Social News Roundup: Zynga, Square Enix and Happy Treasure
Econophysicists claim Zynga’s “vastly” overvalued — The econophysicists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology who balked at claims of Facebook being worth up to $100 billion have turned their sights on Zynga. According to TechnologyReview, some analysts have estimated Zynga is worth almost $14 billion. The SFIT instead claims it can’t be valued at more than $4.8 billion, even if it continues to grow at a high rate.
Square Enix and Bigpoint team up for new game — Square Enix and BigPoint announced they are working together on a new, unnamed social title. It will be published on Bigpoint.com for both North American and European markets and feature an emphasis on player-created content.
Moonbyte Games selling Happy Treasure via eBay — German developer Moonbyte Games is selling its incomplete Facebook game Happy Treasure via an eBay auction in the hope that someone else can finish it. The developer worked on the game for over a year, but claims it no longer has the time, money or resources to finish and maintain it. The auction started at $1 and ends on April 9; bidding is currently around $400.
Rock Gaming buys up part of Caesars Entertainment — Caesars Entertainment and Rock Gaming have taken their business relationship to the next level. A new SEC filing reveals Rock Gaming is buying an undisclosed percentage of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which launched Caesars Casino on Facebook after acquiring Slotomania developer Playtika. The deal is costing Rock Gaming $60.8 million and the company also has an option to “up the shares” by 25 percent or $19.2 million.
Google+ surpasses 100 million users — Google+ is still struggling to fight the “virtual ghost town” label saddled on it by the Wall Street Journal in February. Google CEO Larry Page released a statement to investors claiming the social network now contains more than 100 million active users, but didn’t define “active.” According to Page, “It’s still early days, and we have a long way to go.”
Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers gets launch date — Disney Playdom’s new hidden object title Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers is launching on April 9, two weeks before Earth Day. From April 12 through April 26, Playdom will also donate 20 cents for each install and tutorial completion of the game to the Jane Goodall Institute for the Disneynature Tchimpounga Natural Reserve. Playdom will donate a minimum of $100,000, with a maximum of of $250,000.
BrandEngage hits 85 million user milestone — Advertising platform BrandEngage now reaches over 85 million monthly users, just nine months after it was launched by German advertising company SponsorPay. BrandEngage, which boasts of completion rates over 90 percent and sharing/click-through rates above 35 percent, allows customized costper-view and brand engagement advertising campaigns in social games.
Kontagent brings Hive data to social developers — Analytics provider Kontagent brought the open source data mining Hive software to the cloud this week. The software is powering the new kSuite Datamine tool, which was just launched on Kontagent’s kSuite analytics platform. Kontagent hosts Datamine and the information it gathers, making it easier and more affordable for developers to use the tool to examine how users interact with their mobile/social apps.