1）Super Rewards创始人Robert Bailey、《Pot Farm》开发者Josh Nilson和Galan Akin日前共同在温哥华成立新工作室East Side Games，并在天使轮融资中筹得150万美元，计划在2011年底前发布新游戏《Zombinis》。
Bailey将任East Side Games首席执行官，而Nilson和Akin则分别担任总经理及创意总监，新工作室还收购了《Pot Farm》（原开发商是Downtown East Side Games，它在Facebook每月用户达90万）的版权，正考虑进军开放式的网络平台和Google+Games。
4）Gazillion Entertainment发行副总裁Dan Fiden在最近的媒体采访中表示，他认为将游戏运营视为一种服务的观点，对发行商和开发商来说都是一种“重大的思想转变”。
5）法国社交游戏开发商Weka Entertainment（游戏邦注：Business Insider甚至将其称为法国的Zynga）创始人Mathieu Nouzareth日前表示，他认为对初创企业及Zynga、EA、Wooga等大型公司来说，Facebook仍然不乏掘金机会。他称从来没有哪个在线市场可以提供如此巨大的发展和盈利机遇，即使是iPhone也无法与之匹敌。但他同时也承认，开发一款优秀的Facebook游戏并不容易，而且需要一定的运气，但如果成功了就可以获得丰厚回报。
6）Insomniac旗下的社交游戏部门Insomniac Click日前推出其首款Facebook游戏《Global Resistance》，用于推广即将发布的索尼PS3游戏《Resistance 3》。该游戏玩法类似于Rish，支持玩家解琐可用于PS3游戏版本的内容，如果参与体验PS3游戏也同样可以加强玩家在社交游戏中的表现。
但这款游戏看起来极度复杂，主要锁定硬核战争题材的游戏玩家。所幸游戏中植入了一些Facebook游戏功能，例如Mission类似《FarmVille》中的“Goals”，它会指引玩家如何进行下一步操作，以解琐可在《Resistance 3》中体验的内容，其异步玩法与《Mafia Wars》颇为相似之处。
8）据纽约每日新闻报道，日前面临联邦政府贪污指控的纽约议员William Boyland Jr.（游戏邦注：Boyland此前因利用公权替布鲁克代尔大学医院谋利一事而遭起诉），最近又被曝出曾在多个重要大会上爱不释手地玩Zynga游戏《CityVille》的消息。
1）Pot Farm creators open Downtown East Side Games, announce Zombinis
by Joe Osborne
The Canadian creators of the fire grass Facebook farmer Pot Farm have opened a new studio, East Side Games, Inside Social Games reports. (But wait, didn’t these guys also work for Downtown East Side Games? Why, yes they did.) Josh Nilson and Galan Akin, formerly studio manager and creative director of DES Games, scored $1.5 million in funding with Super Rewards founder Robert Bailey.
Bailey will assume the role of CEO of the new East Side Games, while Nilson and Akin resume work under their former titles at Downtown East Side Games. Now, East Side Games also has acquired rights to Pot Farm, which enjoys 900 thousand monthly players, according to Bailey. So, why the name change at all? Who knows, but our guess is that it has something to do with that funding.
The new found trio plans to release Zombinis, “a collectible battle game featuring cuddly and somewhat explosive zombies with detachable body parts and addicting gameplay,” according to ISG, before the end of this year on Facebook. It already sounds like a far cry from Pot Farm, but still potentially aiming for a mature audience. East Side Games is already considering other platforms like the open web and the Google+ Games service, and had choice words for platforms like Facebook:
“[That] way we own the user, we control the experience and we pay the lowest tax rate,” Bailey told ISG. “Zuck and Jobs want a 30% cut, Google is talking about a much more fair 5%, but regardless, the safest place for us is to not be at the whim of one platform, high taxes, and draconian content restrictions.” I’m guessing he’s not very good friends with Sean Ryan, huh? Check out all of what East Side Games had to say of the news here.（source:games）
2）Gate2Play launches Zynga game cards in Middle East and North Africa
Zynga plans on taking over the world with social games. But it’s not so easy in places where there aren’t easy payment mechanisms such as credit cards. So the company is teaming up with Gate2Play to launch prepaid Zynga Game Cards which can be purchased in stores and redeemed to buy digital goods in Zynga’s online games.
