Social gaming

Why Zynga gave up on gambling

Social game maker Zynga surprised investors with news that it will give up plans to seek a license to offer gambling in the U.S.. According to one source, the plan may have been a longshot all along.

Betable allows social games to add real money gambling

Betable, a UK-based startup, is introducing a platform that allows developers to easily add real-money gaming into their apps. The company is announcing a private beta developer program and plans to open the platform to all developers before the end of this year.

Forget reward points: AmEx gives users Farmville cash

American Express is teaming with Zynga on a reward program that will link offline spending on its Serve pre-paid cards to in-game rewards in Farmville. It’s an ambitious attempt at boosting the reach of AmEx’s Serve product and tying real-world spending to online virtual rewards.

Zynga Q1 2012 earnings by the numbers

Facebook shared some financials earlier this week as it heads to an IPO. Joined-at-the-hip Zynga reported, too — but its execs had to talk to investors since it’s already public. What do the numbers have to say?

Zattikka buys three social gaming startups & takes on Zynga

Social games development company, Zattikka incorporated on Monday, has gone public on London’s AIM exchange and is rolling up independent studios it hopes can give it some of Zynga’s gold. It was started by Virgin Interactive games executives Tim Chaney (pictured) and Mark Opzoomer.

For Zynga, success lies in the first three clicks

What your mother told you still holds true, even online: First impressions matter. Zynga aspires to make all its games pass what the company calls the “three click” test with games that people can enjoy and get hooked on within the first three mouse clicks.

Zynga’s declaration of independence: Project Z

Zynga may be best known for its hit online and mobile games, but the company has its eye on a much bigger prize. On Tuesday, Zynga unveiled a major new “Zynga direct” platform — codenamed Project Z — showing that its ambition goes well beyond single game experiences.

Zynga’s ‘Words with Friends’ is coming to Facebook

Zynga is bringing its popular Scrabble-esque mobile game Words With Friends to Facebook, the company announced Monday. This represents the first time that Zynga has extended a mobile-only game to Facebook — showing that despite its diversification efforts, Zynga’s dependence on the social network remains strong.

Zynga’s Road to Riches: From startup to IPO

Zynga, the social gaming company recently filed to go public and raise a whopping $1 billion in its initial public offering. The folks from Namesake have put together a graphic that tells the story of Zynga, the people behind the company and how it got here.

Zynga focuses on privacy in run-up to IPO

It looks like Zynga is polishing up the proverbial silver in the run-up to its planned IPO. The social gaming company has launched “PrivacyVille,” a new game-like tutorial that rewards users with zPoints, Zynga’s virtual currency, for learning more about the company’s privacy practices.

Zynga files for $1B IPO: A day late but not a buck short

Zynga on Friday filed its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $1 billion. The IPO filing comes just one day later than many people expected — reports have been bubbling for weeks that Zynga was planning to file its S-1 sometime in June.

Zynga Moves Into Combat Zone With Empires & Allies

Zynga continues to expand way beyond the farms that made it famous. The San Francisco-based social gaming company on Tuesday announced the launch of its first strategy combat game, Empires & Allies, the first title to debut out of its Los Angeles development studio.

Social Gaming Meets Dating in CupidsPlay

CupidsPlay, a new startup, is looking to leverage the power of social games to bring potential matches together. The site, which is officially launching today, believes that social games can be the bridge that helps singles break the ice.

Zynga’s Next Big Move

Last week’s stories said that social game maker Zynga was raising $250 million at a valuation north of $7 billion. By week’s end, the company was close to raising twice that, at a $10 billion figure. But why would anyone think Zynga was worth that much?

If Voting is a Social Game, Will It Make Democracy Better?

Can social games help encourage people to vote, and also improve democracy? One candidate is hoping they can: Clayton Trotter, who is running for Congress in Texas, has used Facebook Places to create a social-election game in which citizens get points and badges for voting.

Uken Games Lets You Take Your Game With You

A startup called Uken Games makes social games that allow you to synchronize your player profile and other game-related data across platforms, so that when you shift from playing on the PC to playing on your phone, you can pick up right where you left off.

Social Games Are Leading the Real-Time Data Wave

Social gaming is at the forefront of the drive for real-time data, as companies like Zynga look for any information that will help them target users, and that in turn has created a market for analytical tools such as Kontagent and its “user-centric” data model.

Facebook Could Make $250M From Virtual Goods Next Year

The American market for virtual goods will grow 31 percent to $2.1 billion in 2011, according to a new report from Inside Network. Virtual goods sold in social games are set to account for 40 percent of the market, or about $840 million in 2011.

Hi5 Launches Developer Portal, Slams Facebook's Spammy Games

Hi5, a former up-and-coming social network that shifted focus last year and is now trying to become a social-gaming hub, has launched a portal for game developers, and president Alex St. John says that the company is prepared to take on Facebook in a head-to-head battle.

Zynga's Pincus Calls for United App Economy

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus invited social game developers to band together to create an “app economy” at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco. Maintaining the structure of applications built on top of platforms will be key to Zynga and its competitors’ success, he said.

Zynga Gets Unfairly Slammed Over Haiti Donations

Zynga, maker of the popular Facebook social game Farmville, has been hit with criticism on Twitter and elsewhere over allegations that it only sent half the money it raised for Haiti to that country. Zynga says this is based on a misunderstanding about its Farmville campaign.

Weathering the Storm with Mobile Tech

Millions in the northeast U.S. are under blankets of snow that have shut down many cities. Although trapped in the home by the storm, the use of mobile tech can make that experience easier with proper planning. Here’s how to weather the storm with tech.

Heyzap Hops Onto the Virtual Goods Bandwagon

When Heyzap, the San Francisco-based startup that offers up casual, Flash-based games for publishers to embed to their sites, launched back in…

What Makes Gaming Social?

While it may temping to lump every game that has chat or a shared leaderboard under the social gaming umbrella, to do so muddies the water of a category that just may be the natural progression from social networking. It’s time to define what we mean by social gaming, so that we can better focus on the actual value we are creating for the players themselves — and avoid the trap of slapping a sparkly new phrase on any gaming startup that wanders onto the scene.

The Truth About the Biz of Casual Games

The casual games market is booming, with over $2.25 billion in yearly revenue despite virtually no brick-and-mortar representation or advertising and marketing costs. But it’s also a market that is quickly becoming saturated, and like any content market, it’s dependent on a large number of unpredictable forces. Click To Read Full Story