1）Zynga终于在近日落实与卢卡斯影业的合作项目，即将推出加入《夺宝奇兵》主角Indiana Jones元素的《Adventure World》。
该游戏将支持玩家探索名为“Indiana Jones”和“Calendar of the Sun”的游戏新章节，并与Indiana Jones这名NPC角色组队参与任务，游戏还植入了以Indiana Jones为主题的道具、搜集物品、武器和装备等内容。
2）职业服务公司Glass Door最近报告显示，Mark Pincus在Zynga员工中的支持率为46%，也就是说，还有56%的员工对Pincus印象不佳。而Glass Door所调查的企业CEO在员工中的平均支持率则高达62%（游戏邦注：Glass Door并未指出Zynga近3000名员工中有多少人参与了这项调查）。
惠普前首席执行官Leo Apotheker员工支持率为25%，雅虎前首席执行官Carol Bartz支持率为33%，乔布斯则高达97%。
3）Zynga首席技术官Cadir Lee在CIOL最近的采访中透露了关于公司新项目Project Z的一些情况，指出这个半独立的社交游戏网站将首先运营Zynga游戏，然后再支持独立开发者向其投放游戏（游戏邦注：该公司首席执行官Mark Pincus曾在上个月的Zynga Unleashed大会上表示，这个平台将支持玩家通过“zTags”相互联系）。Lee表示这个项目并非意在摆脱Facebook，“Zynga游戏将深度绑定Facebook功能”。
4）台湾社交游戏发行商SNS+近日宣布融资1250万美元（游戏邦注：该轮融资由WI Harper Group和Matrix Partners主导），将利用这笔资金扩大其社交游戏市场影响力。
6）在本周MAU增长最快的Facebook游戏榜单上，Zynga新作《CastleVille》（最近MAU为1740万）居于首位，其次是《Bubble Witch Saga》（最近MAU为860万）和《Tetris Battle》（最近MAU为740万）。
而上周榜单出现的《Call of Duty 》应用经查明原来只是一款用于Call of Duty Elite社区的寻友应用。观察者对此感到遗憾，因为暴雪事实上完全可进入社交游戏领域与EA、育碧等竞争对手一决高下。据称另一家发行商Take-Two正打算通过收购进军这个市场。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，拒绝任何不保留版权的转载，如需转载请联系：游戏邦）
1）Zynga Finally Unveils Indiana Jones Adventure World
Kathleen De Vere
Zynga’s Adventure World is at last getting its promised infusion of Indiana Jones, announced in September as part of a partnership with LucasFilm.
Unlike Zynga’s previous pairings with Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias and Michael Jackson, this collaboration is focused purely on gameplay rather than cross promotion. While those campaigns all resulted in a short term boost in monthly active and daily active users, the numbers dwindled once the limited time promotion ended.
When the new Adventure World chapter goes live tomorrow, players will be able to explore a new chapter of the game called Indiana Jones and the Calendar of the Sun and team up with a non-playable Indiana Jones character. New players will now find Indiana Jones-themed items, collectibles, weapons, outfits and gadgets incorporated into the game.
Its safe to assume that Zynga is hoping that the Indiana Jones integration will shore up Adventure World’s performance in the long term. Despite an initial debut as the 9th fastest growing Facebook game by MAU, Adventure World failed to capitalize on those numbers. AppData indicates the game peaked in October and has seen a steady decline since, dropping from its peak of nearly 14 million MAU and 2 million DAU to today’s 9 million MAU and 1.4 million MAU.
Unfortunately for Zynga, Adventure World isn’t the only game that is failing to capitalize on a strong initial launch. Mafia Wars 2 has followed Adventure World’s trajectory, dropping from a peak of 17 million MAU and over 2 million DAU to 12.5 million MAU and 1 million DAU according to AppData.
Zynga’s most popular games have all seen flat or declining MAU in recent months and the developer currently has 215 million MAU and 49 million MAU. However, while those numbers have been steady over the past three months, Zynga has seen a slight uptick in MAU and DAU recently thanks to the success of CastleVille.（source: insidesocialgames）
2）Zynga employees give Mark Pincus a 46 percent approval rating
The claws are out for Mark Pincus, chief executive of social game maker Zynga, today. First, the New York Times published a negative story on a potential talent drain at the social game company. Now Glass Door, the career services firm, says that Pincus has a 46 percent approval rating among his employees.
That means 56 percent of the employees surveyed by Glass Door have a negative view of Pincus, whose company is about to hold an initial public offering. On average, CEOs have an approval rating of 62 percent on Glass Door.
By comparison, the now-fired HP CEO Leo Apotheker had a 25 percent employee approval rating. And fired Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz had a 33 percent approval rating just before she was let go. Steve Jobs, the former Apple chief, had a 97 percent approval rating.
On a scale of 1 to 5, employees gave Zynga a rating of 2.6. The average on Glassdoor is 3.1, based on feedback from 150,000 companies. Glass Door didn’t say how many of Zynga’s near 3,000 employees voted in the survey. [Update: After we asked them, Glass Door said that the sample includes only 20 employee responses.] The chart below shows how Zynga rates on various workplace factors.
Glass Door said a Zynga software engineer recently wrote, “If you are under 25, have no kids, love the smell of dog and want to get fat eating all kinds of free food, by all means, apply. It will be the extension of the dorm-living that you will need right after college. Professionals who want to complete an entire design/develop/iterate/deploy/and document cycle will find the going is tough.”
