2）Facebook将于4月12日举行网络研讨会，旨在说服开发者采用Facebook Credits作为其支付手段，同时还将发布货币采用方式的技术备忘录。Facebook称截至2011年7月1日所有平台应用开发商应将Facebook Credits作为唯一支付手段。游戏邦认为，Facebook此次的研讨会旨在促使更多开发者尽早采用Facebook Credits，从而确保今年夏天的过渡能够顺利进行。直接使用Facebook Credits作为游戏货币，而非通过Credits购买其他游戏货币的开发商可以得到Facebook给予的系列特殊奖励，其中包括Frictionless Payments、Buy With Friends和the getBalance API。
3）伦敦初创公司TeePee（游戏邦注：其是家社交、Flash和手机游戏的搜索网站）日前从时代华纳旗下的Turner Broadcasting System欧洲分公司融得一笔资金，但具体金额公司至今仍未向外界透露。TeePee推出了中心平台Geronimo，平台用户可以准确查找和收藏到社交网络和手机应用商店中的游戏。公司希望推出一个可以和Pandora音乐搜索服务相媲美的平台，旨在帮助用户迅速在众多网站和商店中的在线和手机游戏中挑选出新款游戏。Turner Broadcasting System欧洲地区总裁Jeff Kupsky称，公司对于数字和游戏领域的投资和合作机会很感兴趣。
4）Wooga依旧凭借《Diamond Dash》雄踞本周Facebook MAU（月活跃用户）增长迅速游戏排行榜的榜首。《Diamond Dash》延续了《宝石迷阵》颇受追捧的3回合游戏设置，然而《宝石迷阵闪电战》本周则无缘该榜单。据流量监测数据显示，《Diamond Dash》呈稳步增长之势，且该势头毫无削减迹象，紧随其后的游戏分别《FarmVille》、《动物世界》和《Monster Galaxy》。而久违该榜单的热门电视节目游戏《泽西海岸》此次也赫然再现。
5）上月末，THQ宣布在Kaos Studios和Volition两个公司，裁减30名员工。公司硬核游戏业务副总裁Danny Bilson日前在采访中为此次裁员举动进行了辩护。他表示，任何时候总会有项目寿终正寝，导致闲置员工的出现，他认为这并非什么惩罚性的措施，而是游戏开发团队的自然循环周期。他称，公司完全不希望裁员，但这是形势所迫，都是为了配合公司的运作。Bilson（游戏邦注：其曾从事过电影和电视行业）认为游戏开发就和电影制作一样，项目完成后员工就分道扬镳，各忙各的。
6）全球的社交游戏热潮如今也刮到了智能手机领域。日前CellCitii和游戏开发商Eternal Enter联合推出了手机游戏《My Choice》，旨在加强用户之间的社交互动，弥补现有社交游戏的不足。现有社交游戏大多倾向通过城市和农场的形式为用户创建独立空间，而《My Choice》则是一款集故事叙述和强化版社交功能为一体的游戏。
其他游戏的空间大多是以长方形或者正方形呈现，而《My Choice》则包含了Water Globe。此外，游戏邦发现《My Choice》还注重游戏的博弈。玩家可以通过苹果的AppStore下载体验该款游戏。
7）顶级社交游戏工作室Playfish日前表示公司将关闭3款Facebook游戏的服务器，这3款游戏分别《Pirates Ahoy》、《Poker Rivals》和《Gangster City》，它们将于6月7日全部下线。Playfish表示其将不会退还用户已经购买的游戏货币，相反公司鼓励用户将所谓的Playfish Cash货币消费于公司其他游戏。但数据显示，仍旧有用户对这3款游戏颇感兴趣。游戏邦发现，《Pirates Ahoy》目前仍有40万的月活跃用户。这3款游戏的下线意示社交游戏领域的变幻莫测，这直接影响了项目的生命期限。
8）Disney旗下的Playdom日前宣布推出新款Facebook隐藏物品游戏《Gardens of Time》。这款游戏是在传统可下载隐藏物品游戏的基础上加入社交元素，玩家因此可以和社交网络的朋友分享自己的游戏成果，游戏邦发现，该游戏的用户粘性更胜一筹。此外，这款游戏还添加额外功能，包括邀请朋友打破高分记录，在游戏中互赠礼物、互发消息，玩家还可以提供拜访朋友的花园帮助朋友完成任务。
9）社交、手机游戏开发商和发行商Hands-On Entertainment日前宣布《WPT Texas Hold ‘Em Poker》（游戏邦注：其为该公司发行的一款Facebook游戏）游戏的赢家将获得公司提供的两张WPT World Championship（将于5月14日-5月20日在拉斯维加斯的百乐宫酒店举行）VIP入场券及两份奖品。Hands-On Entertainment首席执行官Judy Wade表示，此次和WPT联手举办该活动旨在回馈游戏的忠实粉丝，让他们有机会亲身体验这一年一度的扑克盛会。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，转载请注明来源：游戏邦）
1）Yoshinori Ono Says Fighting Games Are Coming To Facebook
CVG recently interviewed Street Fighter IV producer, Yoshinori Ono, on the subject of Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, as well as a few other topics related to fighting games. During the course of the interview, the subject of fighting games on Facebook was brought up.
