1）据AppData数据显示，EA最新社交游戏《模拟人生社交版》最近DAU已达460万（在发布首周就已收获260万，并于8月25日当天新增120万用户），与此同时，Zynga游戏《Empires & Allies》却在日前流失了32.8万DAU，《FrontierVille》（它刚推出扩展游戏内容《Pioneer Ville》）也流失了22万DAU。
2）据venturebeat报道，Facebook游戏开发商Kabam已和派拉蒙公司达成协议，正制作一款以电影《教父》为题材的黑帮游戏《The Godfather:Five Families》，并将于今年秋季正式发布游戏。
奥斯卡获奖电影《教父》由Francis Ford Coppola于1972年制作，EA曾开发了两款以该电影为题材的游戏，但Kabam的这个合作项目却是《教父》游戏首次被搬上Facebook平台，该电影页面在Facebook已有480万粉丝。
据Kabam旧金山游戏工作室总经理兼游戏执行制作人Larry Koh所称，公司已专门指定一个大团队全力开发该游戏。观察者认为该游戏有可能向Zynga同类游戏《Mafia Wars》发起挑战，但打败《Mafia Wars》并非易事，毕竟后者当前MAU已经超过2000万。据Kabam介绍，这款新游戏与其他Facebook游戏的不同之处在于，它采用的是同步玩法。该游戏将植入城市建设元素，支持玩家加入5个犯罪家族之一，参与在纽约的金钱、权力和名誉抢夺大战，最终在同辈中脱颖而出成为令人敬畏的“Don”或者犯罪家族的首领。这款游戏将于未来数周进行内部测试。
3）动作冒险游戏《Hello Adventure》是Free Lunch Design最新开发的Facebook游戏，采用了《暗黑破坏神》和《Torchlight》等游戏的相关元素，但锁定的却是休闲游戏玩家，据AppData数据显示，该游戏最近的MAU是15万6196，DAU是8325。
5）据insidesocialgames报道，显示于Facebook游戏页面、好友游戏列表的新App Ticker功能将可展示简略版的Facebook社交广告内容。广告主可购买这些赞助广告，通过App Ticker和常规的Facebook广告工具条，通知用户他们的好友正在使用哪些应用（如下图所示）。
在本月初Facebook推出App Ticker之前，用户只有浏览Facebook时才会看到出现于广告工具条的这类赞助性内容（如下图所示）。但现在游戏玩家可以在自己的App Ticker中看到标记为“Sponsored”的内容，它会显示用户好友的头像和姓名，及其使用的游戏和应用名称，但不会出现游戏和应用的图片。页面和网站的赞助广告也会出现在App Ticker之中，但目前数量较少。
7）据games报道，以Suzanne Collins所著的成人畅销书《饥饿游戏》三部曲（游戏邦注：The Hunger Games，该书连续130周登上《纽约时报》排行榜，已被译成26种语言在38个地区或国家发售）改编的Facebook游戏《The Hunger Games: Training Days》于去年8月问世，但不到两个月就被迫下线，其粉丝页面的相关评论都被屏蔽。
1）Electronic Arts’ The Sims Social hits 4.6 million daily players a week after launch
Electronic Arts’ latest Facebook game, The Sims Social, has picked up more than 4.6 million daily active users after launching a week ago, according to AppData.
The Sims Social was the fastest growing social game this week, picking up 2.6 million daily active users as of the beginning of the week and 1.2 million daily active users today alone. That’s compared to Zynga’s smash hit Empires & Allies, which lost around 328,000 daily active users today. Frontierville, another Zynga game that recently released a new sub-game called Pioneer Ville, lost around 220,000 daily active users today, according to AppData.
Electronic Arts’ newest social game looks like it will give Zynga — which hasn’t really faced any stiff competition in Facebook games — a run for its money. That’s because the game has a massive franchise and name behind it, along with a development team that has a pretty stellar track record. EA has sold more than 140 million copies of the The Sims and its sequels and expansion packs and has generated around $3 billion in revenue from it.
