Facebook Puts New Restrictions on Game Developers

December 6, 2012 -

Facebook is changing the rules on what developers can and can't have access to when they develop games for its platform. The new policy changes on dating sharing, access to Facebook features, and pushing users to third-party websites are designed to force game developers like Zynga (who have their own web portal for games) to actually create content for Facebook. From the Facebook Guidelines:

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Square Enix Deploys, Then Pulls Questionable Hitman Absolution Facebook App

December 4, 2012 -

In what has to be a record take-down of a questionable piece of marketing, Square Enix pulled a Facebook app promoting Hitman Absolution two hours after it was deployed after a scathing report from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The company later apologized for the app. The trouble began after RPS wrote about how "Hire Hitman" app allowed users to target and assassinate their Facebook friends, complete with death threats to your intended target.

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Zynga Puts a Hit Out on Mafia Wars 2

December 4, 2012 -

Just a year after it launched, Zynga has pulled the plug on the follow-up to one of the games that made it a household name among Facebook users. According to this The Escapist report, Zynga will shut down Mafia Wars 2 at the end of this year. In a message to players posted on Facebook, Zynga announced that Mafia Wars 2 will shut down.

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Zynga Vice-President of Business Development Resigns

November 21, 2012 -

Zynga's VP of business development has resigned, joining a long list of high level executives that have left the social game maker to find greener pastures. According to an AllThingsD report, VP of business development Jonathan Flesher left the company on November 9. When at Zynga, Flesher was in charge of securing partnerships with companies such as Google, MSN and Yahoo. The company has not disclosed who will take up the duties of Flesher.

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Apple Executive Describes Zynga CEO as 'Near Tears' During Recent Meeting

November 16, 2012 -

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal (registration required to read the story), Apple director Bill Campbell shared a story about a meeting with Zynga chief executive officer Mark Pincus, where he described his demeanor as discouraged and being almost in tears about the fate of the company he created.

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Zynga Shuffles The Executive Deck

November 14, 2012 -

Zynga this week shuffled the senior management deck as chief financial officer David Wehner left to take an executive post at Facebook. Mark Pincus has apparently restructured the management team in a way that centralizes command structure and fills the gigantic gaps left by recent departures from the company in the last few months.

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Former Zynga Employees Join Rumble Entertainment

November 13, 2012 -

Brian Schneider and Steve Desilets, two former senior staff members at Zynga have assumed senior roles at free-to-play studio Rumble Entertainment. Brian Schneider will take on a role in Rumble’s executive team, where he will focus on retention and monetization strategies. Former Zynga design director Steve Desilets will serve as creative partner with Rumble co-founder and design director John Yoo. His goal will be to build new Rumble-developed games.

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Zynga to Shut Down Two Titles, Plan to Close 11 Additional Games in the Future

November 5, 2012 -

Zynga will shut down two of its games in early December, with plans to close 11 additional titles later on down the road. This news follows word that the company would close its Boston offices and reduce five percent of its workforce from offices in Austin, the UK, and Japan.

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Foursquare gets in on the 2012 Election

November 2, 2012 -

Foursquare has teamed up with Google, the Voting Information Project, the Pew Center on the States, Engage, and the New Organizing Institute to help voters make the most of the 2012 elections.

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Facebook Sued by Kickflip for Monopolizing Virtual Currency on its Social Network

October 31, 2012 -

A federal antitrust complaint filed by virtual-currency and payment-processing provider Kickflip (doing business as Gambit) claims that Facebook destroyed its business when it took over the virtual currency used in games on its social network. Prior to that move, Kickflip claims that it was a "leading virtual-currency and payment-processing provider to software developers that published games on Facebook and other social networks."

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Zynga Settles Lawsuit With Kobojo

October 19, 2012 -

Zynga has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against French game development studio Kobojo, according to Gamasutra. Zynga sued the company for using the "Ville" suffix on its game PyramidVille - an action it took against plenty of other developers for including Dungeonville developer Night Owl. Zynga filed its lawsuit in May of this year, but PyramidVille originally released on Facebook 15 months before Zynga took the developer to court.

