（游戏邦注：据venturbeat报道，《FarmVille》、《Mafia Wars》和《Zynga Poker》占Zynga总营收的78%，2011年其付费用户总数为1220万，约占玩家总数的5%；第四季度玩家转化率为1.9%，超过第三季度的1.7%。）
2）据insidesocialapps报道，独立开发商NimbleBit指责Zynga游戏《Dream Heights》抄袭《Tiny Towr》一事似乎已对Zynga造成消极影响，《Dream Heights》最近在App Store的387条评论中，有85%评价是1颗星，使该游戏平均得分降至1.5颗星（总共5颗星）。
3）据venturebeat报道，新闻集团集下社交游戏部门Making Fun近日发布首款作品《Hidden Haunts》。
Making Fun首席执行官John Welch表示，这款寻物解谜游戏采用了许多真实照片素材，例如厨房场景中的一只火鸡，开发团队在拍完照片后就食用了那只火鸡。他称团队已经意识到快速占据市场先机的重要性，他们希望《Hidden Haunts》能够以现实感等特色从其他同类游戏中脱颖而出。
前5名热门游戏：《MiniFazenda》（Vostu）、《MegaCity》（Vostu）、《CaféMania》（Vostu）、《Colheita Feliz》（ELEX/Mentez）、《World Mysteries》（Vostu）。
1）Zynga shares slip 4.9% after reporting a 7% quarter-over-quarter bump in bookings
Zynga swung to a fourth quarterly loss of $435 million on a massive $510 million stock-based compensation charge related to its December public offering. Excluding that charge and other costs, earnings per share were 5 cents, beating an average estimate of 3 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts.
Zynga says that non-GAAP net income (a measure that isn’t in line with generally accepted accounting principles) is $37.2 million compared to $63.2 million a year before. Again, that’s also not necessarily a fair comparison because Zynga only finished its transition to using Facebook Credits until April 2011. If it had been using Facebook Credits the whole time and giving Facebook a 30 percent revenue share, it would have seen a 65 percent year-over-year increase in revenue.
Still, it looks like traders expected a bigger quarter-over-quarter bump in bookings. Shares are down 4.9 percent in after-hours trading to $13.65.
Zynga’s shares had climbed over the past month in anticipation of a stronger-than-estimated quarter. Facebook’s IPO filing revealed that the platform’s payments revenue grew 20 percent quarter-over-quarter into the end of the year, suggesting that Zynga might see a similar increase.
But Zynga did not see a commensurate bump. The company’s bookings were up just 6.6 percent to $306.5 million from the previous quarter’s bookings of $287.7 million. That said, bookings were up 25.9 percent year-over-year from $243.5 million the year before.
For the full year, bookings are up 38 percent to $1.16 billion while revenue reached $1.14 billion, nearly double what it was a year ago. Zynga expects to see between $1.35 and $1.45 billion in bookings for this year. The bookings metric factors in how much users paid upfront for virtual goods while revenue is counted when users actually consume the virtual items they purchased.
Daily active users were flat over the quarter at 54 million while monthly active users rose to 240 million from 227 million in the third quarter. Monthly unique users, which doesn’t double count consumers who play more than one game, rose slightly to 153 million from 152 million in the third quarter.
However, Zynga is seeing growth into the first part of this year with daily active users up at 57.3 million.
The company is also growing its daily active usage on mobile devices. Mobile DAUs have climbed to 15 million, from the 13 million figure the company shared in December before the initial public offering. The company said mobile usage is up fivefold year-over-year and that it’s seeing “good growth” in payments on mobile platforms. Zynga didn’t share any specifics, however.
One thing to consider is that a big portion of Zynga’s daily active usage on mobile is through Words With Friends, which is more advertising dependent than other games. So one would expect that Zynga does not monetize its mobile users on a per-user basis as well as other freemium iOS or Android developers.
Zynga is trying to counter this by launching more virtual currency-dependent games like Dream Zoo, Dream Heights and Dream Pethouse, which are more female-focused and aspirational. Zynga calls them “vest and express” games.
The company also pointed out that it’s doing a better job at convincing users to pay. Monthly unique payers rose 13 percent in the fourth quarter to 2.9 million from 2.6 million in the previous one. Average bookings per user are also up to a record high at $0.061 from $0.058 in the previous quarter.（source:insidesocialgames）
2）NimbleBit fans are giving Zynga’s Dream Heights a bad rap in app store reviews
Kathleen De Vere
The public relations fiasco around Dream Heights doesn’t appear to be easing for Zynga. Since the game’s formal release yesterday, the title has been pummeled by poor reviews calling out Zynga for copying independent developer NimbleBit and its hit game Tiny Tower.
At the time of writing, 85 percent of the game’s 387 total reviews were one star, pulling the game’s average rating down to 1.5 stars out of five.（source:insidemobileapps）
3）Hidden Haunts goes hunting for hidden objects on Facebook
by Joe Osborne
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is in the social games war now, didn’t you hear? Anyway, the company’s gaming division, Making Fun, has launched its first Facebook game today, Hidden Haunts. It looks about what you’d expect from a hidden object game. Well, aside from the characters with abnormally large heads and and equally large eyes.
