4）据serkantoto报道，社交游戏占据日本App Store前10名游戏营收榜单席位，第一名是《Puzzle & Dragons》，它不但连续6周成为日本iOS应用营收榜单冠军，而且还是一款尚未在Mobage或GREE平台发布的“独立”社交游戏。
第二和第三名分别是GREE旗下的《doliland》和《Tsuri Star》（游戏邦注：它是一款2007年就已上线的捕鱼游戏）。在日本App Store前20名游戏营收榜单中，仅有排在第18位的Pachinko仿制游戏，以及大幅降价后才跻身第19名的《无尽之剑》不属于社交游戏类型。
5）Zynga日前宣布聘请前RockYou北美销售副总裁Julie Shumaker任公司首席营销及税务官，将由后者监管公司的品牌管理和营销事务。据称她很可能填补Zynga前全球品牌广告主管Manny Anekal离职后留下的空缺。
Shumaker的出走对已经裁员过半的RockYou来说无疑更是雪上加霜，后者甚至已经与Playdemic和LootDrop等社交游戏工作室终止合作关系，并关闭去年6月才刚收购的澳大利亚工作室3 Blokes Studios。
6）据All Things Digital报道，Zynga西雅图工作室主管兼Zynga工程副总裁Neil Roseman日前离职以回家享天伦之乐，Roseman曾在发布Zynga平台时发挥重要作用，前微软执行制作人Jim Veevaert将接替其职位，担任Zynga西雅图工作室总经理。
7）据Inside Facebook报道，Facebook已再次引入针对应用的星级评价系统，并在主页news feed右侧（在Facebook Ticker下方）增加针对应用的请求。只要用户鼠标指向游戏名称，界面就会显示该游戏星级评价情况；假如好友发布了在游戏中的胜利捷报，用户也可以指向该信息获知游戏名称，同时还可以看到其星级评价。
目前支持该功能的社交游戏包括《Aces Hangout》（社交及多人模式版本的《Aces》）和《Scoot & Doodle》（类似于《Draw Something》的添鸦分享游戏），社交游戏开发商或可巧用这一功能创新推出实时多人社交游戏。
1）Study: Teens losing interest in traditional games, prefer social/mobile experiences
by Eric Caoili
Teens are losing interest in playing traditional video games on consoles, and prefer to play social or online games instead, according to a new survey of high school students by analyst firm Piper Jaffray.
The group’s report says participants in the survey stressed the importance of feeling connected to their friends. Many respondents believe traditional games lack social features that keep them connected with friends and thus are “a waste of time,” while social and mobile titles feel more productive to them.
In its survey, 65.9 percent out of 5,600 respondents said they are losing interest in playing video games, compared to 63.5 percent a year ago. Meanwhile a growing share of teens said they are willing to play games on their mobile phones, 66.2 percent now versus 34.4 percent in Spring 2011.
And 25.3 percent said they play social games on sites like Facebook, which is a little less than the 25.9 percent recorded a year ago but still more than the 18.3 percent recorded last fall. Notably, 92.8 percent of social game playing teens are not willing to buy virtual goods, which is more than the 80.5 percent that said they weren’t willing six months ago.
As a result, Piper Jaffray cautions investors against betting on traditional console gaming: “We expect traditional packaged goods game sales to continue a decline during the next two years as gamers shift to digital offerings.
“While a console refresh in 2013 or 2014 will breathe new life into the industry, the new systems will face unprecedented competition from tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs. We expect growing middle classes and rising Internet penetration rates in emerging markets, particularly Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia-Pacific to partially offset competition from tablets and smartphones.”
Piper Jaffray also found that 53 percent of teens would be receptive to downloading full games on their consoles, which is up from 45.8 percent a year ago and from 25.9 percent 18 months ago. 36.1 percent of teens said they’re willing to pay a flat monthly fee for an on-demand gaming service like OnLive, too, an increase from 34.3 percent a year ago and 20.9 percent 18 months ago.（source:gamasutra）
2）Most of China’s 180M gamers spend money on games every month, says study
by Eric Caoili
China has an estimated 180 million gamers, and most of them spend money on online games every month, according to a new study from analyst group Niko Partners.