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For The People: November Madness Contest Launches

October 15, 2012 -

Rocket Surgeon, makers of the political social Facebook game, For the People: Fantasy Politics, have launched a special contest today called For The People: November Madness.

For The People: November Madness is free to everyone and allows participants to take a stab at predicting the winners of the 2012 presidential election and every House and Senate race across the country. Each correct pick earns a point, and the person who ends up with the most total points wins a grand prize.

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EEDAR: Zynga Could Become Target of Acquisition

October 5, 2012 -

Speaking to GamesIndustry International, EEDAR VP of Insights Jesse Divnich says that he thinks the social game publisher has fallen far enough in value that it could become an acquisition target for the right company.

"At a $1.7 billion market cap, a Zynga acquisition seems favorable for anyone looking to pick up 300 million pair of eyeballs every month," Divnich said. "I'd argue that Facebook could become a potential suitor for Zynga--of course I am not trying to spread any rumors; rather I am thinking out loud."

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Baird Equity Research Downgrades Zynga

October 5, 2012 -

Baird Equity Research has downgraded social game developer and publisher Zynga after the company said that it expected a massive loss in the third quarter that ended on September 30. The company said that it now expects to report a $90 - $150 million loss for quarter. Zynga blamed the new numbers on "weakness of certain games" and an impairment charge of $85 million to $95 million related to its purchase of Draw Something developer OMGPOP.

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For The People: Fantasy Politics Beta Launches on Facebook

October 2, 2012 -

Social game developer Rocket Surgeon has opened the beta of its Facebook game, For The People: Fantasy Politics to the public today. The 3D Facebook game lets players become the fictional 436th member of the House of Representatives, and play a key role in shaping the laws and policies of a fantasy democracy. Beginning today and running until the new Congress is seated in January, players can test their skills as a U.S.

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Party Politics: Match-3 Meets Presidential Politics

September 18, 2012 -

We missed Party Politics when it launched earlier this month on both Facebook (September 6) and Kongregate (September 13), but it's worth mentioning now. Developed by Checkpoint Studios, Party Politics is a politically-themed match-3 puzzle game that is free-to-play. The game uses a Bejeweled style of gameplay combined with political themes in a quest to earn support and win the 2012 election.

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Former Zynga GM Joins KIXEYE

August 23, 2012 -

Former Zynga Studio General Manager Alan Patmore has joined its competitor, social game developer KIXEYE. He will serve as the company's new Vice President of Product. Patmore served as the General Manager of CityVille at Zynga. He also oversaw the popular game Mafia Wars. In his new role he will be responsible for overseeing product strategy and development.

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Facebook: 235 Million Playing Games on Social Network

August 14, 2012 -

According to internal data released by Facebook, the number of Facebook subscribers who play games has increased by more than 15 percent over last year. According to the largest social network in the world, 235 million people play games on Facebook, up from 205 million. Facebook claims that this growth has mostly been driven by its new App Center feature, which has helped in driving install and return play rates upwards.

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Maxis GM Thanks Game Community for Support in Zynga Lawsuit

August 8, 2012 -

We missed this at the beginning of the week, but it's worth reporting on now even at the eleventh hour. Lucy Bradshaw, the General Manager for EA's Maxis Label, took to the EA Blog to offer a sincere thank-you to the gaming community for its strong level of support in the lawsuit against Zynga. Last week EA filed a lawsuit against Zynga alleging that its Facebook game The Ville blatantly copied key components from its game The Sims Social

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First Facebook Game to Offer Cash Prizes Launches in UK

August 7, 2012 -

UK-based game maker Gamesys has launched the first Facebook game ever that allows for real cash prizes. The game, available in the UK, is called Bingo & Slots Friendzy, and is the first on the Facebook App Centre to pay real cash prizes.

Bingo & Slots Friendzy is only accessible to those ages 18 and over, according to Gamesys, who promise "a series of controls" to protect those under 18-years-old and "vulnerable people." Users will also have access "self-help tools to limit their spending and exclude themselves from playing at anytime.”