Ono’s interviewer commented that, so far, there haven’t really been any fighting games on Facebook, to which Ono replied: “(Laughs) I can’t say much but I will say there will be. I can’t say why — but I do think there will be.”
Ono believes that fighting games and social networking already have a few features in common, such as the communication aspects of Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and the Replay Channels on the console versions of the game, which allow you to connect to other players’ data.
“I think the framework of social networking and fighting games, or the amalgamation of fighting games, have already started,” Ono said, “so when I say something will happen I’m just just going to add a little bit more on top of the framework we have now and once that is done I think we will get there.”
Fighting games on Facebook aren’t really inconceivable. Plenty of PC gamers already play fighting games using the keyboard, and browser-based games have come a long way over the years.（Source：Siliconera)
2）Facebook to Hold Webinar Discussing How Developers Can Migrate to Facebook Credits
Tomorrow, April 12th at 11am PST, Facebook will stream a webinar explaining why developers should migrate to Facebook Credits as their payment method, and featuring a technical demo of how to handle the migration. For those few developer who are not familiar, Facebook is requiring all apps using paid currency to make Credits the exclusive option by July 1st, 2011. As the event tomorrow shows, the company is trying to get as many developers as possible to migrate early to ensure a smooth transition this summer.
Migrating to Facebook Credits for Developers will air on the Facebook Live Page, and then be archived on the Page for future viewing. Developers can submit questions to the webinar’s Facebook Event ahead of time, or use the Livestream-powered app’s question interface to pose questions during the session.
Facebook announced in January that developers would have to migrate to Credits as their exclusive payment platform by July. 22 of the top 25 game developers have already migrated, including Zynga, Disney/Playdom, and EA/Playfish. To encourage hold-outs concerned with the 30% cost, Facebook launched a page of statistics and testimonials recently that touts increased revenue and decreased costs as reasons why the migration will be good for developers. Facebook also announced a new set of rules surrounding in-game offers and rewards that will go into effect alongside the migration.
Developers who use use Facebook Credits as their premium in-game currency rather than requiring users to buy proprietary premium in-game currency with Credits can access a number of special incentives including Frictionless Payments, Buy With Friends, and the getBalance API. These allow developers to earn more money through quick, small transactions and group deals for virtual goods, as well as learn how many Credits a user currently has in the account.
Navigating these rules and incentives can be tricky, so rather than wait until the deadline when delays can cost developers money, Facebook is seeking to address questions now. By signing major developers early and assisting attentive developers with this “Migrating to Facebook Credits for Developers” webinar, Facebook should receive fewer frantic support emails or claims of negligence come late June.（Source：Inside Social Games）
3）Turner Broadcasting Invests In TeePee For Game Discovery
London-based start-up TeePee, which operates a games discovery platform for social, Flash, and mobile titles, has received an undisclosed amount of funding from Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System division in Europe.
TeePee’s Geronimo platform offers a single hub where users can locate and store online games across social networks, mobile game stores (e.g. Apple’s App Store, Google Marketplace), and hundreds of thousands of Flash game sites. It’s currently in beta testing and has over 25,000 users, according to a report from VentureBeat.
The firm hopes to offer a platform comparable to Pandora’s music discovery service, helping users find new titles by picking from the tens of thousands of online and mobile games available on different sites and stores. Geronimo also features a recommendation engine that is designed to learn users’ tastes to customize its suggestions.
TeePee opened in June 2010 and announced its securing of $500,000 in seed funding last November. It has seven employees, including CEO Tony Pearce, former head of Player X; chairman Nick Alexander, previously CEO of Sega Europe; CCO Simon Jones, co-founder of Game Jacket; and COO Charles Macleod, once CEO of Metaflow.
