Social gaming news roundup: Amazon, Tagged and DeNA
Tagged sunsetting hi5’s gaming network – Social network Tagged has revealed what it will be doing with hi5, the rival social network it acquired in December. According to an interview on TechCrunch, the company will be sunsetting hi5’s gaming platform and replacing it with games developed by the Tagged team.
Zynga to release fourth quarter results on Valentines Day – Zynga has announced it will hold its first earnings call as a public company on Tuesday, February 14th. The company will discuss its financial results for the full year of 2011 and its fourth quarter. The call is scheduled for 2:00 pm pacific, after the close of the stock market.
Amazon still hiring for mobile, social gaming - Amazon is ramping up its hiring of game developers for both mobile and social games, according to job postings spotted by Xconomy. The company’s a2z arm has positions open for mobile game developers, and in Seattle the company is recruiting specifically for social game positions. Last May Amazon posted a job for a game designer to lead the company in creating mobile and social games, which lead to the hiring of game industry vet Jonathan Tweet. While Amazon has been working on its gaming project for a number of months, so far no details have emerged.
Social game school opening in Japan – Japan is getting a school specifically designed to help developers create social games according to Japanese industry watcher Serkan Toto. The aptly named Social Game Academy will open in April in Tokyo’s trendy Roppongi Hills district.
The Sims Social is surprisingly sexy – According to some fun statistics released by EA, since the Sims Social debuted on Facebook, more than 11 million dirty jokes have been told and more than 70 million love confessions have been made. EA also noted that Sims in the game ‘woohoo’ more than 680,000 times a day.
Konami releasing Star Wars social game – Siliconera is reporting Konami will be releasing a social game based on the Star Wars franchise, but only in Japan. The game will be called Star Wars Collection and will be on GREE’s mobile social network.
Virgin Gaming platform now has 1 million members – According to Virgin, the company’s foray into a social gaming with its VirginGaming.com platform has paid off. The service has gathered more than 1 million members since it launched in June 2010.
Google+ now allowing nicknames and online handles – Google+ has added support for alternate nicknames to its service. While it will still require users to register their real names, alternate names will now appear alongside a user’s name.
DeNA partnering with Mixi to open virtual shopping mall - Mobile social games company DeNA has signed a partnership with Japanese social network Mixi to open an online shopping mall on the Mixi platform. Penn Olson is reporting the virtual mall will open in late march.
Andreessen Horowitz looking for $1.5 billion more for VC funds – The New York Times is reporting that Marc Andreessen is raising $1.5 billion to fuel two new funds at his high-profile venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The firm currently holds stakes in a number of well known social and mobile companies such as Zynga and Instagram.