Reinvention of the Digital Strategy: Facebook Acquires Spool Team

Spool – Mobile Social Bookmarking Tool

Successful companies have a history of making acquisitions. The act of acquiring companies by big players in the industry has its reasons associated. It is either to dilute the competition posed by a certain player or to gain access to the wonderful product/service a company (one that is acquired) possesses. Successful strategy is an investment that can either be catastrophic or may take a lifetime to reached the initial projected ROI. As doing business holds equal chances of meeting success or approaching failure, companies which have been acquiring players similar to them also have a history to be successful. However, it has costed them tons and loads of money.

Nowadays. we live in an age where digital media has revolutionized business and a simple nobody has been granted rights to come up with a breathtaking service and compete directly with a giant. There is substantial evidence to support this claim. Take the example of Google. Launching in 1997, it took a very short time to become the widely known search engine worldwide, debunking Yahoo as the market leader in search arena. The outburst of media has made companies more vigilant which keep their eyeballs open to assess competition in order to stay on top. They also exercise diverse strategies to retain a competitive advantage which is so dear to them.

Acquisition of entire companies can be a hectic process. It involves plenty of resource investment. Now, to combat the challenge of competition, Facebook has exercised a strategy that is successful, cost effective and productive in the long term. Instead of acquiring companies, Facebook has started to acquire product teams behind a successful product. Over the weekend, reported that Facebook picked up the Spool team, the same team which set standards within mobile social bookmarking. Spool stated that it will be shutting down its service and will follow its vision “to make content easy to consume on a mobile device”. It is a move by Facebook to get access to the expertise of the mobile software development at Spool and cash it in its own backyard.

Facebook has been facing a hard time in the mobile sphere and is yet to come up with a strategy which allows it to excel in terms of advertising and content sharing. It is critical to Facebook as content consumption across mobile is increasing and Facebook is severely challenged to monetize this channel.

With the help of the Spool software development team, it remains to be seen if Facebook will thrive in mobile. However, what has to be acknowledged is Facebook’s strategic vision. It has devised a way to attract top-tier professionals to its premises. This is not only cost-effective with respect to acquiring entire companies but it also allows it to get the expertise of successful professionals within the field in which it operates.

Company of Heroes Open Beta is Online!

Any fan of World War II based games will definitely know Company of Heroes (CoH). Relic Entertainment’s real time strategy (RTS) opus featured magnificent tactical controls laced with a terrific storyline and gameplay experience. Leading either the Able Company or the Fox Company of the US Army, players were promoted to the rank of field commander to lead their men to victory. The standalone expansion packs Tales of Valor and Opposing Fronts also added tremendous replay value in terms of new armies as well as new multiplayer modes.


Now, Relic has opened its door to beta participants for Company of Heroes: Online. This free-to-play take on the brilliant RTS series apparently allows you the same amount of action and strategic control along with a touch of personalization that is common among online games:-

Choose from six different combat doctrines, each with its own strengths and combat styles. Customize your army and enter each conflict with your own unique set of battle-tested Heroes, unit upgrades, and devastating Commander Abilities.

Since this game will be free-to-play, the beta is also free-to-play. Which means you can dive into the game right this instant!

Quite coincidentally (not), Steam has put up a sale of all the CoH titles for $12.49. That’s 75% off, number-crunchers! So, which one will it be today for you?

Sacraboar on Impulse just for $4!

Real Time Pig Capturing Strategy is now a few mouse clicks away from you!
When I heard the name Sacraboar, I thought it would be yet another fantasy game about a sacred boar and — what? A sacred boar? Pig capturing strategy?


That’s right, in this game, you are given a set of units and you have to defend your boar while trying to capture the enemy’s boar. This is an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game that has no pesky resource gathering and all the other oddoties. It’s like chess only it’s in 3D, it’s indie and it has pigs. Needless to say, this is aimed for the multiplayer folks and its matchmaking and advancement interfaces are very similar to soccer tourneys.

Sacraboar screenie

This great indie game is available on Impulse for $3.99. Yes! Amazing piggy gaming for dirt cheap prices!

Worms Reloaded Beta Signups Open

More Worminess! (Or was it Wormsishness?) Worms Reloaded’s Steam community is bustling with activity. Yes, this is in relation to the cryptic Beta signup that we talked about a couple of days ago. Yes, it is a closed beta and yes you need to do something to get into it. What precisely do you have to do to get in on it?