“This series of deals signals Turner Broadcasting’s readiness to act on relevant investment and partnership opportunities in the digital and gaming space,” said Turner Broadcasting System Europe president Jeff Kupsky. （Source：Gamasutra)
4）Wooga’s Diamond Dash Still Leads This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games
Wooga maintains its top spot on this week’s leaderboard of fastest growing Facebook games by monthly active users with Diamond Dash, a variation on the match-3 gameplay made popular by Bejeweled. Interestingly, Bejeweled Blitz fell out of the top 20 this week.
According to AppData, our traffic tracking service for the top games on Facebook, Diamond Dash is on a steady increase that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Hot on its heels, however, are gainer list favorites FarmVille, Zoo World, and Monster Galaxy.
Returning to this list after a long absence is Jersey Shore, the TV show tie-in game for MTV’s popular reality series. This may or may not have something to do with the end of the show’s third season; we’ll keep an eye on this and other TV tie-in games to see if fans are more likely to return to a game when a show isn’t actively airing as a way to stay engaged with the brand. Read our review of the game here.（Source：Inside Social Games）
5）THQ Defends Layoffs As ‘Just Business’
Late last month, THQ laid off more than 30 employees at two of its subsidiaries, Kaos Studios and Volition. In an interview with GameSpot, THQ vice president of core games Danny Bilson defended these layoffs, noting they were part of the natural ebb and flow of development.
“At a certain point as you come out from the lifetime of a product, there are people that aren’t needed for another year or year and a half until you’re up to the full ramp-up. So these aren’t punitive measures; they’re normal cycling of game teams,” said Bilson when asked about the 16 employees let go out of Kaos’ roster. “If you said they shipped Red Faction and 120 guys were laid off, then we’d have something to talk about.”
“As you move through cycles, you go preproduction, production, postproduction. You need everybody in production, very few in preproduction, and very few in postproduction. So it creates a whole roll-off system of having stuff to work on. And in a one-game studio like Kaos, there’s not work for 100 people right now. That’s kind of how that works. It’s pretty normal,” he continued.
“Do I want to lay anybody off? No, never. Are you kidding? No. But out of necessity, sometimes through movement and lack of work, it just happens.”
Bilson, who has also worked in film and television, explained that there were certain benefits to the current industry development model.
“Well in the film business, everybody says good-bye at the end of the movie and then they go work on something else. I wish we had enough work to go around and keep everybody employed all the time, but sometimes it’s just business,” he added.（Source：Businessinsider）
6）Evolution of Mobile Social Game, ‘My Choice’ Now available on Apple AppleStore!
Today, CellCitii.Co., Ltd. (CEO: Hyeon Ho Choi) together with the game developer Eternal Enter (CEO: Hyock Joo Kwon) released ‘My Choice , a new Mobile Social Game with strengthened networking capabilities between users, something that was relatively inadequate in previously released social games.
Unlike existing social games that lean towards nurturing an individual user’s space in the form of cities and farms, and rather than towards social networking, ‘My Choice’ combines story-telling with strengthened ‘social’ functions. Finally making an appearance on Apple’s AppStore, ‘My Choice’ offers users not only an exciting gaming experience, but also more opportunities to forge relationships with other users.
Hyock Joo Kwon, CEO of the game developer Eternal Enter, said, “We’ve poured our heart and soul into this game and we’re proud to finally release it to the gaming community”, adding, “Starting with My Choice, which is equipped with great games and social functions, Eternal Enter is planning to be the best game developer that specializes in mobile platforms”.
Unlike most other games where worlds take on square or rectangular forms, the world of ‘My Choice’ consists of a Water Globe. Furthermore, whereas existing social games only support limited social functions such as visiting friends’ villages or realms and sending presents, ‘My Choice’ offers the extended communications function of ‘Send message or real-time conversation’. In particular, through the “flower seed” item that promotes communications, users are able to freely send ‘conversations’ to other current users in the game even if they have not been registered as friends. As such, ‘My Choice’ has taken the concept of ‘forging relationships’ one step further than existing social games.
Furthermore, ‘My Choice’ has also strengthened the ‘gaming’ aspect. Whereas existing games only offer plays within a single worldview, ‘My Choice’ users may select to play in one of two worlds, ‘Fairydom’ and Halloween Land’, so that users may enjoy a more diverse gaming experience in each of the worlds. ‘My Choice’ has been successful in securing a wide variety of gaming contents by suitably arranging such elements within the game as a host of collectable items, giving and receiving gifts between friends, and the ability to have exchanges with users enjoying games in different worlds once a set level has been reached.
