2）据gamezebo报道，games.com网站近日将EA社交游戏《Risk Factions》和《The Sims Social》，以及Popcap旗下的《植物大战僵尸》、《Peggle》列为即将发布的新款社交游戏，因此我们不难判断PopCap正打算将这两者引进Facebook平台。
5）EA近日宣布与Procter & Gamble合作，在Playfish社交游戏《Restaurant City》中植入Procter & Gamble的Bounty产品。该游戏中将在纸巾产品中显示其品牌内容，并设置以该产品为核心的游戏机制。
iSwitfer上最热门的Facebook游戏是《CityVille》和《Empires & Allies》，以及《FrontierVille》、《Dragons of Atlantis》、《Gardens of Tim》、《Backyard Monsters》和《SlotoMania》。
7）在VentureBeat今年举办的“Who’s Got Game”最佳初创企业大赛中，日本社交游戏开发商Kaiju荣获冠军。该公司的特长是将卡通风格的日本怪兽形象引进电子游戏领域，并将于今年发布一款支持玩家自主创建怪兽并摧毁城市的社交游戏《Kaijuland》，该游戏将入驻手机、网页及家庭掌机平台。
8）在本周的DAU增长最快Facebook游戏榜单上，《Gardens of Times》表现最为突出，最近的DAU是369万，其次是Soft Reklam旗下的《Super Texas Holdem Poker》（DAU为53万），然后才是策略类游戏《Empires & Allies》（DAU为760万）和《Global Warfare》（DAU为40万）。
排在第15名的是《Animal Party》，该游戏出自开发商Tribal Crossing之手，这家公司是发行商6waves的合作伙伴，托依6waves的影响力，这款游戏在上周的DAU和MAU均双倍增长。
1）How Microsoft missed out on PopCap’s success
With news that Electronic Arts is buying PopCap Games for up to $1.3 billion, we learn that Microsoft had chances to buy the Seattle casual games company’s blockbuster Bejeweled for only $35,000.
Here are some details, reported by The Wall Street Journal, from PopCap co-founder John Vechey:
Our first deal was with [Microsoft]. I met the head of Microsoft’s gaming division on a flight back from a game-developers conference in 1999. I just happened to sit next to this guy and we had a good chat. When we started PopCap, I emailed him and said we’d like to sell Bejeweled for $35,000. Microsoft said no, but they agreed to license it from us for $1,500 a month. It seemed like bad luck at the time, but in retrospect it was good luck. If we had sold Bejeweled, we wouldn’t own the rights to it in the future and there would be no PopCap today as we know it.
In hindsight, Microsoft should have not been so cheap. Today, Bejeweled accounts for about 40 percent of PopCap’s $100 million in revenue and the company sells a new Bejeweled game every 4.3 seconds, according to The WSJ.
A few years later, Microsoft tried to buy PopCap for the low-ball price of $5 million.（source:techflash）
2）Plants vs Zombies and Peggle may be coming to Facebook
By Andrew Webster
In news that should surprise no one, but is nonetheless exciting, rumors are swirling that Popcap will be bringing two more of its popular franchises to Facebook: Plants vs Zombies and Peggle.
Hot of the heels of Popcap’s recent acquisition by EA, the clever folks at Games.com spotted a presentation slide about Facebook games that mentions PvZ and Peggle alongside upcoming EA social games Risk Factions and The Sims Social. “Future outlook is strong with top IP from both EA and Popcap to come,” reads the slide, right next to the logos for PvZ and Peggle.
The news shouldn’t be surprising, of course, as Popcap has already managed to release excellent renditions of both Bejeweled and Zuma on Facebook. PvZ, meanwhile, has already gone social with a release on the Chinese social network Renren.
So even though this isn’t an official confirmation of Peggle Blitz, chances are we’ll be seeing more zombies and unicorns on Facebook at some point in the future.（source:gamezebo）
3）Rumor: Zynga offered PopCap $1 billion in cold, hard cash
by Joe Osborne
Smart move, guys. PopCap apparently turned down $1 billion in straight cash from Zynga before agreeing to EA’s offer of $650 million in cash, Forbes reports. (Keep in mind that another
$100 million in EA stock and a $550 million bonus based on performance over two years were also part of the deal, totaling a potential of $1.3 billion.)
Forbes cites an unnamed source, who claims that Zynga would have financed the deal in part thanks to Goldman Sachs, which is one of the underwriters leading the company’s $1.5 billion IPO.
And, according to Forbes, Zynga had just under $1 billion in cash as of March 31, implying that the company was willing to put up almost all of its clams for the Bejeweled creator.
