亚马逊表示，公司计划面向Facebook之外的其他平台推出新游戏。在亚马逊正式成立游戏工作室之前，该公司已通过《The Great Tree》、《Matches & Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale》等小型休闲项目涉水游戏开发领域。这些游戏出自休闲游戏开发商Reflexive（于2008年被亚马逊收购），但亚马逊并未提及Reflexive是否并入了新开发团队。
该公司在上个月还针对Kindle Fire设备推出了类似于苹果Game Center的游戏社交服务GameCircle。
除了公司之前发布的游戏之外，THQ四个内部工作室开发者均已投入制作新游戏，但直到2013年才会公开新项目（游戏邦注：这四个THQ内部工作室分别是Relic Entertainment、Volition、Vigi Games以及THQ Studio Montreal）。
《Hungry Hungry Herd》（预计于10月发布，售价为22.99美元，附带价值50美元的FarmVille Farm Cash）；
《Words with Friends》（10月份发布，普通版本售价20美元，豪华版本售价39.99美元）；
《CityVille Monopoly》（采用《CityVille》主题的大富翁游戏，将于12月发布，附带85个单位的City Cash）；
据ABC News报道，这两家公司还将推出桌游版《Draw Something》，但目前还没有关于该版游戏的详细内容（据称其风格类似于《Pictionary》，预计于10月底或11月初发布）。
6）在本周MAU增长最快的Facebook游戏榜单上，Zynga的Ville游戏囊括前三甲，《FarmVille》新增1880万MAU，增幅达104%；《The Ville》新增1290万MAU，增幅为40%，《CityVille》新增1170万MAU，增幅为53%。EA新游戏《SimCity Social》位居第四，新增320万MAU，增幅为30%；FreshPlanet游戏《SongPop》排名第五，新增160万MAU，增幅为30%。
本榜单仅有其他两款游戏幅达到或超过20%，SocialPoint游戏《Dragon City》新增130万MAU，增幅为20%；Konami益智游戏《Puzzle Chasers》新增43万MAU，增幅为307%。（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）Amazon is making video games now
by Tom Curtis
It seems Amazon isn’t satisfied with just selling video games — it also wants to create them, and the retailer announced today that it’s launched a brand new division to help it do just that.
The new branch, known as Amazon Game Studios, has just debuted Living Classics, a new hidden object game on Facebook that references popular books such as Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur.
Amazon says Living Classics is just the first of many games to come from the new division. The company did not specify, however, whether it plans to target any platforms beyond Facebook.
Before the official debut of Amazon Games Studios, Amazon had quietly dabbled in game development with small-scale casual titles such as The Great Tree and Matches & Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale.
Those previous games came from casual game developer Reflexive, which Amazon purchased back in 2008. Amazon did not mention whether Reflexive is involved at all with its new development team.
Last month, Amazon also set out to make its Kindle Fire hardware more game friendly by launching GameCircle, a new set of achievement-based and community features much like those seen on Apple’s Game Center or Gree’s Openfeint.（source:gamasutra）
2）ChefVille combines restaurant management sims with real world food
Zynga’s getting ready to serve up ChefVille on Facebook. The game was recently revealed at this summer’s Zynga Unleashed event, and is designed to appeal to established Zynga fans and hopefully bring in foodies as new players. We recently sat down with studio GM Jonathan Knight for a hands-off preview of the game.
ChefVille is a restaurant management sim where players are tasked with building up a building up a small eatery into an establishment of epic proportions. Players can turn customize their restaurants to specific themes — we saw examples of 50s diner, Italian and Asian themes — or mix and match the types of food they serve. Like so many other “Ville” games, ChefVille takes place on a map broken up into a grid that’s off limits until unlock new areas by meeting milestones or spending hard currency.
Players cook specific dishes using different appliances. Examples of these appliances include brick ovens that can cook pasta and pizza, a grill for barbecue and a wok cooker for various Asian meals. In order to cook these edible goodies, players have to combine ingredients and then let them cook for a certain amount of time, then served to guests at the restaurant. The ingredients have to be crafted from raw materials that are acquired by visiting spots around the map — like a pond that generates seafood or a food truck with fresh produce — or visiting friends’ eateries and ordering food (which then provides the materials).
