Social Gaming Roundup: Unity, Tagged, Green Games & More
Unity Technologies Partners with GREE — Unity Technologies has made its way to Japan through a partnership with mobile-social games platform, GREE. Through the partnership, GREE will be allowed to distribute a limited number of licenses for the development platform at no cost to its Japanese development partners, thus aiding Unity in its expansion into the Japanese gaming market. Unity has also announced the opening of Unity Technologies Japan in Tokyo where it will serve as a sales, localization, and support center.
Tagged Unveils New Social Game — Tagged has announced the launch of its new social game, Elections. A social management type of game, players invest into projects that will hopefully return them votes, hiring other players and friends to perform jobs for that project. The game is Tagged’s first social game since it launched its in-house game development studio under Tagged General Manager of Social Games Andrew Pedersen.
6waves Publishes Wild Card Football — 6waves is publishing a new Facebook game from developer Bat Bridge Interactive. Wild Card Football is a fantasy-style sports game that allows users to collect players, manage their positions, create leagues with friends, and even improve player performances with a few well placed power-ups.
Nickelodeon Launches First Facebook Game — Nickelodeon’s Virtual Worlds Group has launched its first app on Facebook, Neopets: Treasure Keepers. Based on the Neopets virtual world, the game allows players to build and manage their own online shop, venture out on up to 60 quests and collect and sell over 500 items.
TeePee Games Raises Funds with Freddie for a Day Campaign — Discovery platform TeePee Games has announced its Freddie for a Day campaign to raise money for Aids charity, The Mercury Phoenix Trust. During Monday of this week, the company donated 20% of all profits earned through either TeePeeGames.com or its Facebook application.
More Social Games Go Green With Trash Tycoon — VentureBeat has highlighted yet another new Facebook game title called Trash Tycoon from Guerillapps. The game seeks to teach the concepts of “upcycling” as users clean up trash around a virtual community and try to transform it into a bustling and successful town. The app is sponsored by recycling company TerraCycle.
Amazon Seeks Social Game Developers — According to Reuters, Amazon is looking to enter the social media space, having already hired John Yurcisin for developing the company’s social strategies. Now, it is building a Social Games Group, as Reuters cites a poster from Amazon’s new Seattle campus. The poster notes a seeking of software development engineers and Flash developers. Moreover, Amazon has posted social games jobs on both LinkedIn and Dice.com. Amazon was looking for a social game designer as early as last spring.
Sulake Hires Former Playdom Executive, Paul LaFontaine — Sulake, the developer behind Habbo Hotel has announced the hiring of former Playdom vice president of global distribution, Paul LaFontaine, as its new CEO. According to Reuters, the hire is intended to help Sulake push into the realm of social gaming.
Playfish Shuts Down Restaurant City on Mixi — Gamebiz has reported that another successful U.S. company isn’t doing too well in Japan. Playfish has announced that it will be shutting down its Japanese version of Restaurant City on Mixi come October 7th.
Mayfield Fund snags game investor Tim Chang as managing director — Prominent social game investor Tim Chang has left Norwest Venture Partners to become a managing director at the Mayfield Fund, VentureBeat reports. He’s now the sixth managing director at Mayfield.
Nexon America publishes Wonder Cruise for Facebook — MapleStory developer Nexon wasn’t quite ready to debut its second Facebook game so soon after launching MapleStory Adventures — but a Korean Gaming Industry blog caught wind of it.
Zynga Killing 4 Underperforming Facebook Games — Games.com reports that Zynga is sunsetting Warstorm, Scramble, Pathwords, and Word Twist as of September 30th due to poor performance. Warstorm players will be able to transfer their balance plus 10% to any other Zynga game of their choice, players can receive additional bonuses for migrating to CityVille or Empires & Allies. Zynga’s newest game, Adventure World, just launched yesterday right after it’s next game in development, Kingdoms & Quests, was outed by a support page.