If anything, it makes you wonder what Zynga would have done with PopCap. Take over the world … for real? (Nah, it would probably just make more games … world dominating games!) We’ve contacted Zynga for comment.（source:games）
4）Zynga Japan Shuts Down Farmville And Treasure Isle
by Dr. Serkan Toto
I tried talking quite a few social gaming companies from the US and other places out of entering the Japanese market in recent months, simply because they didn’t have unique, defendable
IP or other strong selling points for their games. Now even the biggest social gaming company of them all, Zynga, has taken a hard hit over here.
Zynga Japan yesterday announced it will shut down its first and second app launched on Mixi (Japan’s biggest social network) a few months ago, namely Farmville and Treasure Isle. The reason is simple and not surprising at all – if you’re familiar with the local market: almost nobody was playing the games.
To be more concrete, Farmvillage, the Japanese version of Farmville currently has 114,000 users, while Treasure Island (Treasure Isle elsewhere) has just 21,000 players. By way of comparison: Mixi’s most popular farming simulation, Rekoo’s Sunshine Ranch, has 5.6 million users. A Mixi game must have around 700,000 to enter the top 20.
Zynga Japan will stop offering these two games as early as August 2.
So I can only advise every social gaming company from outside Japan to carefully examine if you have games that Japanese players actually want to play, that aren’t already available in one form or the other and that can’t be copied too easily. Another key point is user acquisition: Zynga is sitting on tons of cash, has a lot of expertise on how social games work, bought a local company (now their subsidiary), brought over games that were successful in the US, got a lot of PR in Japan: but it wasn’t enough in these two cases.
The current hit title Zynga Japan has in its portfolio is city building simulation Machitsuku, which was created by Unoh (the company Zynga bought over here) and now has over 3 million users. The company changed their CEO in May this year.
Expect other gaming companies from abroad, perhaps Gameloft (whose farming simulation Ecofarm has no players either), to follow suit soon.（source:serkantoto）
5）EA Launches Procter and Gamble’s First Social Gaming Campaign
By Gary Merrett
Electronic Arts has announced a collaboration with Procter and Gamble to feature its Bounty products in Playfish’s game Restaurant City. Players will be able to utilize Bounty products in
Restaurant City. The collaboration will feature the integration of Bounty paper towel products and will feature product centric in-game challenges. In Restaurant City, players create and manage virtual restaurants and employ their Facebook friends as waiters and chefs. Players select from a variety of themes, furniture and equipment to customize and personalize their restaurants for a unique social gaming experience. Players can also visit their friends’ restaurants and trade culinary ingredients to create tasty menus which guarantee their restaurant is a virtual foodie favorite. Now Restaurant City players can use special Bounty in-game products just as they would in real-life to make sure their restaurants are in tip-top shape.
As part of the campaign, Restaurant City players that “Like” the Bounty Facebook page are rewarded with a decorative Bounty Tower that when displayed in players’ restaurants adds five popularity points to their restaurants. Players will also be presented with two “Bounty Challenges” that kick-start their cleaning quest and opens the door to earning a special Bounty paper towel roll and a dutiful Bounty Janitor to keep things spotless in their restaurants. In the first Bounty Challenge, players are tasked with getting their restaurants “Bounty Clean” by cleaning five messy spills. Upon completing this task, players are awarded with a Bounty paper towel roll that gives them the ability to clean their entire restaurant with one mouse click. In the second Bounty Challenge, players are asked to use their Bounty paper towel roll to clean their restaurants five times to receive the services of the Bounty Janitor who can clean the restaurant 30% faster than a traditional Restaurant City janitor.（source:socialgamesobserver）
6）iSwifter snags 500K users to play Facebook games on the iPad
iSwifter, the company that can stream Flash-based Facebook games so they can be played on the iPad, said that users have downloaded the iSwifter app more than half a million times since the launch of version 3.0 in June and (updated) version 4.0 more recently.
That’s a strong start for a technology that circumvents Apple’s walled garden on the iPad, allowing Facebook and other Flash content to run properly on the tablet. Normally, Adobe Flash
games (which are ubiquitous on the web) don’t run on Apple’s iPad, thanks to a technical dispute between the companies. But after a period of negotiation with Apple, iSwifter made it impossible possible with the launch of version 3.0 of its app, which comes with a subscription-based game browser.
iSwifter executes games on its own servers and then streams images to a user’s iPad in the form of a video. The execution is so quick, the user never knows the game is running in a server, not on the iPad itself.