The Sims Social is basically a lightweight version of The Sims built into a browser on Facebook. The team behind The Sims and casual games maker Playfish both worked on the game. Electronic Arts bought Playfish in 2009 when it was vying with social games maker Zynga for the top social gaming spot. Zynga has since lurched ahead and claimed the top spot, with 264 million monthly active.
Before The Sims Social launched, Electronic Arts had around 29 million monthly active users, according to AppData. The company has since risen to around 34.6 million monthly active users, passing social gaming company Wooga (which has around 34 million monthly active users).
The Sims was a smash hit with casual gamers because it was a very light game that was easy to get into and offered a lot of depth. You basically control a “sim” as it lives its life and try to achieve lifetime goals — which lets gamers accomplish whatever they want to do in the game. The games are known for having tongue-in-cheek humor and sharp writing.
Electronic Arts has not-so-quietly established a fierce casual and social gaming team. The company bought Playfish back in 2009 and also bought casual games maker PopCap for $750 million. Both teams have made successful games, and once the PopCap deal closes, there’s a good chance Playfish will be working with casual games maker PopCap.（source:venturebeat）
2）Kabam is going Hollywood. The hardcore Facebook game publisher is announcing today that it has a deal with Paramount to make an empire-building social game based on the Godfather mafia films. The new game is called The Godfather: Five Families and it will debut later this fall.
The title is a big departure for Kabam, which has relied to date on its own original titles. But this Godfather title is going up some very established competition such as Zynga’s Mafia Wars game on Facebook. So Kabam secured an official license from Paramount Digital Entertainment, the owner of the Oscar-winning Godfather films created by Francis Ford Coppola starting in 1972. Electronic Arts made two high-profile video games based on the Godfather series, but this is the first time such games will be made on Facebook, the largest social network with more than 750 million users. About 4.8 million of those users have become fans on the Facebook Godfather page.
That’s why Kabam has pulled out the stops on the game, dedicating a large team to work on the title over the past six to nine months, said Larry Koh, general manager of one of Kabam’s game studios in San Francisco and executive producer of the game, in an interview.
“We felt there was an opportunity for a true massively multiplayer online game,” Koh said.
Film-based video games have largely fallen out of favor with fans, who have become tired of superhero games, and with publishers, who balk at the costs of making the games and security the license. But Facebook games can be made for a lot less money. And the timing for the license worked out well since Paramount was looking for a way to introduce the film to younger viewers via social networks.
It won’t be easy for Kabam to take on Mafia Wars, which has more than 20 million monthly active users. Kabam’s games aren’t graphically awesome in terms of moving animations, but they are very social, with many players joining alliances and fight simultaneous battles in real-time. But the games do feature some very cool and realistic still frame art, like those pictured in this story. And they stand out in terms of the ability to communicate and play with other players at the same time, despite the computing limitations of games on Facebook. Kabam has added interesting animated effects, such as clouds floating above the city and trains rolling through the city.
“Our ability to make this different from other crime games is based on pushing heavily on synchronous play,” Koh said.
Kabam is going to apply that same kind of successful empire-building game mechanic to The Godfather. Players can join one of five crime families that battle for money, power, and respect in the neighborhoods of New York. Within the families, players can join “crews” of players, and eventually try to become the“Don,” or head of the crime family. Players have to recruit friends, build resources, and fight other factions for control of territory in New York City. Kabam says it will add new social game play features designed specifically for the game, theme and story. The story is an open-ended one that will allow players to create their own destinies.
Kabam has opened registration for a closed beta test of the game. Beta tests are expected to begin in several weeks. The title will be free-to-play, where users can play for free and pay real money for virtual goods.（source:venturebeat）
3）Facebook Welcomes Social Game Hello Adventure From Free Lunch Design
By Randy Nelson
Action-adventure Hello Adventure is the latest Facebook offering from Free Lunch Design. The game is reminiscent of dungeon crawlers such as Diablo and Torchlight, with mechanics specifically targeted toward casual players.
