Social games news roundup: Jetpack Joyride, FarmVille’s sequel and McDonald’s
Jetpack Joyride arrives on Facebook [Launch] — Halfbrick’s smash iOS hit Jetpack Joyride is following in the footsteps of Fruit Ninja onto Facebook. The action-platformer casts players as Barry Steakfries, a man that stumbles across a machine-gun powered jetpack that he then uses to escape from a sinister laboratory. Read our review.
Zynga’s possible FarmVille sequel — It looks like Zynga may be testing out a sequel to FarmVille in the Philippines. TechCrunch reports the game’s working title is “Big Harvest” and features 3D graphics and new mechanics like turning crops into feed, which are then fed to animals in exchange for things like milk and eggs. Zynga is declining to comment on any plans it has for the game.
McDonald’s launches Happy Meal-themed virtual world — McDonald’s Europe and digital agency Fuel today announced the launch of Happy Studio, a kid-friendly virtual world that’s based on the restaurant’s signature Happy Meal menu. Happy studio is a free-to-play and ad-free virtual theme park where kids create an avatar to interact with various McDonald’s characters, complete missions and collect in-game rewards. Parents can monitor their kids’ activities with a “Grown up Dashboard.” Happy studio is accessible via the web, iOS and Android.
Konami’s profits rise thanks to mobile social games — Konami’s released its yearly earnings report and it turns out the company’s main money makers for FYE 2012 were social games. According to Eurogamer, the company’s profits nearly doubled year over year to 23 billion yen ($286.8 million), even though net revenue was down 265.8 billion yen ($3.3 billion). Konami’s Social Networking Services games on GREE and Mobage are incredibly popular in Asia and SNS now accounts for 53 percent of the company’s profits.
Disney Interactive’s losses offset by social games — The Walt Disney Company revealed that Disney Interactive’s second quarter revenues were up 13 percent from last quarter. Disney Interactive still had a $70 million loss, up from the $115 million loss reported during the first quarter. Disney credits social games for the improved results but didn’t go into specifics about its the revenues generated from these titles.
Developers reluctant to comment about their Google+ games — Even though it’s been nine months since games launched on Google+, developers aren’t very forthcoming about the success of the titles they’ve put on the social network. Gamasutra asked studios like Wooga, PopCap and BioWare to share how their games performed on the network, but none of them would comment. Other developers like Kabam, Playdom and Funzio were willing to say they’re happy with the outcome but declined to share specific user data.
Square Enix and Bigpoint reveal info about new platform — Square Enix and Bigpoint have started teasing out details about Gameglobe, the new online game platform the two companies are working on together. Gameglobe will allow users to play pre-made action adventure games or create their own games to share with their fellow players. The platform is currently in closed beta and Bigpoint tells us there isn’t an estimated launch date yet.
Dobango launches social games service — Social game company Dobango has just come out of stealth and launched a new platform where users play free games and win prizes or discounts from local merchants. Players compete in 30-second minigames for the highest score, which nets them prizes like gift certificates to Starbucks, Safeway and Best Buy. Even if a player doesn’t win the round, they’ll still have a coupon emailed to them.
Johnny Carson resurrected for Facebook game [Launch] — A Here’s Johnny Trivia Game launched on Facebook this week, providing players with over 1,000 different questions. By answering correctly, players unlock video clips and images from the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Carson also came to iOS and Android devices this week with the Carnac the Magnificent game, where the titular character presses a sealed envelope to his head, predicts an answer and players guess the question in the envelope.
Car Town toys racing towards stores — Developer Cie Games is teaming up with GreenLight Collectibles to create a run of collectible toys based on the social game Car Town. The toys will feature cars from different eras and styles like the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, 2003 Jeep Wrangler and 1970 Plymouth Superbird (no word yet on whether or not the 1958 Ford Edsel will be included). More details about these toys will be revealed as the Fall 2012 release date gets closer.
We R Interactive signs with Zendesk — Cloud-based customer service software provider Zendesk just announced it signed social game developer We R Interactive as its 5,000th customer. We R Interactive will use Zendesk to support the player base for both its existing game I AM PLAYR and its upcoming music and sports titles.