Peter Relan, chairman of Youweb — the incubator that owns iSwifter — is making the announcement today at the GamesBeat 2011 conference in San Francisco. 500,000 people are playing nearly 2,000 Facebook games available on the iSwifter game browser. About 40 percent of all gaming time on iSwifter is spent on Zynga games. This shows that users are not waiting for Zynga and other Facebook game makers to adapt their games to run on the iPad.
That’s an interesting notion, Relan says, because the company charges a subscription fee for iSwifter. Zynga games, meanwhile, are free-to-play. That is, users play them for free and pay real money for virtual goods. But with iSwifter, Zynga players are actually willing to pay money so they can play Zynga games on the go on an iPad. About 20 percent of iSwifter users are willing to pay using in-app purchases to get access to a Facebook game on the iPad. And iSwifter users spent nearly 2 million minutes on Facebook games in the past few months (using earlier versions of iSwifter).
The most popular Facebook games on iSwifter are Zynga’s CityVille and Empires & Allies. Other top 10 games include FrontierVille, Dragons of Atlantis, Gardens of Tim, Backyard Monsters and SlotoMania.（source:venturebeat）
7）Japanese monster social network Kaiju’s got game this year at GamesBeat 2011
This year’s winner of VentureBeat’s “Who’s Got Game” startup competition this year is Kaiju, a social games maker that creates games built around outlandish Godzilla-style monsters.
This company makes games that bring comically outlandish Japanese-style monsters back to video games. It will launch Kaijuland later this year, a social game that lets players create a ridiculous monster and wreck a city. The game will be available for mobile devices, the web and home consoles.
Over time the player can unlock new monsters and colors and become more powerful. Players can share their content with their friends, which will let them share monsters or make their own monsters more powerful. Friends can breed their monsters with their friends to create new monsters.（source:venturebeat）
8）Animal Party Gaining Ground on This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by DAU
By AJ Glasser
Gardens of Time turns up on top of this week’s list of fastest-growing games by daily active users followed closely by Soft Reklam’s Super Texas Holdem Poker and warring strategy titles Empires & Allies and Global Warfare.
Farther down the list is where the real action seems to be taking place. Following yesterday’s announcement that EA would acquire PopCap Games this summer for up to $1.3 bullion, we see PopCap’s two largest Facebook games getting small lifts to DAU. In the case of Bejeweled Blitz, this coincides with monthly active user growth, while with Zuma Blitz, MAU is in a steady decline. Both games recently introduced new monetization features.
Turning up at number 15 meanwhile is Animal Party, a smaller game from developer Tribal Crossing that was recently signed to a publishing deal with 6waves. Already, we can see the impact of 6waves’ influence on the game as Animal Party more than doubled its DAU and MAU in the last week. The game combines the pet genre with farming and a bit of treasure hunting as players navigate through space to seek out strange animals on various planets. Once “rescued,” the player cares the animals on a home planet where they grow food to use as bait to attract more animals on other planets.（source:insidesocialgames）
9）Study: German Video Game Spending Estimated At €4.6B For 2011
by Mike Rose
A new study from market research firm Newzoo estimates that video games spending in Germany in 2011 will reach a total of €4.6 billion ($6.5 billion), up 6 percent over last year.
This compares to estimated spending in the U.S. decreasing by 3 percent this year, and an estimated drop of 1 percent in the UK. There are currently over 36 million active gamers in Germany — around 44 percent of the total population — and 66 percent of these people spend money on games.
According to the 2011 Games Market Revenue Report, almost every area of gaming is expected to increase in revenue intake. Digital distribution on PC and Mac will increase by 37 percent over last year, while MMOs will see an increase of 23 percent.
The only area expected to see a decline in revenue is casual gaming, which Newzoo believes will see a 10 percent drop over last year.
However, the report also found that 73 percent of German gamers play casual games. This is equal to the number who play desktop games, and just higher than the number of German console gamers, at 70 percent.
In total, German gamers play over 47 million hours of gaming a day, with 22 percent of this time spent playing console games, and 17 percent spent on casual gaming websites.
Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo, explained, “The strong recovery of the German economy shines through when looking at our data.”
“Germany has always been a stronghold for core PC/Mac gaming and does not seem to have given that up in favour of online or mobile gaming. It seems that Germans are simply adding game platforms to their menu, illustrated by the fact that the average German gamer plays games on 4.1 different platforms.”
“Also, the time spent on games has doubled in two years, averaging 6.4 hours per week for every German,” he concluded.（source:gamasutra）