After cooking food, players serve the meals to their customers in order to increase their business’s recommendations. If a player’s not logged into the game, the wait staff will take care of serving guests; though in-game rewards are greater when players serve the food. Extra rewards can be earned by providing “V.I.P. Service” to certain customers, which is accomplished by delivering goodies like roses to a table or hiring a musician to play a violin solo.
The game’s social mechanics seem a bit more limited than in Zynga’s other Ville titles. At the moment, players can visit friends’ restaurants to eat at, but there’s not yet an option to hire friends as restaurant staff. When asked about that, Knight tells us the development team is working on a hiring element, but it won’t be available at the time of launch.
The cooking element in the gameplay also comes with a real-world bonus: actual food recipes. Each time a player cooks and serves a meal, experience points are earned towards mastering that specific dish. There are three “mastery stars”, and reaching the second star on certain foods will cause a real recipe (from Zynga’s own executive chef) to be unlocked and emailed to the user. At the time of launch, the game will have over 50 different recipes to unlock, and Knight tells us there are plans for users to submit recipes of their own in the near future.
The last restaurant sim put out by Zynga was Café World, which is still the top game in the restaurant genre on Facebook with 600,000 DAU and 2.7 million MAU. As a result, it’s likely ChefVille will quickly rise to the top of the list, based on how much traffic The Ville gained when Zynga turned cross-promotion on. When asked about how ChefVille will differ from Café World, Knight tells us the key differences include being able to interact with the environment outside the restaurant, as well as the recipe sharing mechanics.
ChefVille is scheduled to launch sometime this week on Facebook and on Zynga.com shortly afterwards.（source:insidesocialgames）
3）No casual or Facebook games for THQ, internal studios all working on new triple-A titles
In an investor call for fiscal first-quarter 2013, THQ president Jason Rubin announced that the publisher is ceasing all “experimentation” with Facebook and casual mobile games.
This is right in line with the company’s new direction which places a high-emphasis on quality big-budget releases. On that front, Rubin announced that in addition to previously announced titles, all four internal THQ developers have started work on new games. Rubin made it clear that the studios are developing these titles under the new marching orders to create works of the highest quality.
The four internal studios are Relic Entertainment, Volition, Vigil Games, and THQ Studio Montreal. Relic Entertainment is the team responsible for the critically acclaimed Company of Heroes real-time-strategy games. Volition recently released the popular Saints Row: The Third and is now working on Saints Row: Enter the Dominatrix, which Rubin referred to as Saints Row 4.
Austin-based Vigil Games just finished work on Darksiders II, which is hitting store shelves on August 14. THQ Studio Montreal, which was previously overseeing the followup to Homefront (that’s been moved to an external developer), is also working on something new.
Rubin and chief executive officer Brian Farrell didn’t provide specifics on any of the titles, and it’s likely we won’t see anything from this announcement until at least some time in calendar 2013.（source:venturebeat）
4）Game industry’s annual report: Games penetrating cultural, legal, and political barriers
The video game industry isn’t such an odd stepchild in entertainment anymore. The $67 billion worldwide industry is breaking through barriers on the cultural, legal, and political fronts, according to the annual report of the Entertainment Software Association, the U.S. industry’s trade group with 37 game publishes as members.
The most astounding stat just might be how many people are playing games in the U.S. The ESA said that 72 percent of U.S. households play games, a greater percentage than ever. Of these, 82 percent are adults, and 42 percent are women.
Gaming has also seen a great deal of activity in the political arena. During 2011, the ESA faced 171 bills that attempted to regulate video games in 39 states. But in the summer of 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to much of the debate by ruling that video games are a protected form of speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The group said that lawmakers in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Utah acknowledged the industry’s economic benefits by enacting bills that created tax incentives for computer and video game production. Twenty-two states now provide such incentives. A total of 25 tax incentive proposals became law in 13 states and one U.S. territory. Nine bills in three states sought to eliminate incentives. All of those suffered defeat. Even the conservative bastion of Texas approved $32 million to fund its industry incentive over the next two years.
During the year, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which game companies fund, launched a mobile version of its game rating system that helps parents manage their children’s gameplay. A survey said that 85 percent of parents are aware of the ESRB’s ratings system.
The group lobbied Congress through the launch of its E-Tech Caucus, which held a reception celebrating games in Washington, D.C. Gallagher testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology at a hearing on the growing uses of computer and video games in education. The ESA also held its second annual Games and Learning Summit during the E3 2011 trade show.