The Team 17 admin has posted clear cut instructions in the community post:-

If you want to be in with a chance to join the Beta ranks all you need to do is send an email to [email protected] with the subject Worms Reloaded Beta Test.
You then need to include in the email your Steam ID and what country you are from. And that’s it.


Do remember that your Steam ID is NOT the same as your Steam username. If you do not know what your Steam ID is, simply go to Steamcalculator, put in your username and your Steam ID will come up on the screen. Do remember that you need to be a member of the Worms Reloaded Steam community to get in on this beta. Moreover, the signups will close by tomorrow 1:24 PM IST! So do send that email fast!

Have fun playing it guys!

Galcon Coming to the iPad

Indie gaming + true cross-platform multiplayer + casual strategy = MegaAwesomeWin (MAW). If you did not buy the Indie Game pack on Steam that I told you about a few thousand years ago, then you have made a grave mistake. Well, guess what? Phil Hassey, the maker of the Galcon games, has had an iPhone version for quite some time now (from where the desktop Galcon and Galcon Fusion evolved from, if I am not mistaken) and has been working on an iPad version.


Galcon fusion is a space-strategy game in which you control planets that produce triangular ships that can be used to conquer other planets. A very simple setting with a variety of different modes and fast-paced multiplayer action that forces you to make split-second decisions make this game a must buy for anyone who is looking for casual strategy. If you are going to own an iPad in the future, this game will also feature cross-platform support!

In his own words:-

Even more exciting news is that Galcon Fusion is coming to the iPad!   This means that Galcon will be the first truly cross-platform real time multiplayer strategy game for the iPad. Players will be able to share the same servers with people using PC, Mac, and Linux.   The iPad version of Galcon is shaping up to be the perfect hybrid between desktop Galcon and iPhone Galcon, with larger maps, more options, up to 12 players per server, hi-def graphics, and other features before available only on the desktop version, yet also featuring the unique touch screen interface and multi-touch capabilities of the iPhone

If there was a time when I’d actually appreciate the iPad for what it is, it would be now. This is nothing short of awesome!

Kalypso’s Strategy Collection on Sale on 50% off!

Ah, those were the days when I used to call up my friends and discuss strategies involving the demolition of a German-controlled dam. Yes, I am speaking of the Commandos games tactical strategy at its finest. There were no scarce resources to be worried about, nor were there buildings to construct and units to train. There were your commandos, and there was the mission and the enemies surrounding it. It was sheer brilliance. Now, is selling the Commandos as well as other great strategy titles from publisher Kalypso Media Digital for a whopping 50% off. If you buy a single game separately, you get a 30% discount nothing short of awesome!


Commandos Ammo Pack: Strategy? Ha, Commandos players will laugh in the face of the current strategy. Nothing was more challenging as religiously studying the enemy’s movements, strategizing and executing the entire orchestra in one swift and brutal swoop. Yet, nothing was more satisfying. As the commander of an elite troop of commandos deep behind enemy lines, your missions were of sabotage, skullduggery and assassination. This is one of the best tactical strategies set in World War II that I have ever played. Buy it!


Commandos 2+3: With advancements in graphics, Pyro Studios did not forget about gameplay. Commandos 2 packed the same amount of cunning and challenge as its predecessor did. However, Commandos 3 did not quite live up to expectations with its control problems. Nevertheless they are both excellent games.


Imperial Glory: Europe is yours for the taking in this time of strife. Do what it takes to gain Imperial glory as you build, maintain and dominate empires. With all the elements of strategy thrown in for good measure, this is a great game by Pyro Studios.


Port Royale: ASCARON’s pirate game was in many ways similar to Sid Meier’s Pirates! but had a little more economy management and less action. With 4 different timelines based on real historical events, this game had quite a lot of piracy involved (no puns intended) when it was released.


Praetorians: The Roman Empire, the battlefields of Egypt, Gaul minus Asterix and Italy during the Crusades. The Praetorians has all this and much more as you prepare yourself for a war of domination during the tumultuous times of the Roman Empire.


The Patrician 1+2: Do not like battles and warfare? Well, The Patrician games are just for you. Two great trading sims set in the backdrop of the Hanseatic League, maritime trade is your profession and piracy and diplomacy are your weapons!