It will be interesting to see what the rating looks like if Zynga does in fact stage its IPO.
Other employee comments follow below:
“Don’t make people work weekends. Focus on quality instead of quantity of games released. Start using more modern tools when available. Hire more seasoned developers to guide junior devs and only hire devs who have their fundamentals down (seems like a lot of subpar devs slipped through the cracks).” – Zynga Senior Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)
“Interviews are unorganized. After you get in, there is no personal life, always working till late” – Zynga Artist (San Francisco, CA)
“Best IT team that provisions best of breed software/hardware for you. Living/Working in San Francisco which has one of the finest weather in the country! Restricted Stock Units won’t hurt. Pre-IPO company.” – Zynga Employee (San Francisco, CA)
“You’ll work 8-18 hours per day 5-7 days per week. Company leaders demand creativity of employees after overworking them, and ignores most ideas that don’t follow the same technique/code base that most of their games currently use. Not much of a social life.” – Zynga Software Engineer (location n/a)
“Smart people, hard problems, really massive scale, good compensation, great office, great benefits and perks, very flexible vacation policy, opportunities for growth.” – Zynga Principal Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)（source:venturebeat）
3）Zynga plans to play nice with indie game makers through Project Z
by Joe Osborne
Forget getting our own nifty zTags, because Zynga’s mysterious Project Z just got way more exciting. During an interview with CIOL, Zynga CTO Cadir Lee revealed a sweet little morsel of a detail about the upcoming project that could be huge. “To start with, we will allow only Zynga games on our sites and in future we are planning to allow others to host games, developed by individual developers,” Lee said to CIOL, referring to Project Z (or Zynga Direct).
Project Z, a semi-independent social games network that will provide players with “zTags” used to connect more easily, was revealed by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus last month at Zynga Unleashed. Lee went on to say that this move is not an attempt at distancing itself with Facebook, and “Facebook will be heavily integrated into Zynga.” We imagine he’s referring to Project Z there, as the company is already at that point with all of its existing games.
For Zynga to host independent game makers’ social games on its own website would be a boon to any interested developer. While we’re unsure of the traffic Zynga’s website garners (one website puts it at over 11 million monthly unique visitors), for an indie game maker’s name to be attached to the biggest social game creator of them all would be quite the recommendation. At the very least, this will bring some much-needed gameplay variety to Zynga’s lineup.（source:games）
4）Social Games Publisher SNS+ Raises $12.5M In Funding
by Mike Rose
Taiwan-based social game publisher SNS Plus, also known as SNS+, has raised $12.5 million as part of a round of funding from various venture capital firms.
The round was co-led by firms WI Harper Group and Matrix Partners, and SNS+ said that it will use the money to increase its influence in the social gaming market, especially in the Asian market. WI Harper said in a statement its investment in this round amounted to $4 million of the total.
WI Harper Group founder Peter Liu noted that the funding will allow SNS+ to bridge the gap between mainland game studios and the overseas market.
“SNS+ has many advantages including in-depth market research, local platforms collaboration, local payment systems collaboration, localized operation strategies, and diverse marketing plans,” he explained.
“We are deploying capital in our Fund 7 portfolio along the gaming industry wisely by focusing on HTML5 based mobile and online developers, publishers, and game platforms.”
Along Chang, CEO of SNS+, added, “Understanding the cultural differences in all of our markets, and constantly striving to meet the demands of our players is an exceptional advantage for SNS+.”（source:gamasutra）
5）New social studio U4iA looking to surpass Call of Duty
By Andrew Webster
It may have only been announced last week, but new social games studio U4iA already has some pretty lofty ambitions: to overtake Call of Duty as the pre-eminent shooter on the market.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz (free registration required), U4iA co-founder Dusty Welch, who was formerly head of publishing at Activision and helped launch Call of Duty in the first place, revealed the studio’s plans.
“I think you look at my track record of knocking off the established players and you can imagine that my goal for U4iA is to once again dethrone the established players, across the spectrum, across the space and allow gamers to again unite and experience the best consumer proposition that’s available, and usher in a new genre experience,” he explained. “That’s what U4iA is going to provide.”
Few details about the studio’s first unnamed project have been announced. In the interview, Welch described the browser-based game as a “AAA, first person shooter gaming experience.” Meanwhile, when the studio was first announced its debut game was described as an “online-only, hardcore freemium, first-person social game.”（source:gamezebo） http://www.gamezebo.com/news/2011/11/28/new-social-studio-u4ia-looking-surpass-call-duty
6）CastleVille, Bubble Witch Saga Lead This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by MAU
CastleVille arrives on top of this week’s list of fastest-growing Facebook games by monthly active users with favorites Bubble Witch Saga and Tetris Battle rounding out the top three.
The Call of Duty that appeared on this list last week turned out to be a utilities app that facilitates friend-finding in the Call of Duty Elite community. An Activision rep tells us that connecting via Elite or through the newly released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 triggers activity in this app as the friends lists are loaded.
Too bad — Activision could stand to get into social games what with its competitors EA and Ubisoft enjoying success. Rumor has it that publisher Take-Two is looking to get into the space via acquisition as well.（source:insidesocialgames）