1）据Zynga最新修订的S-1文件显示，该公司执行副总裁兼首席业务官Owen Van Natta已离任成为公司战略顾问，其他人事变动包括风险投资者Brad Feld离开董事会，而Spring Ventures合伙人Suni Paul则加入Zynga董事会。
AllThingsD报道指出，Van Natta离职颇受关注的原因在于，他曾在不到一年时间中从Facebook高管摇身变成MySpace首席执行官，现在仅过了14个月就离开了Zynga高管的职位。但知情者透露，Van Natta离职与《华尔街日报》报道的Zynga回收员工股票期权的传言并无关联。
2）据FINS Technology报道，《FarmVille》这款游戏联合开发者Sizhao Yang 在最近媒体采访中回顾了他与Zynga首席执行官Mark Pincus早期接触时的情况，并称自己有点后悔在2009年6月将MyMiniLife和《FarmVille》出售给Zynga。
3）Digital Chocolate最近发布新款游戏《Galaxy Life》预告视频。《Galaxy Life》是一款科幻策略游戏，这个1分钟预告片显示了一些类似电影动画片《Despicable Me》角色的小人Starlings。
这个1分钟预告片并没有透露游戏的详细信息，目前暂无法得知游戏具体发布日期，但用户可通过其Facebook和Twitter页面跟进游戏最新情况（游戏邦注：《Galaxy Life》是Digital Chocolate于7月份发布《Millionaire Boss》以来推出的第一款Facebook游戏）。
4）西班牙社交游戏开发商Social Point最近发布新款Facebook游戏《Men vs Women》（目前的MAU为4万），其基本元素与该公司另一款策略游戏《Social Empires》相似，但添加了更丰富的画面和故事元素，以及和PC、掌机游戏相仿的过场动画。
而猫王和Gaga等名人品牌在这些营销活动中却大获成功，这些社交游戏推广活动并不影响猫王Euphoria Tour项目赚得2000万美元，以及Lady Gaga的《Born This Way》专辑销量突破800万份。
7）据venturebeat报道，动视游戏元老、《使命召唤》系列开发者Dusty Welch和Chris Archer最近成立了自己的社交游戏工作室U4iA（游戏邦注：发音为euphoria），计划向Facebook平台引进硬核社交游戏。
1）Zynga S-1 Amendment Shows Management Changes for Van Natta, Feld and Paul
Zynga’s Owen Van Natta has stepped down from his post as Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer
to become a strategic advisor, handing back millions of pre-IPO shares, according to a new amendment to Zynga’s form S-1. Other changes include director and venture investor Brad Feld leaving the board while Spring Ventures partner Sunil Paul joins it.
It’s tempting to read into Van Natta’s move, given that he’s moved from a senior role at Facebook to CEO of MySpace for less than a year, and is now coming down from his EVP & CBO role at Zynga after 14 months. According to a statements made to AllThingsD, however, that’s not the case. Unnamed sources also tell the blog that Van Natta’s move has nothing to do with a recent stock scandal where The Wall Street Journal reported that Zynga was attempting to redistribute shares among its employees. Additionally, CEO Mark Pincus said for the record that “Owen is a valuable business partner. He’s made great contributions to Zynga and continues to be an important part of our team.”
As for Feld and Paul, the timing is not altogether strange for a VC sitting on the board of a company about to go public. Paul fills his place, having previously worked with Pincus on founding a company called FreeLoader, which sold for $38 million in 1996.
Zynga’s IPO is expected to happen before the end of 2011.（source:insidesocialgames）
2）FarmVille’s co-creator not sure selling to Zynga was the best idea
by Joe Osborne
Well, duh. Now that Zynga is supposedly looking at $20 billion, thanks largely to FarmVille, we’d feel a tinge of regret too. The game’s co-creator, Sizhao Yang (pictured), told FINS Technology about early interactions with CEO Mark Pincus, creating what would spawn an industry-changing revolution and ultimately selling MyMiniLife (and that game) to Zynga in June 2009.
“If I had known then what I know now, I don’t think we would have sold [MyMiniLife],” Yang admitted to FINS. “But we did fairly well for ourselves, as well as for our investors.” A little over a year later, Yang left Zynga on a day’s notice, never looking back. Sure, Yang may seem to regret his decision to sell FarmVille, but his decision to leave came down to a simple idea.
