureQuest, DragonFable and MechQuest properties.
The company owns a patent portfolio covering in-game advertising and game delivery technologies and operates CPM-based advertising campaigns for more than 50 US brands.
WildTangent monetizes online game play through a combination of digital retail purchase, subscription, advertising and micro-transactions using a proprietary micro-currency solution called WildCoins.
WildCoins are a micro-currency launched by WildTangent in the fall of 2006 to give gamers a way to pay for gameplay other than full retail purchase. WildCoins work like quarters used at a traditional arcade. Gamers can purchase WildCoins and use them to play any games on the network. Each time the gamer inserts the required number of coins, he or she can play the game for up to 24 hours, or until the user voluntarily exits the game, without having to use more WildCoins.
Advertisers can also purchase WildCoins and sponsor free game sessions. If the gamer agrees to see a short video advertisement while the game is loading, the advertiser will insert WildCoins making the game free to the player.
The WildCoins model allows customers to rent individual game titles, some of which can only be rented through the WildTangent catalog of nearly 1,000 games. Titles that are available for rent exclusively through the WildTangent console include Torchlight, Defense Grid, Raven Squad, World of Goo, Plants vs. Zombies, and Bejeweled.
In November 2008, the company launched a subscription program called WildClub which offers customers access to the company’s patented digital currency, called WildCoins™. WildClub offers three tiers of membership: 2-month, 6-month and 12-month which vary in price from $9.99-$6.99. WildClub customers receive 50 WildCoins each month of their membership.
On October 24, 2009 WildTangent crossed the one million daily download threshold, less than one year after the launch of its popular WildClub program.
WildTangent's catalog includes nearly 1,000 games from 3rd-party developers.
Approximately 30 of the games in the WildTangent catalog were produced by the company's own WildTangent Game Studios. The rest of the games on the WildTangent Game Network are from other game developers and publishers.
Originally, WildTangent produced advergames for various companies, including Nike, Coke, and Ford. The company no longer develops advergames. WildTangent used to be a publisher of Sandlot Games. But now, it's only the distributor due to the rebrand of Sandlot Games.
Users have complained that the company's products have an adverse effect on their PC's performance or are intrusive to the user's experience. PC Magazine wrote in 2004 that although the program was "not very" evil, some privacy complaints were justified as the program's user manual states that it may collect name, address, phone number, e-mail, and other contact information without the user's consent and could distribute the collected information with the user's consent. Concerns were also raised about the software's self-updating feature. Some popular antispyware programs detect the program during their scans, such as Spybot which classifies it as a potentially unwanted program. WildTangent asserts that the software bundle is safe, but many antispyware programs classify it as adware/spyware, mainly because it reports activity and machine specifications to WildTangent servers, in order to more finely tune games and services to casual gamers.
Some users complain that the WildTangent software is difficult to uninstall, although the company packages an uninstaller with the program. To remove a WildTangent installation that was initiated by an end user, the user might be able to use the Add/Remove functionality in Windows or third-party spyware and adware removal tools. However, in cases where the OEM (such as HP) has installed the software on Windows 7, the software has been made intentionally difficult to uninstall by obfuscating files and preventing a complete uninstall from the Remove Programs applet.[ ]
- ↑ http://www.wildgames.com/wildclub
- ↑ http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/10/prweb3120704.htm
- ↑ http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/11/prweb3146634.htm
- ↑ http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2331290,00.asp
- ↑ http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1601598,00.asp
- ↑ http://www.safer-networking.org/en/threats/234.html
- ↑ http://www.safer-networking.org/en/updatehistory/2008-08-27.html
- ↑ http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=74109