The Video Game Voters Network, which recruits consumers to support causes protecting video games as free speech, grew to more than 310,000 members. Its Facebook page has more than 18,000 friends, and it has 3,100 Twitter followers. The program has ambassadors on 390 U.S. college campuses.
The Electronics Entertainment Expo trade show remains a top draw, in both attendance and mind share. The 2011 E3 drew 24 billion media impressions and 45,000 attendees. In a survey of the 2011 crowd, 93 percent said they planned to participate in E3 2012.
The ESA remains active in the fight against software piracy as well. The trade group joined with the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus to name Canada, China, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine to a “watch list” of high piracy countries. The ESA conducted 45 training sessions for 1,500 law enforcement officials about detecting and identifying game piracy. Six major pirates were prosecuted in the U.S. Dozens of other raids were pursued in other countries.（source:venturebeat）
5）It’s true: A FarmVille and Hungry Hungry Hippo mashup board game is coming in October
by Libe Goad
A few months ago, we learned that Zynga and Hasbro were busy making a love child, or shall we say love children, and now we finally get to see the the product of this coupling. And, I’m not going to lie, it’s something akin to seeing someone’s ugly baby for the first time. Your first instinct is to cringe, but since that’s a serious faux pas, you tell yourself something like, “Oh, s(he) will grow into that giant head.”
In this case, my reasoning is that Hasbro is trying to make its board games more relevant in a largely digital world. And, who knows, maybe it will work. The new Zynga-themed board games that will be coming to a big box retailer near you include the following:
Hungry Hungry Herd
Yup, it’s a mashup of FarmVille and one of my childhood faves, Hungry Hungry Hippos. In this version of the game, you’ll still push the lever and try to capture all of the marbles, but the hippos have been replaced with a brown cow, sheep, horse and pig and is plastered with FarmVille art and logo. That’s cool and all, but how did the name Hungry Hungry Herd make it off the cutting room floor? Look for this game in October, for $22.99. Bonus: This game comes with $50 of FarmVille Farm Cash.
Words with Friends
It’s just like Scrabble, but it’s Words with Friends! Seriously. Just. Like. Scrabble. There are word tiles, tile holder and double and triple word scores. Words with Friends comes out in October and will run you $20. The LUXE version will run you $39.99, and comes with an over-sized rotating board. There will also be Words with Friends To Go available in a portable carrying case for $14.99, also out in October.
This is the least surprising of the bunch, since there’s Star Wars Monopoly, QVC Monopoly and, I kid you not, Heinz Ketchup Monopoly. So, a CityVille-themed Monopoly seems downright logical compared to those other variations. In the game, you will be able to build skyscrapers with stackable buildings and will interact with the CityVille Skies iPad App. And, like Hungry Hungry Herd, this game will come with 85 City Cash dollars, the in-game currency for CityVille on Facebook. Look for this in December 2012.
ABC News reports there is also going to be a board game version of Draw Something. There’s not much info on this game right now, but logic dictates that it will look much like Pictionary, pictured above, but look more like the mobile drawing game (and, we’re guessing, will include the logo as well). Look for this in late October/early November.（source:games）
6）Zynga on top of this week’s list of fastest-growing Facebook games
Author’s note: The large traffic gains for Zynga’s “Ville” games on this week’s list of fastest-growing games on Facebook by monthly active users seems is based on dramatic surges in these games daily active user numbers, which has since dropped off. We’ve reached out to Facebook for information about the traffic spikes, and will update the article if we hear back.
FarmVille took the top spot this week with a gain of 18.8 million MAU, a 104 percent increase. The Ville was up by 12.9 million MAU, a 40 percent gain that let it take the No. 2 spot. CityVille snagged the No. 3 spot with 11.7 million MAU, a 53 percent gain. EA’s SimCity Social is continuing to grow, taking the No. 4 position with a 30 percent gain of 3.2 million MAU. Finally, FreshPlanet’s SongPop rounded out the top five titles on the list with 1.6 million MAU for a 30 percent increase.
Only two games on the list showed traffic increases of 20 percent or more. Social Point’s Dragon City was up by 1.3 million MAU for a 20 percent gain. Konami’s puzzle game Puzzle Chasers saw a large traffic surge of 430,000 MAU, a 307 percent gain.（source:insidesocialgames）