“I left about eight figures in restricted stock on the table,” Yang revealed to FINS. “I realized that when I’m 80 or 90 years old, am I going to be more proud of the fact that I created FarmVille and BetterWorks, or more proud of the fact that I have $20 or $40 million in my bank account? For me I was going to be more proud of the things I create and the things I do.”
Yang moved on to found other tech startups, most recently BetterWorks, a company that makes Web-based software for small companies to more easily obtain company perks for their employees.
Since the FarmVille mastermind’s departure, Zynga has gone on to create several more games based on the FarmVille blueprint (which has since been put into question), each more successful than the last. That said, the all new CastleVille has quite a lot to live up to.（source:games）
3）Digital Chocolate teases next game, Galaxy Life
By Andrew Webster
Teaser trailers are known for, well, teasing a game, but Digital Chocolate’s latest has to be the teasiest teaser of them all. The one minute long trailer doesn’t tell us much about Galaxy Life, other than the fact that it will star some cute sci-fi creatures.
Galaxy Life is a sci-fi strategy game, but you wouldn’t know it from the video. Instead, you’ll get to see a creature that looks ripped out of Despicable Me struggling to capture a butterfly. Apparently the creatures are called Starlings.
While the video doesn’t reveal much about the game itself, the brief description provides a bit of insight, explaining: “These little guys may be cute and playful, but when it comes down to brass tacks they don’t mess about. Diplomacy is admirable but battles get you the booty! Challenge friends and find allies in Galaxy Life!”
No release date has been set for Galaxy Life, but you can follow the game’s progress on both its Facebook and Twitter pages. It will be Digital Chocolate’s first new Facebook release since Millionaire Boss back in July.（source:gamezebo）
4）Men vs Women – Social Point Takes War of the Sexes to Facebook in New Strategy Game
By Regina Leuwer
Spanish social game developer Social Point – known for the popular strategy title Social Empires – opens a new battlefield with Men vs Women. The brand new game was introduced by Facebook’s Julien Codorniou, European Head of Gaming Partnerships, in his keynote at Social Gaming Summit London, earlier this week. Codorniou named Social Point as one example of European developers successfully innovating on Facebook’s game platform right now.
Men vs Women picks up the basic game elements from Social Empires but adds more polished graphics and storytelling, including cut scenes similar to those in PC or console games.
Upon entering the app, each player is prompted to take a side according to gender. The game is set in 2016 with two different scenarios: Female players fight against world domination of men and their leader Hannibal. In the male version, the world is enslaved by women and their commander Ms. Evilia. Either way, the player joins resistance to fight suppression from the other sex. The gender conflict is not resolved through communication but using weaponry, troops and other military resources.
Men vs Women offers a new twist to the strategy genre. It’s too early to tell if this approach is succeeding, currently, the game has 40,000 monthly active users.（source:socialgamesobserver）
5）Capcom feels the power of The Smurf, gets bullish on social games
by Joe Osborne
Seriously, those blue buggers must be hypnotizing or something. Capcom, the Japanese games company behind serious game franchises like Resident Evil, has revealed serious intention to take advantage of the social games movement. 1UP reports that Capcom will employ a laser focus on the social games industry, the same industry that kept it in the black in 2011.
“Capcom has decided to look at the social-game field from the scope of the entire company,” Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono told Famitsu Magazine, translated by 1UP. “Instead of framing it in its own section like consoles or mobile games, it’s something that all of Capcom development is involved with.”
The news comes just as Capcom announced that the next game in the wildly popular (in Japan) Monster Hunter series would appear on mobile phones through Japanese social game publisher Gree. Ono, who will lead the charge, went on to say that this company-wide push into social will ultimately lead to new properties, as not many social gamers are also fans of, say, Street Fighter, even in Japan. (Though, Ono has admitted that fighting games would fit right on Facebook.)
“We discuss all the issues that go behind a platform choice, then go with what we think is the best solution,” Ono said. “If we have titles suitable for the overseas market, for example, then Facebook or Google+ are viable choices for that.”