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EA Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement

August 3, 2012 -

Hey, remember last month when we poked fun at the ability to make “whoopee” in Zynga’s latest ‘ville’ game The Ville and noted the similarity to the ability to make “woo-hoo” in EA’s Sims Social?

Yeah, good times.

Well, EA thinks “whoopee” and other features are just a bit too similar to its game and are suing Zynga for copyright infringement.

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Google, Facebook Join The Internet Association

July 26, 2012 -

According to this BBC report Facebook, eBay, Google and Amazon have joined a new lobbying group that will push issues they deem important in Washington. The new lobbying group is called The Internet Association, and will open up shop in Washington D.C. in September. They will handle political and regulatory issues in the capital.

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EA CEO Talks Free-to-Play, Investors' Lack of Understanding

July 19, 2012 -

In an interesting interview with CNBC, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says that the company's recent decline in its stock price isn't due to the business, but to a lack of understanding in how the business works on the part of investors. For starters industry's focus on NPD's packaged game sales numbers is "misguided," and ignores the current strong shift towards digital sales - which NPD doesn't have a handle on yet. He points to their success with games on Apple's platforms as well as on Facebook.

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Zynga Donates Talent to 'Social Action' Charity Facebook Game

July 16, 2012 -

Zynga is loaning several of its developers to create a social charity game on Facebook. Development on a "social action" game based on the book Half the Sky by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is well underway according to GamesBeat.

The book is about "turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide." The game will be released on Facebook on November 13.

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Sex in a Zynga Game? Whoopee!

June 29, 2012 -

In the grand tradition of FarmVille, YoVille, FishVille, CityVille, and CastleVille, social game development company Zynga has released a new game in the “Ville” series titled simply: The Ville.

You just rolled your eyes, didn’t you?

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Trip Hawkins Steps Down as Digital Chocolate CEO

May 29, 2012 -

Electronic Arts co-founder Trip Hawkins announced via his official blog that he will step down from the role of CEO at mobile games company Digital Chocolate. Hawkins says that he will take an advisory role with the company he helped found.

"I am transitioning now into a consulting and advisory relationship with Digital Chocolate. For its next stage of growth, Digital Chocolate is narrowing its focus and it made sense to get more streamlined."

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Facebook IPO Puts Stock at $38 a Share

May 18, 2012 -

The world's largest social network has set the price per share of its initial public offering at $38 a share. The stock is listed on NASDAQ today and there are 421.2 million shares available (180 million in new stock, and the rest with existing stockholders). If Facebook sells all of those shares at that price, the company could raise an estimated $16 billion and have a valuation of $104 billion.

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Journey of Jesus: The Calling Ain't Afraid of No Stinking Demons

May 15, 2012 -

Fox News has an interesting story on one developer who is not afraid to go head-to-head with Blizzard's Diablo III - in fact their game features the ultimate demon fighter (sans the actual fighting with demons). While Blizzard was launching one of the biggest games of the year, Christian software developer Lightside Games was launching a new Facebook game featuring Jesus called Journey of Jesus: The Calling.

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Reddit Co-Founder Won't Invest in Facebook Because of its CISPA Support

May 8, 2012 -

Facebook is beginning to drum up interest among the investor class for its initial public offering, which could raise raise between $9.4 billion and $11.8 billion for the company. But because of its public support for CISPA one high profile investor says that he is not going to touch Facebook's stock: Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. 

In an interview with CNN, Ohanian said that he plans to hold off on any investment in Facebook due to its support of CISPA. He did concede that he understood the “business value of what Facebook is doing.”

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New Service Rates Facebook Apps' Privacy and Tracking Policies

April 23, 2012 -

A new service by research firm PrivacyChoice rates the privacy and tracking policies of various Facebook apps. The service, launched this weekend with ratings on over 200 Facebook productivity, sharing and game apps. The top score an app can get is a 100.