In its 2012 Chinese Gamers Report, Niko found that 64 percent of the 500 gamers it polled said they spend money on games each month — many of which are free-to-play titles. The group notes that this percentage is far higher than what it’s seen in other developing countries.
Last May, Niko said the Chinese online games industry was experiencing “explosive growth,” and forecasted that 2011′s total revenues for the market would grow to $5.8 billion from $4.8 billion in the previous year.
In its latest report, Niko says the ratio of hardcore gamers (those who play more than 22 hours every week) is falling, as the share of gamers playing fewer hours per week is rising. It also notes that the ratio of gamers aged over 40 is growing every year, too, now making up 10 percent of its survey sample.
“In examining the rapidly evolving Chinese games market, we see that casual, social, and mobile games have all captured the hearts of hardcore and occasional gamers alike,” explains Niko Partners managing partner Lisa Cosmas Hanson.
She adds, “Online games revenues are now more distributed among various platforms and genres than they have been in past years, when MMORPGs compiled the vast majority of domestic revenue.” （source:gamasutra）
3）Electronic Arts beat Bank of America as the ‘Worst Company in America’
by Joe Osborne
Check your calendar–April Fools was a few days ago. Electronic Arts (EA), the country’s second-largest game publisher, has been named the “Worst Company in America” by The Consumerist and its readers. In March Madness-like fashion, the blog whittled down some of the country’s most nefarious corporations to an epic stand-off between EA and Bank of America.
Yes, the same Bank of America that once tried to charge people a $5 monthly fee for debit cards, and yes, the same EA that had a party with downloadable content (DLC) for Bioware’s Mass Effect 3. (Not to mention that ending.) But is that really enough to deem a video game company worse than, say, Walmart? The Consumerist seems to think so, chalking up EA’s dishonor to accusations that it likes to “nickel and dime consumers to death.” Of course, EA heartily disagrees.
“We’re sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren’t nominated this year,” EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg told Kotaku. “We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.”（source:games）
4）Japan’s Top 10 Grossing iOS Apps Are All Social Games [Social Games]
by Dr. Serkan Toto
About two to three years ago, many people in the Japanese social gaming industry were in fear that the rapid adoption of smartphones in the local mobile market would break the entire business model of social games offered on feature phones.
Fast forward to 2012, and the situation isn’t as bad as pictured in the worst-case scenario. More to the contrary, some companies, i.e. GREE with their social RPG doliland, are pulling in a lot of money on smartphones.
Below is a screenshot of the top 20 grossing apps in the Japanese App Store. All of the top 10 money makers are games, and what’s more interesting is that all of these titles are social games.
The No. 1 title, Puzzle & Dragons, is particularly interesting: not only has the game been Japan’s top grossing iOS app for over six weeks in a row, it also works as an “independent” social game – meaning it’s not offered through the Mobage or the GREE network.
The No. 2 and 3 games are first-party games from GREE (doliland and Tsuri Star, a fishing game that has been around since 2007).
Going down the entire top 20 ranking, there are only 2 titles that can’t be labeled as social games: a Pachinko simulation (top 18), and Infinity Blade, which made it to No. 19 after a massive price drop.（source:serkantoto）
5）Zynga picks up RockYou sales exec Julie Shumaker
by Tom Curtis
Newsbrief: Social giant Zynga has added yet another high-ranking executive to its ranks with the recent hire of Julie Shumaker, who previously served as the vice president of North American sales for social gaming company RockYou.
Shumaker has been appointed Zynga’s chief marketing and revenue officer, where she will help oversee the company’s brand management and marketing efforts. Given her sales and marketing experience, she will likely help fill the gap left behind by Zynga’s former global director of brand advertising, Manny Anekal, who left the company in February.
Shumaker’s departure also comes as a notable blow to the struggling RockYou. The company has wrestled with financial issues of late, and late last year it laid off more than half of its work force, and even broke ties with social gaming partners Playdemic and Loot Drop. （source:gamasutra）
6）Zynga Seattle founder Neil Roseman leaves company
by Mike Rose
Newsbrief: Zynga’s vice president of engineering Neil Roseman, who founded and built up the company’s Seattle office, has left Zynga to spend more time with his family.