Also, Ngmoco’s plus + mobile social network platform has been integrated so that the users can easily connect with other users within the social network.
Meanwhile, Hyeon Ho Choi, CEO of CellCitii, said, “The future trend in the smart phone game market will lean towards social games that provide easy gaming environments based on original ideas”, adding, “Through an easy interface and intimate graphics, ‘My Choice’ is a social game that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age or gender”.
‘My Choice’ can be downloaded for free from the Apple AppStore .（Source：Gamasutra）
7）Playfish to axe game despite ’40k daily users’
No refunds as the EA-owned firm suggests people spend credits elsewhere
Leading social games studio Playfish says it will soon shut down servers of three Facebook games.
Pirates Ahoy, Poker Rivals and Gangster City will each go offline on June 7th, Playfish said.
Playfish said it would not refund in-game currency that people had already purchased. Instead it urged customers to spend the currency – known as ‘Playfish Cash’ – on the studio’s other titles.
The firm, owned by Electronic Arts, said the trio of games “are no longer performing at a level in which they can continue to be supported”.
Yet data published by InsideSocialGames suggests that there was still consumer interest in these games. Pirates Ahoy, in particular, still has some 40,000 daily active users and attracts 267,000 customers per month.
The closure of the trio sheds light on an unexamined element of the social games space – determining the shelf life of a project.
In the past five years, social gaming has burst into a multi-billion dollar business. The phenomenon has been dominated by stories of rocketing valuations of studios driving the sector.
For now, little is understood of how social games are considered for closure.
More user data on the three games can be found at InsideSocialGames.（Source：Develop-online）
8）Disney’s Playdom Introduces New ‘Gardens of Time’ Game on Facebook
Disney Interactive’s Playdom announced the launch of their new hidden object game Gardens of Time on Facebook last week.
By adding a social element to a traditionally downloadable hidden object game, players are able to share accomplishments with their network of friends and engage in social play previously unheard of with these types of games.
Says John Hsu, Playdom’s Senior Producer for Gardens of Time:
Gardens of Timeredefines the previously solitary experience of downloadable hidden object games by adding a variety of social features so players can share the excitement and challenge with their friends. We want to give players the opportunity to collaborate, compete, and show off their achievements.
The new game allows players to join the Time Society, a group of time-traveling detectives who explore various scenes in order to uncover hidden objects and solve time’s mysteries. Players can collect ancient artifacts; personalize their very own garden within the game; and uncover countless hidden objects, as they travel the world to solve mysteries and correct the course of history.
At launch, Gardens of Time offers players many hours of free content, as well as 40 re-playable hidden object scenes and four different modes of play. The social networking aspect of the game also adds additional features, including challenging a friend to beat high scores, or sending them in-game gifts and hints. Players can also visit their friends’ gardens to help a player with quests.（Source：Diszine)
9）WPT® Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Game on Facebook® Offers WPT World Championship All-Access VIP Opportunity to Fans
SAN FRANCISCO –(Business Wire)– Hands-On Entertainment, an award-winning entertainment company that develops and publishes social and mobile games, today announced it is offering fans of its WPT® Texas Hold ‘Em Poker game on Facebook (News – Alert) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win an All-Access VIP Pass and prize pack for two to the upcoming WPT World Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, May 14 – May 20.
The VIP treatment for the winner and a guest includes: a one-night stay at the Bellagio, lunch with the Royal Flush Girls, two seats at the final table taping of the WPT World Championship; a meet-and-greet with Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten and Kimberly Lansing; a WPT Swag Bag; $1000 cash prize; bottle service; and a private booth for the winner and seven friends at the Bellagio’s The Bank Nightclub.
To enter for a chance to win, players of WPT® Texas Hold ‘Em Poker on Facebook may purchase any poker chip package* during the promotion period, which runs from April 11 throug April 25. “Our partnership with WPT allows us to reward our loyal fans with this incredible opportunity to be part of one of the most prestigious poker events of the year,” said Judy Wade, president and CEO for Hands-On Entertainment. “Not only will poker players be able to directly interact with their favorite poker pros, but they will also get an inside look at the taping of a WPT final table and a chance to appear on national television!”（Source：Tmcnet)