“These games have been successful and confirmed our thesis,” Making Fun CEO John Welch told VentureBeat. “We knew we had to get to market quickly or else there would be 20 of these games out there.” So, Hidden Haunts is Making Fun’s answer to the trend, a hidden-object game with enhanced, photo-realistic scenes. That’s what Making Fun hopes will differentiate Hidden Haunts from other hidden-object games.
“We shot the photographs on location and added about a third of the objects in post production,” Welch told VentureBeat. “In one scene with a kitchen, there was a real turkey. After taking the photo, the team ate the turkey. We get a better sense of realism that balances lighting and place. It looks more natural. It’s a very complicated process, but one that results in higher quality. It’s like watching sports in high definition. Once you see this, you can’t go back.”
Hidden Haunts is firmly situated to compete with the likes of Hidden Chronicles and Gardens of Time, both of which welcome millions of daily players. Is there room for another in the ring, enhanced environments or not? See for yourself in the game now.（source:games）
4）Report: Brazilian dev Vostu cuts staff after Zynga copycat settlement
by Eric Caoili
Vostu, the Latin American game maker sued by Zynga over copycat allegations, has reportedly terminated an undisclosed number of employees following a settlement with the FarmVille maker.
The two companies reached a settlement for their respective copyright lawsuits and counterclaims last December requiring Vostu to make a monetary payment to the social game giant, and to change four of its titles to differentiate them from Zynga’s releases.
This agreement ended a six-month spat between the two in which Zynga accused Vostu of making near-identical copies its titles. It’s unclear how much of Vostu’s $46 million in funding raised over the years was given up in the deal.
Vostu is now laying off a portion of its staff, according to a report from TechCrunch. As of December, the developer had close to 600 employees spread across its Sao Paolo headquarters and offices in Buenos Aires and New York City.
Founded in 2007, Vostu currently attracts a total of some 3.5 million monthly active players on Facebook through games like Candy Dash and World Mysteries. It has a sizable audience on Google’s Orkut social network, too, which is very popular in Brazil.
This news follows recent troubles for another major Latin American social game developer, MetroGames (Coco Girl) in Argentina. Along with its financial problems and layoffs, the company is facing a possible lawsuit from former employees over extortion allegations. （source:gamasutra）
5）GREE To Open Office In Osaka [Social Games]
by Dr. Serkan Toto
After opening one office after the other outside Japan last year, GREE is planning to open a social game development studio in Osaka later this month.
What’s interesting is that this office will be the first of its kind outside Tokyo: the company does employ hundreds of people in Hokkaido and Okinawa, but these employees are working to keep the platform safe (for example by filtering messages from adults to minors).
GREE also says that they plan to recruit programmers in other cities, too – which makes sense, given the engineering talent crunch Tokyo is seeing currently.
Outside Japan, GREE operates offices in a total of eight countries now.（source:serkantoto）
6）GREE announces partnerships with top Chinese developers Haypi, Hoolai and PunchBox for forthcoming gaming platform
Kathleen De Vere
Details continue to trickle out about GREE’s upcoming global mobile-social gaming network, with the company announcing that it has partnered with 11 Chinese and South Korean developers. Announced today, the deal will bring 12 popular iOS and Android mobile-social games to its network. The full list of developers and games is:
All of the developers included in the announcement are well-known in their home markets. Haypi’s game Haypi Kingdom is one of the most popular Chinese mobile games and Hoolai has been the highest grossing developer on Tencent’s platform, China’s biggest social network. Chukong Technology (PunchBox) is known for the $14 million in funding it raised from Sequoia China and Disney’s Steamboat Ventures along with its top game Fishing Joy. Because the Chinese market monetizes so poorly despite its incredible growth, many local developers are keen to cater to Western markets.（source:insidemobileapps）
7）Social Networks in Focus: Orkut
By Sebastian Sujka
Facebook currently represents only about a third of worldwide traffic for social networks, according to a recent white paper released by social games and apps platform Viximo and Superdata Research. The non-Facebook category of social gaming will represent the bulk of worldwide revenue generated in the social gaming market, the study states.
Further, the study found that non-Facebook platforms in Western markets will be responsible for nearly one-quarter of worldwide social gaming revenue within the next three years and that the majority of social gaming revenue is made on other platforms, beyond the borders of North America, where Facebook is the clear market leader.
These recent findings as well as strongly increasing user acquisition costs on Facebook are reason enough for us to examine international social networks that might offer opportunities to social game developers. In the third of our series we present the key facts on Orkut, the Google-owned social network most popular in Brazil.
• Name: Orkut
• Country: Brazil, India, US
• Founded in: 2004
• Owned by: Google
• Specifics: Gaming, communities, photo sharing
• Offices in: Belo Horizonte, Sao Paolo, other Google offices worldwide
• Membership: open
• Languages available: Primarily Portuguese; 48 total languages available
• Age restrictions: 13+
• Audience: 66 million (as of Oct 2011)
• Audience demographics: mostly young (18-25 years old); over half of users are from Brazil
• How many games live: hundreds
• Own virtual currency: No
• Top5 Games: MiniFazenda (Vostu), MegaCity (Vostu), CaféMania (Vostu), Colheita Feliz (ELEX/Mentez), World Mysteries (Vostu)
• Open/closed for developer: Open
• Revenue share for developer: 100%
• Payment systems: Developers are responsible for collecting payments（source:socialgamesobserver）