Roseman played an integral part in the launch of the Zynga Platform earlier this month. He left the company just days after the launch of the platform, according to All Things Digital.
Jim Veevaert, previously president at Jerry Bruckheimer Games and executive producer for Microsoft, has now taken up a role as general manager at Zynga Seattle in place of Roseman. （source:gamasutra）
7）Facebook makes more tweaks in an attempt to drive users towards games
By Jim Squires
Whether your games are good, bad, or merely mediocre, there’s one thing every developer can agree on – getting noticed matters. Your game might be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if nobody knows about it nobody’s going to play it. And while marketing plays a pretty big role in this, sometimes visibility has a lot do with the platform you choose.
When a platform is hot, everyone rushes to develop for it. The end result is that there are simply too many games coming out, and some great ones are going to get lost in the shuffle. This is a fact that has dogged both Facebook and the iOS App Store for some time now. In February Apple acquired Chomp, a social app discovery company, seemingly in an effort to address this problem. Now it looks like Facebook is taking their own steps, too
Inside Facebook is reporting that Facebook has reintroduced star ratings for apps, and have added app-specific requests to homepage on right hand side of the news feed. The star ratings will appear whenever you hover over the name of a game, so if you’re friend posts an achievement and you want to hover and see what the game is, you’ll also get a star rating to let you know what other players think about it.
In an effort to cut down on developer abuse of star ratings (ie naughty devs looking to manipulate the system and drive up their ratings), players won’t be able to simply rate any game they like. Instead, players will be randomly prompted when playing (or after playing) a game to rate it, and will also be asked for a rating when removing an app. On the downside, as Inside Facebook points out, this could lead to an unfairly negative curve ,as players who are removing the game will presumably have nothing but negative feelings.
The other change is that game-specific requests will now be appearing on the right-hand side of the screen just below the Facebook Ticker. It’s a small change, but it also feels a little like overkill, as a lengthy list of game requests already appears to the left of any Facebook gamer’s news feed.
These changes come 8 months after Facebook unveiled its revamped Games pages, which were largely designed to help gamers discover what was new, what their friends were playing, and what they might have missed that was worth their time. That said, some of the games that are currently on their “new” list were covered here on Gamezebo two years ago – so it’s not exactly a boon for new developers hoping to get on the map.
Discoverability is easily one of the biggest problems social game developers face, especially on Facebook. And while Facebook seems to be trying to rectify the problem, it also seems like there’s no easy answer. Google+ seems to have the right idea, curating and hand-picking which games will appear and when – but it’s not like Facebook can turn back the clock and adopt the same strategy.
Little tweaks like this are nice, but if Facebook really wants to help games get noticed they’re going to have to do something more revolutionary. Until that day comes, you can always count on Gamezebo to let you know which new Facebook games are worth your time. （source:gamezebo）
8）Google+ Hangouts embrace the inevitable, gets into social games
by Joe Osborne
Are these the “truly social” social games that players and critics clamor for? Google has unleashed an interesting to the Hangouts portion of its new social network, Google+. Now in addition to voice and video chat, people in Hangouts can play games together, like Aces Hangout and Scoot & Doodle. In both games, players interact in real time via webcam.
Direct, one-to-one (or eight) communication solidified by a game experience–we’d say that’s enough qualification for a truly social game. (Or the term will simply continue to refer to the networks on which the games appear so as to avoid criticism.) Anyway, Aces Hangout is simply a social, multiplayer version of the game of Aces. Scoot & Doodle, on the other hand, looks like a Draw Something-esque doodle-sharing game.
The games look like an effort to get Google+ users even more engaged with the service’s unique Hangouts feature. But Google could have a perhaps unearthed a potentially unintended (though we doubt it) effect. Frankly, this could be a place for social game makers to innovate and maybe even spur real-time multiplayer social games along. Who wants to bet on how long it takes for Zynga Poker to hit Hangouts?（source:games）