Social gaming news roundup: Zynga, the BAFTAs and Nexon
Zynga to get into publishing — Bloomberg is reporting Zynga will soon unveil a publishing program that will allow other developers to advertise their games within Zynga’s games and on a Zynga games portal.
Former LucasArts devs launch social game platform – Game industry veterans Randy Farmer, Chip Morningstar, Noah Falstein and Gary Winnick have teamed to create a new cloud application platform for social games called Suddenly Social.
Bossa Studios, We R Interactive get BAFTA nods — Bossa Studios’ debut game Monstermind has received two BAFTA Video Game Award nominations for best online browser game and best debut game. In other BAFTA news, We R Interactive’s soccer game I AM PLAYR has also been nominated for best online browser game. The awards ceremony will be held on March 16.
Large Animal Games partners with King Features for comic strip tie-in — New York-based Large Animal Games has struck a deal with King Features Syndicate to use King comic characters in its Facebook game Picturiffic. The first premium pack with King Features content will feature Popeye.
Vostu named a most innovative Brazilian company — Fast Company has named Vostu as one of its 10 most innovative companies in Brazil for incorporating in-game radio into its social games. For more information, read our full article on the in-game radio feature here.
Nexon revamps Wonder Cruise – Nexon America has rolled out an extensive series of updates to its Facebook game Wonder Cruise, adding daily bonuses, wildcard events and updating the game’s citybuilding Tycoon System. The game is currently in open beta.
Zynga legal roundup — SocialApps is suing Zynga for breaching an implied contract with MyFarm developer SocialApps. The company is claiming Zynga used the source code for MyFarm to create FarmVille, despite a 2009 letter of agreement between the parties, according to Develop. In other Zynga legal news, Personalized Media Communications (PMC) is suing Zynga for infringing four of its patents covering “the use of control and information signals embedded in electronic media content to generate output for display that is personalized and relevant to a user,” according to a Gamasutra report. PMC is suing Zynga in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a district known for its favorable treatment of patent plaintiffs.
Former THQ devs go mobile, social with Twiitch — Australian game industry veterans Shane Stevens and Steven Spagnolo, formerly of THQ and Blue Tongue Entertainment, have launched a new independent studio called Twiitch. The company’s first game is iOS physics puzzler Coco Loco, which will be published by EA’s Chillingo. Twiitch is also working on a Facebook game.
Words With Friends can lead to Romance – Zynga has released some interesting Words With Friends statistics. According to the company, 44 percent of players have admitted to flirting with an online opponent and one in 10 players admitted the game has led to a in-person meeting.
The Sims Social adds “friends with benefits” social interaction – EA updates The Sims Social this week with a new social interaction that allows players to engage other players’ Sims in sexual activity without first entering into a monogamous relationship. We’ve heard sexual activity is one of the core revenue drivers for The Sims Social; it’ll be interesting to see what, if any, impact this update has on the game’s performance.
PopCap podcast addresses Pig Up! failings – EA PopCap’s Jeff Green and Joey Trimmer interview game producer Isaac Aubrey and writer Stephen Notley on what went wrong with the experimental social game. PopCap’s next Facebook title, Solitaire Blitz, officially launches next month.