Zynga Shuts Down 11 Games As Troubles Continue

Zynga Shuts Down Games

Zynga Shuts Down GamesZynga continues to falter and as gamers turn towards other social games developers the one-time powerhouse has shut down 11 of its lesser performing titles.

The news of the games shutdowns was announced by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and they follow in line with the company’s attempts to downsize staff numbers while focusing on the company’s more popular and profitable titles.

Zynga has shut down the following social gaming titles in the month of December (and others coming in January). [Read more…]

The 5 W’s For Social Game Purchasing [Infographic]

Social Game Purchases Infographic

Social Game Requirements for usersWhen Zynga burst onto the scene it seemed like social gaming was going to revolutionize the industry, fast forward a few years later and Zynga is in decline and competitors such as Playdom and Playfish have also watched users jump ship as their products continue to age out of the market.

In the meantime a new social gaming market is emerging, one that once again removes “casual gamers” from the mix and instead focuses on serious online gamers with a penchant for complex video games that feature every improving gaming experiences and more incentives to continue playing.

So how should social game developers approach social game purchases? According toArkadiumthey need to follow the 5 W’s of social game purchase. [Read more…]

Zynga Hopes For Another Win With “Scramble With Friends”

Scramble With Friends

Scramble With FriendsZynga on Thursday announced the release of their newest game in the “With Friends” category, Scramble With Friends.

The announcement comes just one day after the company released Hidden Chronicles and marks the company’s determination to hit 2012 running after December met their IPO with skepticism and with shares in the company currently hovering around the $9 mark.

Zynga added to their “With Friends” category last year when they released “Hanging With Friends” a hangman type game that combines social gaming with friends.

Scramble isn’t actually a new offering for Zynga, they released a Facebook Scramble game as one of their earliest titles, it was eventually downloaded by 2.5 million Facebook users. However the new offering brings the game to the masses. As the name suggests users must find words from a Scrambled group of letters, the higher the word count the higher the score. [Read more…]

Zynga Hoping For $1 Billion IPO

Zynga Dog Logo

Zynga Dog LogoSocial gaming firm Zynga on Friday filed IPO documents with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that places the company’s initial price per share between $8.50 and $10.

If that pricing is met the company will have raised between $850 million and $1.15 billion with a total company evaluation of $7 billion.

Those numbers are no small amount, however the company that has created such viral hits as FarmVille, CityVille, and MafiaWars believes they are worth nearly half the valuation of the world’s largest gaming company Activision Blizzard ($14.2 billion).

While $7 billion may seem like a high amount for a relatively new gaming company it should be noted that before pulling their original IPO due to fears of market volatility the company’s valuation was believed to be closer to $10 billion.

While some analysts have mixed feels about Zynga, it’s believed that by selling such a large percentage of the company’s worth during their IPO (14.3% to be exact) they may be able to lessen that volatility. [Read more…]

Happy Oasis Hopes to be Farmville of the Middle East While Raising Awareness

Happy Oasis - Facebook Game Screenshot

Happy Oasis - Facebook Game ScreenshotIf you took away the lush farmland of Zynga’s FarmVille and replaced it with a desert in the middle of nowhere you would have Happy Oasis a middle east version of the popular game that has already attracted more than 100,000 active social gamers.

Developed by Aranim Games the product offers Arabic and English versions and asks players to create their own “Oasis” in the desert.

The game is not only a “build up your land” setup, it also attempts to bring modern day struggles to the masses, for example both men and women can drive cars in the game, a current major issue of contention in Saudi Arabia.

Company CEO Suleiman Bakhit told Mashable that his company is better equipped than most to deal with social issues in the Middle East, noting:

“There are serious cultural issues that are extremely sensitive … most western companies won’t know how to deal with these issues.”