According to our traffic tracking service AppData, Hello Adventure currently has 156,196 monthly active users and 8,325 daily active users.
Players are cast as a young adventurer out to defeat monsters, find treasure and gain experience. The game is divided into dozens of levels spread across seven sections of a world map. Later levels can only be accessed once a player has reached a certain level and recruited a certain number of friends as in-game neighbors. Within these levels, players explore and battle enemies by clicking on them. Once defeated, the enemies leave behind copious amounts of loot — gold, experience points, items and abilities that change the combat dynamic (e.g. adding ranged attacks).
Social features include Wall posts, gifting items, and gifting construction items. It’s also possible to share certain items, such as gold and experience points, as players level up.（source:insidesocialgames）
4）No more fun and games: Location grows up
By Ryan Kim
Tweet inShare21When check-in services first appeared on the scene, they were often understood in the context of games, like Foursquare’s mayor competitions and Gowalla’s quests for items and pins. But as location-based services grow up, we’re seeing that games are not necessarily the most appealing aspect of location, and it seems like start-ups are acknowledging that they’re also tough to build a business on.
The latest example of businesses shying away from location-based games is Gowalla’s announcement today that it is doing away with items in its next release of the app. The items were virtual goods picked up by users for visiting locations, which could then be traded or left for other users. Gowalla’s CEO Josh Williams said items were used by less than half a percent of its active users.
He said virtual goods unlocked through real world interaction is a remarkable idea, and one that helped Gowalla get its start. But now it causes more distractions than joy for most. What Gowalla will focus more on is helping people explore the world, in keeping with its passport theme.
SCVNGR, another location service that wants to build a game layer on top of the world, invites people to play and create location-based games. But these days, the big news for SCVNGR is around LevelUp, a daily deal program that uses some game mechanics to build consumer loyalty for merchants. LevelUp’s game elements are more limited, however, and consist mainly of establishing three daily deals instead of just one to ensure that consumers come back to a business.
SCVNGR still has a business built off its traditional gaming model but it seems like that real dollars are in tapping local advertising dollars through LevelUp. SCVNGR’s move with LevelUp seems to acknowledge that games by themselves have a limited appeal, and that the real opportunity is in improving on the daily deal market.
Foursquare also has also moved beyond games and is focusing on more recommendation services through its Explore tab. More recently, it rolled out a list function for curating and sharing locations and event check-ins, which allow people to use Foursquare as more of a digital scrapbook. And the company’s been lining up big daily deal discount partnerships with Groupon and Living Social, too. As Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley told me last week, the check-ins were the first step in building up a user behavior that can unlock a lot of other services and features. Games were the first reason to check-in, but now there are plenty of other reasons to do so.
What it all means is that location is maturing, and while there is still a place for games, location-based services are becoming more about business. Which makes sense, because these companies are interested in making money first and foremost. We’ll still have game mechanics, and other start-ups might come along with even better ideas on how to use games and virtual items, something others have argued that Gowalla didn’t manage well enough. And gamification can still work as a motivational force for all kinds of behavior, though it needs to consist of more than just badges and virtual goods.
As Gowalla’s Williams points out, there’s a lot more to location than games. A JiWire survey last year found that scoring points was the least popular reason for checking into a location, while getting a deal was the most popular motivator. There’s so much opportunity for end users in terms of discovering the world, documenting travels, unlocking deals and finding people nearby. And many of these things are easier to monetize for companies, too. So while I don’t think we’ve seen the end of games in location, it looks like we’re moving on to bigger ideas and more lucrative opportunities.（source:gigaom）
5）Facebook’s Sponsored Stories Ads Appear in the New App Ticker
By AJ Glasser
Facebook’s new App Ticker that is displayed on the games Canvas page and lists news of friends engaging with games will also show abbreviated versions of Sponsored Stories, Facebook’s social ad unit. Sponsored Stories bought by advertisers are now eligible to inform users about the app their friends use from within the App Ticker as well as from their regular spot in Facebook’s ads sidebar. This is currently the only way that ads are mixed into any of Facebook’s content streams.