Capcom’s strictly-social subsidiary, Beeline Interactive, has enjoyed immense success in the U.S. with games like Smurfs’ Village. That said, we’d be surprised if this new found social initiative didn’t creep over into Capcom’s Western efforts. Facebook gamers: Better start practicing your Hadouken.（source:games）
6）Zynga Brings the King of Pop to CityVille in Michael Jackson Branded Promotion
Kathleen De Vere
Zynga is venturing again into celebrity promotions with a Michael Jackson-themed CityVille campaign to promote Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson memorial tour, The Immortal.
Starting this week and running until November 25th, CityVille players will be able to collect Michael Jackson themed items like a hot air balloon, a soldier robot statue, posters and gloves. The main thrust of the campaign will be to build the Michael Jackson The Immortal Cirque du Soleil stage, which will allow players to unlock an exclusive in-game video of the tour.
This campaign is very similar to the CityVille Enrique Iglesias campaign from a couple of months ago. The Michael Jackson campaign, however, adds some minor cross-promotion with Zynga Poker, putting branded tour graphics into the game’s table felts. Zynga’s high water mark for celebrity game integrations still seems to be the FarmVille GagaVille promotion that ran this spring; that campaign gave players the ability to stream brand-new songs and gave away real-world prizes like tour tickets.
Regardless of the size of the promotions, Zynga games seem to enjoy a significant, but short-lived boost in popularity when they bring in star power. The GagaVille campaign boosted FarmVille player numbers by almost 2 million monthly active and daily active users during the peak of that promotion. Few of them stuck around afterwards, however, with DAU levels back to where they were before as soon as the promotion ended:
The more involved gameplay experience in Enrique Iglesias’s CityVille campaign proved to be slightly better at retaining players. That campaign, which had a much bigger player pool to work from, boosted MAU by almost 5 million and DAU by over 2 million, with new players seeming to stay engaged for the better part of a week before leaving the game. That said, while celebrities seem to give Zynga’s older titles short term gains, they’re still no cure for an overall decline in popularity as players tire of the titles.
While its hard to pinpoint if the in-game efforts were successful on the other side of the equation, neither Iglesias nor Gaga seemed to lose anything from their social game promotions. Iglesias’ Euphoria Tour went on to earn 20 million dollars, and Born This Way has sold over 8 million copies so far.
As far as what the CityVille campaign can do for the late Michael Jackson, we observe that the promotion is merely the latest in a long line of game tie-ins that Michael Jackson and his estate have authorized. The King of Pop’s first video game was 1989‘s Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker and since then Jackson has appeared in the Space Channel 5 games, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 (as a secret character), been the posthumous star of Ubisoft’s Michael Jackson: The Experience and was famously removed from PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies, where he showed up as an unauthorized dancing zombie.（source:insidesocialgames）
7）Call of Duty veterans set crosshairs for ‘first-person social game’
by Joe Osborne
That sounds a helluva lot like “first-person shooter game,” no? Well, these folks are best known for their contributions to hardcore games like Call of Duty. VentureBeat reports that Activision veterans Dusty Welch and Chris Archer have founded their own social game studio, U4iA. Pronounced “euphoria” (that’s cute), the Bellevue, Wash.-based studio aims to bring core games to Facebook in a big way.
Welch (CEO) and Archer (CCO) aim to set the quality bar even higher on Facebook and mobile with a “first-person social game” that matches the caliber of recent free-to-play games like League of Legends, according to VentureBeat. At least from what the U4iA heads see, the future of social games is the arrival of traditional gamers.
“We’re making core games for a social audience.” Welch told VentureBeat, “We think the hardcore gamers are going to start looking for the core games on the social and mobile networks now.” Well, with companies like Kixeye and Kabam gunning for the same audience, at least they’re not alone.
“We think we’re at the spearhead of a lot of cool things,” Welch said to VentureBeat. Since the guy is credited with creating the Call of Duty series–the best-selling game franchise ever–we can’t really contest that. This first-person shooter social game will be created for both Facebook and mobile devices using the Unity Player. With expertise like that, we’re sure the game will be a technological marvel, but will the audience be there to bear witness?（source:games）