The game started as a comic book in which Bakhit chronicled a beating he received near his Minnesota university following the 9/11 attacks. In his comic books, also published under the Aranim company name he speaks about social issues in the area, features Arab heroes and attempts to teach school age children important lessons about tolerance. [Read more…]

World Of Fourcraft: Foursquare Hack Turns NYC Into Giant Game Of Risk

World Of Fourcraft Map

World Of Fourcraft MapWe’ve seen a lot of clever hacks on the Foursquare system, however none of them have come even close to a new game called World Of Fourcraft. The game uses the company’s check-in capabilities and Google map APIs to transform New York City into one big game of Risk the popular battle board game that pits users against one another for world domination or in this case city domination.

When a user checks in at different areas around the city they are basically placing their plastic men in that areas board game. The system then figures out which “teams” players have checked into that area the most in order to determine who owns the area.

By placing players on teams (there are currently approximately 100 players) the game essentially allows for multiple “plastic pieces” to be placed in each area based upon check-in. [Read more…]

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville To Become Social Game This Fall

Margaritaville Online

Margaritaville OnlineTHQ has been busy at work creating Margaritaville Online a take on singer Jimmy Buffett’s popular 1977 hit song of the same name. The move allows THQ to release a social game that piggybacks on the popularity of the “Ville” name which has been popularized by social gaming company Zynga thanks to CityVille, FarmVille and even GagaVille without actually infringing on any type of copyright issues since Margaritaville has been copyrighted for years. According to the company the game will release on Facebook and iOS devices this fall and will follow a storyline familiar to Buffet fans. THQ says the game will offer: [Read more…]

Social Network Tagged Announces New Social Gaming Studio

Tagged Social Network

Tagged Social NetworkSocial network Tagged knows how to develop a viral social game success, their hit game Pets currently brings the company $1 million per month in revenue and they are now hoping to capitalize on that success with the launch of their own social gaming studio.

The social network currently attracts more than 100 million users with their Pets game drawing 375,000 unique daily active users with more than 5 million trades per date.

When you consider that the entire network brought in just $32 million last year it’s easy to see why they would focus so much of their energy on the social gaming aspect of their platform. [Read more…]

Zynga Using Facebook Game FrontierVille To Hype Johnny Depp’s New Movie

Zynga starring Rango - In Game Promotion

Zynga starring Rango - In Game PromotionZynga, maker of the popular Facebook game FrontierVille has announced that they are now using an in-game cameo to promote Johnny Depp’s upcoming game Rango which hits theaters this coming weekend.

Starting today, players are told to find Rango. Players must ask their friends for 10 water buckets and then view a trailer of the movie, at which point they will receive a Rango statue to put on their homestead.

The promotion of movies isn’t a new gesture on the part of Zynga, they have also promoted The Green Hornet and Megamind but at least this time the movie they are promoting fits in a little better with the time period of the games theme.

Promoting products via social media games is becoming increasing more lucrative, with 19 million people actively playing FrontierVille, an estimated 9 million people took part in the Megamind promotion alone, a number equal or greater to the number of individuals who would have seen a commercial for the movie during primetime broadcast of a popular TV show. [Read more…]

How Big Is Social Media Gaming? How About 56 Million Strong

Farmville by Zynga

Farmville by ZyngaWith games that include Farmville, Frontierville and Mafia Wars attracting million of users, while creating billions of dollars in revenue, it doesn’t really surprise me that the social gaming industry is huge, but what some readers may not realize is exactly how big the industry has become. How big is social gaming? 56 million strong int the U.S. and growing daily.

Market research company NPD Group recently discovered that approximately one in five Americans from the ages of six and upwards now participate in some type of online social gaming platform.

As Mashable points out, the move towards social gaming is a blessing for social networks such as Facebook who no longer must rely solely on advertising dollars to earn revenue, instead taking a part of third-party application sales. For example, Facebook takes 30% of all money spent on Facebook credits.

That same NPD study reveals that 10% of those who responded said they have paid for online gaming, that’s approximately 5.6 million users, with another 11% stating that they would probably pay for the experience in the future. Take into consideration the number of users who make multiple purchases on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis and social gaming companies and the networks they run on are seeing a revolving door of revenue intake. [Read more…]