Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
FarmVille is finally shutting down on December 31
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Zynga, the company behind FarmVille, announced that it is shutting down the original web game at the end of this year. While many people don't play the game anymore, it did attract millions of users, with roughly 30 million people playing FarmVille at its peak popularity. Zynga released a mobile version and sequel of the game, but these never amassed that many players.
The news is expected since Facebook announced in July that it would stop supporting Flash games as of December 31, the same date Adobe plans to kill the Flash player. With Flash support slowly being removed across the internet, thousands of games have been impacted, with several browsers abandoning Flash support already. Others block it by default. Zynga wrote:
Players will be able to continue making in-app purchases until November 17, when the game's payment system will be turned off. The developer is alerting gamers to use their remaining credits by December 31, after which FarmVille will shut down permanently. Zynga said that it will soon make the mobile version of FarmVille 3 available globally.
Mobile game Words with Friends is being turned into a TV show
by Andy Weir
Remember Words With Friends? The Scrabble-like mobile game became a huge hit following its launch in 2009, and it's still surprisingly popular. According to Zynga, "an estimated 55 million Words With Friends matches are played around the world at any given moment".
Eight years after its launch, Zynga is evidently keen to milk the game for all it's worth. The company has announced that it's working with MGM Television to produce a Words With Friends TV show.
"The interactive social experience of Words With Friends makes it the perfect mobile game for us to bring to primetime, following our success with Beat Shazam on FOX," MGM's Barry Poznick said. "Playing Words is a daily ritual for some of the biggest names in Hollywood and we've created the perfect format to capture their competitiveness and creative wordplay."
There's no disputing the success of the game - Zynga says it's been installed over 200 million times, and is one of the top 10 free games of all time on Apple's App Store - but it remains to be seen how successful its transition to TV screens will be. The exact format of the TV show is not yet clear, but Zynga said that it will "incorporate aspects from [its] larger portfolio of With Friends word and puzzle games."
Source: Zynga via VentureBeat
SAN FRANCISCO ? Look out Las Vegas, here comes FarmVille.
Silicon Valley is betting that online gambling is its next billion-dollar business, with developers across the industry turning casual games into occasions for adults to wager.
At the moment these games are aimed overseas, where attitudes toward gambling are more relaxed and online betting is generally legal, and extremely lucrative. But game companies, from small teams to Facebook and Zynga, have their eye on the ultimate prize: the rich American market, where most types of real-money online wagers have been cleared by the Justice Department.
Two states, Nevada and Delaware, are already laying the groundwork for virtual gambling. Within months they will most likely be joined by New Jersey.
Bills have also been introduced in Mississippi, Iowa, California and other states, driven by the realization that online gambling could bring in streams of tax revenue. In Iowa alone, online gambling proponents estimated that 150,000 residents were playing poker illegally.
Legislative progress, though, is slow. Opponents include an influential casino industry wary of competition and the traditional antigambling factions, who oppose it on moral grounds.
Silicon Valley is hardly discouraged. Companies here believe that online gambling will soon become as simple as buying an e-book or streaming a movie, and that the convenience of being able to bet from your couch, surrounded by virtual friends, will offset the lack of glittering ambience found in a real-world casino. Think you can get a field of corn in FarmVille, the popular Facebook game, to grow faster than your brother-in-law's? Five bucks says you cannot.
Betable has set up shop in San Francisco, where 15 studios are now using its back-end platform. "This is the next evolution in games, and kind of ground zero for the developer community," Mr. Griffin said.
As companies eagerly wait for the American market to open up, they are introducing betting games in Britain, where Apple has tweaked the iPhone software to accommodate them. Facebook began allowing online gambling for British users last summer with Jackpotjoy, a bingo site; deals with other developers followed in December and this month.
Overseas, online betting is generating an estimated $32 billion in annual revenue ? nearly the size of the United States casino market. Juniper Research estimates that betting on mobile devices alone will be a $100 billion worldwide industry by 2017.
By +Frank B.
Zynga accused of cloning hit indie iPhone game Tiny Tower
San Diego, CA-based independent iPhone game developer Nimblebit is accusing social games giant Zynga of ripping off its popular mobile title Tiny Tower.
Zynga last week launched on the Canadian App Store Dream Heights, a free-to-download tower-building game with in-app purchases that has clear similarities to summer 2011's Tiny Tower, which received Apple's 2011 iPhone Game of the Year.
"Clones" of games are a common occurrence on mobile platforms, but the Tiny Tower versus Dream Heights conflict has gained quick notoriety on the web due to the David and Goliath scenario of a massive public company allegedly copying the ideas of a three-person team.
Nimblebit's Ian Marsh got word out about the similarities between Dream Heights and Tiny Tower with an image that's still making the Twitter rounds. The image is made up of screenshots showing how Dream Heights' interface and gameplay mechanics appear strikingly similar to Tiny Tower's.
"We noticed you are about to launch a new iPhone game called Dream Heights! Congratulations!" reads the image, which was addressed to "all 2,789" of Zynga's employees. "We wanted to thank all of you guys for being such big fans of our iPhone game of the year, Tiny Tower!"
The sarcastic statement continues, "Good luck with your game, we are looking forward to inspiring you with our future games! Sincerely, (all 3 of us) -- Nimblebit."
Marsh also said on Twitter that Zynga "did try to go the honest route and try to acquire us first." He added that inside Dream Heights' app binary, the Zynga project "is named 'TowerVille' and its inhabitants are named zitizens" -- Tiny Tower's are called "bitizens."
Nimblebit and Zynga did not immediately reply to Gamasutra's requests for further comment.