Amman, Jordan-based Gate2Play will distribute the prepaid cards at thousands of stores in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It will also make the cards available for purchase through electronic means known as virtual e-PINs. The cards are a good way to expand social games — and ways to pay for them — to places where reach is currently minimal. It’s a coup for Gate2Play, since Zynga is the world’s largest social game company with more than 262 million monthly active users on Facebook.
The cards are availabe in values of $2, $5 and $10, giving players plenty of flexibility to make small purchases that fit their needs. Muhannad Ebwini, chief executive of Gate2Play, said that very few online users in the region use credit cards. Most prefer alternate payment methods such as pre-paid cards, bank transfers, and mobile text-message payments.
“The pace at which the Middle East’s social gaming market is growing represents a significant opportunity for both Gate2Play and Zynga,” Ebwini said.（source:venturebeat）
3）Google Plus Traffic Declines 3% Over One Week
By Jon Mitchell
Google Plus has been live for a month, and some have already begun to fret about its health. According to Experian Hitwise, Google Plus traffic for last week declined 3% from the week before. This might suggest that some of the initial shine has worn off, but it’s certainly too early to call it a trend.
Google Plus has surpassed 10 million users, which is impressive considering the service is still limiting sign-ups. Referral traffic from the service might be down in some parts of the Web, but it’s quickly become one of our top traffic sources at ReadWriteWeb.
Meanwhile, the Hitwise numbers show a 9% increase in upstream traffic from Gmail, suggesting that Google users have integrated the service into their lives.
The point is, any predictions about the service’s future growth are purely speculative.
It’s not surprising that some hype has worn off after a month, and a 3% weekly decline may mean little, especially considering the gains in other areas, like traffic from Gmail, surely an important part of the Google Plus strategy. Furthermore, these data are U.S. only, and they don’t include mobile or third-party traffic. This is an incomplete picture of the health of Google Plus.（source:readwriteweb）
4）Gazillion’s Fiden: Gaming’s Shift From Products To Services ‘Cannot Be Overstated’
Gazillion Entertainment’s VP of publishing Dan Fiden recently shared his thoughts on the industry’s transition into the digital market, noting that the trend toward operating games as a service marks “a tremendous shift” for publishers and developers alike.
“The industry is in the middle of a shift from one oriented around product development into one oriented around service operations. In my opinion, the significance of this simply cannot be overstated,” he said in a group interview in anticipation of GDC 2012, for which he serves as an advisory board member.
Fiden noted that for games to operate successfully as an ongoing service, the entire pipeline for production will have to change, even down to a title’s creative vision and design.
“In my opinion, the companies that will be most successful in the coming years will not be the ones who can figure out how to sell the same games they packaged up for Walmart in 2005 on Steam in 2011.”
“They will be the ones who can learn how to integrate distribution and monetization deeply into the design of their games, meaning that they figure out how to get ‘business’ and ‘creative’ people to sit next to each other and collaborate from day one.”
“The successful companies will understand how to ship early, they know what data to collect and how to act on it, and they’ll be able to move fast. Game studios and publishers traditionally work very similarly to movie or TV studios. Now they need work like web service companies. It’s a tremendous shift,” he added.（source:gamasutra）
5）New Facebook games can still make bank, social gaming exec says
by Joe Osborne
Well, I’d be saying that too if I founded two Facebook game companies. During an interview with Business Insider, founder and CEO of Freshplanet Mathieu Nouzareth said that Facebook gaming is the place to be for start up companies. Also having founded what Business Insider called “The French Zynga,” Weka Entertainment, Nouzareth has plenty of vested interest in the industry’s growth.
At any rate, he believes there’s still money to made on Facebook for start ups and companies other than the big players: Zynga, EA, Playdom and Wooga.”I think it’s still the best startup opportunity. I don’t know any other online market that allows for this kind of growth and profits,” he told Business Insider. Not even the iPhone.” “It’s a dream business.”
But wait a tick, Spry Fox CCO Daniel Cook told us just recently that he thinks this is far from the case. Of course, he was referring to both the existence of dominators like Zynga and more so that Facebook has established itself as a platform. While Nouzareth mentions that these endeavors take incredible talent from diverse teams, he fails to point out that already new developers have their potential revenue cut by 30 percent, thanks to Facebook Credits.
