Warner Bros. has announced the launch of its newest browser game, in celebration of the upcoming release of the Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez film Getaway. The driving game “Getaway: Race to Glory” is now available to play in browsers, and gives players the chance to put their driving skills to the test across a variety of missions.
Zynga has quietly announced the closure of Zynga Slingo on Facebook, scheduled for later this month. While Zynga Slingo has over 3.5 million monthly active users, this move comes as no surprise, as RealNetworks purchased the Slingo name and brand at the end of July for $15.6 million, according to TechCrunch.
Candy Crush Saga developer King (formerly King.com) has quietly revealed the closure of some of its older, less successful Facebook games. The move will see Bubble Saga, Hoop de Loop Saga, Miner Speed and Puzzle Saga all close on September 10, but the company’s most popular ‘Saga’ games won’t be affected. This closure also affects King’s test project King Gold Games, a Facebook hub for events and new game discovery.
Zynga recently announced its plans to completely shutter OMGPop.com and close four of the developer’s Facebook games, including Gem Rush and Cupcake Corner. However, before the axe was ultimately swung, members of the OMGPop team reportedly attempted to buy the site back from Zynga.
PopCap owner and game publisher Electronic Arts has quietly revealed that PopCap’s Facebook hidden object game Hidden Agenda (our review) will be retired from the service on October 22. This move comes after a slow start by Hidden Agenda, which peaked at 1.8 million users in late March, according to our app-tracking service AppData.
KakaoTalk has gained a lot of traction not just as a messaging application, but as a social games platform as well. Since launching its social games service at the end of June 2012, Kakao has more than 30 million out of its 100 million users playing its catalog of 180 games. The company has announced that these games have generated revenue of 348 billion Won (around $311 million) in the first half of 2013. This is an increase of 193 percent from Q4 2012, where the company earned 118 billion Won ($105 million).
It was only a matter of time, but Rovio’s incredibly popular Angry Birds Star Wars is getting a sequel. The game will be made available across mobile app stores on September 19th as announced on the Rovio company blog.
In addition to the game’s release, Rovio has partnered with Hasbro to release over 30 Telepod figures relative to the 30 different playable characters in game. Telepod figures are physical toys that can be purchased in stores to be scanned by the device’s camera to then be playable in game. Telepod figures have become incredibly popular with the rapid success of Activision’s Skylanders franchise. This is the first instance of the Angry Bird franchise using toys that directly accompany the game experience.
Japanese mobile-social gaming juggernaut DeNA has announced that its China subsidiary will partner with Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek, Inc. to promote its social games. This is the first partnership with an upstream mobile phone supplier for DeNA China. MediaTek’s chips are used in numerous mobile phones and the partnership will make it easier to distribute more of DeNA’s games to more people.
Through the partnership, DeNA will be able to provide its mobile gaming platform, Mobage, pre-installed on devices that use MediaTek chips. Mobage has nearly 50 million users in Japan which is more than a third of Japan’s total population. In China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the platform has gained more than 20 million gamers. This is very similar to the Pokki, Zynga and Acer partnerships we covered last month.
Though it has yet to find as much of a reputation in the U.S., DeNA has a large following in Asia with numerous high profile titles such as the Transformers IP. Last year, it saw a 22 percent increase in revenue year-to-year with profit increasing three percent. This partnership will be helpful to the Mobage platform in China, where it has already experienced decent success. A similar partnership stateside could potentially interpose the platform to more widespread usage.
In the interest of strengthening its mobile gaming offerings, Hasbro has purchased a majority stake in Backflip Studios, best known for games such as Paper Toss, DragonVale and NinJump.
As announced on its blog, Backflip Studios will remain based in Boulder, CO and will continue to be run by its current management team. It will continue to operate normally, supporting its current IP as well as developing new titles for the future. The studio will also have the opportunity to use Hasbro’s robust brand catalog of board games and toys.
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