That score can be diminished by an app doing certain things to its user like failing to respect a user's deletion request, sharing data with a large amount of partners, storing consumer data for long periods of time, and more.

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Poll

Has a video game ever made you so mad you broke the controller?:

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TechnogeekConjured up by who, though? If by the players, then it's not really "on a whim" since they're kind of putting work into it. If you mean the developers/government, then hello and welcome to monetary sovereignty.07/11/2014 - 12:34am
MechaTama31I'm just saying, when everything of value can be conjured up at a whim, that's not an economy. That's a fantasy.07/11/2014 - 12:15am
TechnogeekHonestly, though, what I find most thought-provoking about the article isn't the guaranteed minimum income aspect at all, but a more fundamental point: that we treat poverty as a moral failing on the individual, rather than a design flaw in the system.07/10/2014 - 11:53pm
TechnogeekOr, if your concern is that people won't even bother to work at all if their basic needs are met...well, let me put it this way: do you really want people like that in the workforce anyway?07/10/2014 - 11:51pm
TechnogeekAlso, you raise a valid question, but I'd argue that as things stand we're artificially limiting the amount of "gold/silver" that could be produced. The whole "work a job you hate to pay the bills" thing meshes poorly with the entreprenurial spirit.07/10/2014 - 11:49pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, it looks at how in-game economies work and what lessons can be applied to reality, focusing primarily on multiple currency systems. Such systems do exist in real life (food stamps, for example), although generally aren't seen as such.07/10/2014 - 11:43pm
MechaTama31Or to produce the gold and silver, for that matter?07/10/2014 - 11:42pm
MechaTama31But in seriousness though, the F2P games can conjure up all the "valuables" out of the ether. Are there going to be enough people going for the "gold" and "silver" to actually produce the necessities the "free energy" is supposed to cover?07/10/2014 - 11:39pm
TechnogeekHey, it works for Wall Street.07/10/2014 - 11:36pm
MechaTama31We should base our real economy on something that is reviled as a soul-sucking scourge? ;)07/10/2014 - 11:25pm
TechnogeekRelevant to this website's stated focus: an argument for a guaranteed minimum income using F2P games to illustrate how and why it could help. https://medium.com/@gthoreau/game-socialisme-6312268d469507/10/2014 - 8:28pm
ZenOk, so yeah...it's kind of a lie...but I HAD to go with "Nope. I'm zen." lol. Only broke one controller myself (PS3) on a playthrough of Uncharted that got frustrating.07/09/2014 - 10:38pm
MechaTama31I am not proud of this, but I had to select the "multiple times" option. Not for the same game, but I went through several controllers (particularly dreamcast ones. fragile, maybe?)07/09/2014 - 6:52pm
Andrew EisenI'd say breaking a handheld out of anger counts (even if it's just the hinge). Likewise, I'd say busting a keyboard or mouse counts so long as you were playing a game at the time.07/09/2014 - 12:28pm
ConsterAnd since there happened to be (without me realizing) a towel which broke the fall resulting in 'only' a damaged hinge, would that be option 2 or 4?07/09/2014 - 12:23pm
ConsterAbout the most recent poll: since the "controller" for the DS is basically part of the DS, does throwing my DS against the floor because Mario Basketball cheats count?07/09/2014 - 12:22pm
Sleakersaw this on Forbes, thought it was pretty good: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/06/03/if-comcast-and-time-warner-dont-compete-then-why-shouldnt-they-merge/07/08/2014 - 9:09pm
Adam802the Sun is claiming games are as addictive as herion: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-07-08-the-real-story-behind-the-suns-gaming-as-addictive-as-heroin-headline07/08/2014 - 6:43pm
ZippyDSMleeIt takes 2-6 days to transferfunds to your bank, it can take up to 30 days for ebay to give you moeny from a sale. But lord to spend it its instant!07/08/2014 - 10:50am
Cheater87http://www.twinfinite.net/2014/07/08/evil-within-receive-gore-mode-dlc-japan/07/08/2014 - 10:00am
 

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