Tropico Reloaded: Political sim? Ah, yes! Tropico was the definitive political simulation game as you controlled your Caribbean banana republic. Fight poverty, rebellions and the occasional urge to rip away your computer in frustration as a tropical storm hits your shores as you play this game!

Buy the Kalypso strategy collection on!

Total Annihilation on Impulse for $9.99

When Cavedog Entertainment created Total Annihilation in 1997, little did they know that they will be paving the way for games such as Supreme Commander, the development of the Spring engine and the entire 3D strategy genre altogether. Yes, Atari’s Total Annihilation was the first 3D top-down strategy game and runs fine in any resolution even now. The best thing about the Impulse release is that they will be releasing the game, the Core Contingency expansion and will be adding support for the multiplayer aspect as well as incorporating Impulse Reactor and other fan-made releases into the official release. The following line from Stardock pretty much sums it up.

In other words, we’re treating Total Annihilation similarly to a newly released title with ongoing updates wherever possible.


The graphics are an eyesore but it does not matter if you really like the genre. The community for this really old game is still going strong with fan-made mods and additions. The Spring engine was a spin-off open source engine powering a great number of Total Annihilation mods and a few non-TA games as well.


You can grab Total Annihilation on Impulse for $9.99 and get in on the action immediately. if you are still unsure, you can download the demo and play it. Get ready to experience total warfare!

Total War Mega Pack 66% Off on Steam

Seeing how Valve’s digital distribution site Steam ropes in buyers with constant sales, it is no surprise as the five huge Total War games (the huge here is redundant the Total War series is known for its scale). Where other strategy games scale down units and squads, this game makes no compromise on the matter. Command armies and send them to decimate fortresses and battle in the open for dominion over the region. With Empire, Medieval II and Rome, this combination pack of games is a great deal for $20.39 till the 15th of February.


The games included are:-

Empire: Total War: Command legions of men in the 18th century for colonial domination. This is one of the highest rated Total War games and can also be bought standalone for $10.19. If you have the rest of the games, buy this for it is an experience to play.


Medieval II: Total War: Ever wanted to direct an epic battle featuring 10,000 soldiers on an epic battleground? This is the closest you can get to the huge scenarios involving the Middle-East, Africa, Asia and the New World as you rewrite the history of the world!


Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms: The expansion to the previous game, this one does what it is supposed to expands countries, territories and units to fulfill all your cravings for more war!


Rome: Total War Gold: Conquer the Roman empire and crush the barbarians, or seize the Roman empire with your barbaric hordes. Epic has been an oft-repeated adjective for this series!


Rome: Total War Alexander: An expansion to Rome: Total War Gold this tantalizing game allows you to create the humungous Alexandrian Empire from Macedonia to the borders of India. Play as the Persians, Greeks or Indians in this expansion!


This entire package, usually priced at $59.99 is available to you at the price of $20.39 only on Steam until the 15th of February! So hurry!

Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun Released for Free

The Command & Conquer series of games have always been pet games of the strategic gaming crowd. Truth to be said there was nothing more satisfying than a sneaky and stealthy Nod victory over those bumbling GDI forces (although I have had my share of defeats in the hands of berserk GDI commanders who eliminated my long-range guns before I got to build my SAMs). Ah, those were the days! However, you can now indulge in the nostalgia of three great C&C games downloaded straight from EA’s website! Yes, while Red Alert was launched for free to mark the 13th anniversary, and Tiberian Dawn was released a few years ago for free as well, as of yesterday the 12th of February 2010, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun has become free to download from EA’s website! And did I mention that you will be getting the Firestorm expansion free as well? I guess I did not!


Without further ado, here is the sort of intro you would get behind the boxes if you had picked it up a few years ago:-


Set in the early 21st century, Tiberian Sun once again pits the Global Defense Initiative against the Brotherhood of Nod in a struggle for control of the planet. With an epic storyline that unfolds as play progresses, players learn the reasons behind the worldwide outbreak of Tiberium and what happened to the notorious Nod leader Kane, who was presumed dead at the end of the first Command & Conquer.


It’s time to head up the Firestorm task force. Nod’s experiments have unknowingly released a horde of cybernetic nightmares upon the world. As GDI and Nod scramble to save themselves, they realize their only salvation lies in the unthinkable.

All of this makes me want to act like Invader Zim and let out an evil laugh of world domination!


As Kane would say: The Tiberian Sun has risen!


Download Tiberian Sun and Firestorm from EA’s website and make sure to follow the installation instructions!