This additional placement of Sponsored Stories will improve the ability of advertisers to reach gamers, which could be especially useful for developers looking to gain new users. However, to make the ticker’s sponsored app discovery stories as appealing as possible, Facebook will need to show them about friends that users trust as wise, active gamers.
Until the launch of the App Ticker earlier this month, Sponsored Stories only appeared in the ads sidebar to users browsing Facebook. Now, gamers will see entries in their App Ticker marked “Sponsored”. These are in fact the same Sponsored Stories, albeit in a condensed format that just shows the name and face of a user’s friend and the title of an app or game they’ve used, but no image of the app or game. Sponsored Stories about Pages and websites may also appear in the App Ticker, though we’ve only seen ones about apps and games so far.
If Facebook can surface trusted gamers in App Ticker Sponsored Stories, developers buying them will see better performance. This could make the ticker an important paid growth channel in addition to driving free, organic growth, leading developers to spend more on the social ad unit.（source:insidesocialgames）
6）Wooga CEO: ‘I don’t think the 30 percent Facebook share is an issue’
by Joe Osborne
Well, I guess neither do the legions of iOS game makers. Jens Begemann, CEO of Berlin-based Diamond Dash creator Wooga, defended Facebook’s 30 percent cut it takes from Facebook Credits in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. The chief of the fourth largest social games company on Facebook outright said that he doesn’t think the 30 percent is an issue. (The company just released yet another Facebook game, Magic Land, with plans for mobile expansion.)
“The whole Facebook platform is free, you’ve got tons of communication channels, you’ve got lots of viral communication to users, it’s an amazing platform and you have traffic that’s worth millions of dollars, and you get all of that for free,” Begemann told GamesIndustry.biz. “And only when you’re successful do you pay your 30 per cent revenue share. So it’s fair.”
Wooga helped boost the recent launch of Google+ Games with ports of three of its biggest games: Bubble Island, Monster World and Diamond Dash. Begemann went on to say that Wooga’s presence on Google+ Games, which currently only charges game developers 5 percent of revenues from purchased in-game goods, is not mutually exclusive. “But we remain very very committed to Facebook,” he said. “We will not slow down there.”（source:games）
7）The Hunger Games Facebook game rumored to return this September
by Jenny Ng
Lionsgate Entertainment’s The Hunger Games film wrapped up casting before the summer began and set for release next March. Part one of a trilogy, this film is an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling young adult book series, which has the NY Times list for over 130 consecutive weeks, been translated into 26 languages, and sold in 38 countries. So it’s no surprise that it’s got a Facebook game too, called The Hunger Games: Training Days. Moreover, the Facebook game is actually an adaptation of the official tabletop board game by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA).
Developed by Icarus Studios (who brought us the Dexter Facebook game in July), The Hunger Games: Training Days arrived on Facebook last August as a card-based strategy game that came with a ticket system promising “cool real world gear”, such as “the Limited-Edition Super-Exclusive ‘Down with the Capitol!’ Journal”. Unfortunately, the game didn’t last two months before it had to be taken down. And everything related to the game appears to be abandoned, comments on fan pages remain ignored, and anyone who checks out the game gets the following image:
But there’s hope for fans. Recently, a rumor on the Facebook game’s official fan page claims the game will return in September, even though a NECA representative in February responded that the game “is back in development mode” and that they are “preparing something different for release”. It sounds like major changes are in store for the game and as we get closer to the film’s release date, the folks invested in this might choose to step up their game (pun intended, of course). People who are curious about the original version can check out this old tutorial on the game’s website. （source:games）