“It’s very hard to make a good game, and you need a little luck, but when you make it it’s very profitable,” Nouzareth said to Business Insider. While truer words have not been said on the matter, they’re not any more comforting.（source:games）
6）Global Resistance is Insomniac’s irresistible Resistance 3 promotion
by Joe Osborne
Well, at least it looks the part. Insomniac, creator of the Ratchet and Clank series, has unleashed Global Resistance, a Facebook-connected social game to promote the upcoming release of Resistance 3 for the Sony PS3, Gaming Union reports. The game, which is said to play much like Risk–which ironically will have a Facebook version of its own soon enough–will unlock exclusive content in the PS3 shooter. Inversely, playing the shooter will bolster your forces in the social game.
Players are forced to side with either the humans in this alternate WWII reality, or the Chimera, an alien race that’s a cross between The Thing and the Body Snatchers. Players will gather troops and attempt to take over regions of the world using the vast war map across rounds that last for hours in wars that last for days–seven days, to be exact. Your military decisions are aided with color-coded icons that help you judge your forces against the enemy’s.
However, the game appears to be extremely complicated, and generally skewed to the hardcore, war-mongering gamer. Luckily, the game takes on a few Facebook game cues like Missions. These, like Goals in FarmVille, direct players on what to do next in order to unlock content in Resistance 3. Players must even create and maintain their own military base to create new troops to launch Missions with–that sounds a lot like Empires & Allies, no? (Not to mention the battle system, an asynchronous affair with players trading pre-planned attacks much similar to Mafia Wars.)
Perhaps Global Resistance is the first move by Insomniac Click, a social games division within the studio that recently opened for business. Regardless, this is an impressive endeavor in both looks and scope that Resistance fans will surely love. Now, we just can’t wait to see what Insomniac Click can do with a game all its own.（source:games）
7）Facebook’s Sean Ryan: ‘I think Google’s a viable competitor’
by Joe Osborne
So, the heat is on then, huh? During an interview with Gamasutra, Facebook’s Director of Games Partnerships Sean Ryan (pictured far right) called Google a “viable competitor,” likely referring to its all but confirmed Google+ Games effort. Ryan, who joined the company six months ago, has big plans for Facebook and its role as a games platform. And he’s not afraid of Google nor the massive Japanese social game companies DeNA and Gree, who bought Ngmoco and OpenFeint, respectively.
“At the end of the day, we’re not so much about a game network,” Ryan said to Gamasutra. “We’re about the social graph, and everything you can do through it. So there’s no reason we can’t partner with everybody. We’re a very partner-driven organization in general. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out how that makes sense to both parties.”
In other words, Facebook could just offer DeNA and Gree deals that they couldn’t possibly refuse, though that’s speculation at best. Facebook has some more … concrete plans when it comes to how it will handle games on the platform from here on out. Well, at least Ryan knows what’s best. First of all, the landscape for Facebook games has changed, and the copycat games must go.
It’s no question it is harder to break into the top ten, just like it is in any business,” Ryan told Gamasutra. “What we’re seeing is, I don’t think you can, right now, put out a clone of a clone of a clone and be successful. There’s no question. You need to put out a well-targeted, well-designed game.” (Can somebody say, “hallelujah?”)
Better yet, Ryan and his team are considering a “concept of a lighter-weight social layer, that you and I can be friends without necessarily being friends,” he told Gamasutra. For more on what Ryan thinks of the state of gaming on Facebook, check out in the interview in full here.（source:games）
8）Brooklyn politician hooked on CityVille more than New York City
by Joe Osborne
Hell, it’s tough enough to keep up with one city much less a fantasy one. Brooklyn, NY Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. (pictured), currently facing federal corruption charges, has been found to have played Zynga hit CityVille during frequent trips to Albany, according to NY Daily News. On top of managing his digital city while away, Boyland reportedly played CityVille while in Assembly meetings debating important issues like rent regulation.
In fact, NY Daily News reports that during a meeting regarding that very subject, Boyland posted that he needed “donuts to fuel hungry cops” and that the food was necessary “to apprehend the bandits.” However, those words could easily be the automated message CityVille puts out when players request Donuts from their friends, and not Boyland’s own words. The Capitol newspaper found that Boyland logged into CityVille at least seven times during that very meeting on June 21, after comparing his Facebook activity with Assembly records.
“It’s galling that a red-faced Assemblyman would continue to show disrespect for the institution by playing games on the floor,” Citizen’s Union executive director Dick Dadey told NY Daily News. This news comes in the midst of Boyland facing corruption charges for doing political favors for Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn in exchange for a consulting job. You almost can’t blame the guy–well, for the gaming. A city with no problems that makes money from thin air? Sounds like a politician’s dream to me.（source:games）