Facebook Bans 'Social Roulette' App

May 14, 2013 -

Facebook has blocked an app that lets users play a game of "Russian Roulette" with their Facebook account. The social suicide game was a little too over the top for Facebook, apparently. Like the real-world game involving a gun with one bullet in it, the app gives participants a one-in-six chance of deleting their Facebook account. Social Roulette was brought to the attention of Facebook by an automated system that deals with "negative user experience."

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EA Shutting Down The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society in June

April 15, 2013 -

Electronic Arts announced this morning that it is shutting down three games operated by its Playfish Facebook game development studio. The games going offline on June 14 include The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society. In a statement on its official blog, EA said it was shutting these games down because they no longer get the traffic they did at launch:

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Facebook Brings Big Numbers to GDC

March 27, 2013 -

Facebook was at the Game Developers Conference today in San Francisco throwing around a lot of facts and figures to show that it is still a popular and relevant gaming platform. The company said that over 250 million users are still playing Facebook games each month, accounting for around 20 percent of the social network's daily traffic. Facebook also claims that over 100 game makers generated over $1 million (each) or more last year. Collectively game developers earned over $2 billion in payouts.

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Report: Facebook No Longer Supporting CISPA

March 14, 2013 -

Facebook is no longer listed as a supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), according to this CNET report. Facebook and its CEO were singled out by activist group Demand Progress, who sent an avalanche of emails to CEO Mark Zuckerberg with the message:

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Zynga Vice-President Attempts to Clarify Comments about Copying Games

March 11, 2013 -

Zynga General Manager and Vice President Dan Porter has issued an email which was subsequently posted on Zynga Blog that pushes back against reports that he recently said at an event that the company copied games and that it is an industry wide practice. In his email he attempts to clarify what he claims he actually said and what is widely being reported this morning.

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Zynga Discontinues 11 Games to Cut Costs

December 31, 2012 -

Zynga will shut down a total of 11 of its social games as it finds new ways to cut costs to fulfill the cost reduction plan announced by CEO Mark Pincus in November of this year. When Pincus made that announcement he said that 13 games would be shut down. The list of games scheduled for closure covers 11 on that list.

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FTC Updates Child Online Safety Regulations to Deal with Social Networks, Apps

December 19, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has updated its ten-year-old rules on children's online safety but came just short of adding changes that would sanction or hold responsible platform holders like Facebook and Apple, reports All Things D. The new rules hope to tighten privacy and sharing restriction rules for children who might use social networks or mobile apps.

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Zynga Applies for Nevada Online Gambling License

December 6, 2012 -

According to a Wall Street Journal report unearthed by GII, Zynga is applying for a gambling license in the great state of Nevada. The company has shown a great interest in building social gaming properties for Facebook and its own social games portal that utilize online gambling and real-world wagers.

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Facebook Puts New Restrictions on Game Developers

December 6, 2012 -

Facebook is changing the rules on what developers can and can't have access to when they develop games for its platform. The new policy changes on dating sharing, access to Facebook features, and pushing users to third-party websites are designed to force game developers like Zynga (who have their own web portal for games) to actually create content for Facebook. From the Facebook Guidelines:

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Square Enix Deploys, Then Pulls Questionable Hitman Absolution Facebook App

December 4, 2012 -

In what has to be a record take-down of a questionable piece of marketing, Square Enix pulled a Facebook app promoting Hitman Absolution two hours after it was deployed after a scathing report from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The company later apologized for the app. The trouble began after RPS wrote about how "Hire Hitman" app allowed users to target and assassinate their Facebook friends, complete with death threats to your intended target.

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Zynga Puts a Hit Out on Mafia Wars 2

December 4, 2012 -

Just a year after it launched, Zynga has pulled the plug on the follow-up to one of the games that made it a household name among Facebook users. According to this The Escapist report, Zynga will shut down Mafia Wars 2 at the end of this year. In a message to players posted on Facebook, Zynga announced that Mafia Wars 2 will shut down.

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Zynga Vice-President of Business Development Resigns

November 21, 2012 -

Zynga's VP of business development has resigned, joining a long list of high level executives that have left the social game maker to find greener pastures. According to an AllThingsD report, VP of business development Jonathan Flesher left the company on November 9. When at Zynga, Flesher was in charge of securing partnerships with companies such as Google, MSN and Yahoo. The company has not disclosed who will take up the duties of Flesher.

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Apple Executive Describes Zynga CEO as 'Near Tears' During Recent Meeting

November 16, 2012 -

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal (registration required to read the story), Apple director Bill Campbell shared a story about a meeting with Zynga chief executive officer Mark Pincus, where he described his demeanor as discouraged and being almost in tears about the fate of the company he created.

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Zynga Shuffles The Executive Deck

November 14, 2012 -

Zynga this week shuffled the senior management deck as chief financial officer David Wehner left to take an executive post at Facebook. Mark Pincus has apparently restructured the management team in a way that centralizes command structure and fills the gigantic gaps left by recent departures from the company in the last few months.

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Former Zynga Employees Join Rumble Entertainment

November 13, 2012 -

Brian Schneider and Steve Desilets, two former senior staff members at Zynga have assumed senior roles at free-to-play studio Rumble Entertainment. Brian Schneider will take on a role in Rumble’s executive team, where he will focus on retention and monetization strategies. Former Zynga design director Steve Desilets will serve as creative partner with Rumble co-founder and design director John Yoo. His goal will be to build new Rumble-developed games.

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Zynga to Shut Down Two Titles, Plan to Close 11 Additional Games in the Future

November 5, 2012 -

Zynga will shut down two of its games in early December, with plans to close 11 additional titles later on down the road. This news follows word that the company would close its Boston offices and reduce five percent of its workforce from offices in Austin, the UK, and Japan.

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Foursquare gets in on the 2012 Election

November 2, 2012 -

Foursquare has teamed up with Google, the Voting Information Project, the Pew Center on the States, Engage, and the New Organizing Institute to help voters make the most of the 2012 elections.

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Facebook Sued by Kickflip for Monopolizing Virtual Currency on its Social Network

October 31, 2012 -

A federal antitrust complaint filed by virtual-currency and payment-processing provider Kickflip (doing business as Gambit) claims that Facebook destroyed its business when it took over the virtual currency used in games on its social network. Prior to that move, Kickflip claims that it was a "leading virtual-currency and payment-processing provider to software developers that published games on Facebook and other social networks."

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Zynga Settles Lawsuit With Kobojo

October 19, 2012 -

Zynga has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against French game development studio Kobojo, according to Gamasutra. Zynga sued the company for using the "Ville" suffix on its game PyramidVille - an action it took against plenty of other developers for including Dungeonville developer Night Owl. Zynga filed its lawsuit in May of this year, but PyramidVille originally released on Facebook 15 months before Zynga took the developer to court.

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For The People: November Madness Contest Launches

October 15, 2012 -

Rocket Surgeon, makers of the political social Facebook game, For the People: Fantasy Politics, have launched a special contest today called For The People: November Madness.

For The People: November Madness is free to everyone and allows participants to take a stab at predicting the winners of the 2012 presidential election and every House and Senate race across the country. Each correct pick earns a point, and the person who ends up with the most total points wins a grand prize.

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EEDAR: Zynga Could Become Target of Acquisition

October 5, 2012 -

Speaking to GamesIndustry International, EEDAR VP of Insights Jesse Divnich says that he thinks the social game publisher has fallen far enough in value that it could become an acquisition target for the right company.

"At a $1.7 billion market cap, a Zynga acquisition seems favorable for anyone looking to pick up 300 million pair of eyeballs every month," Divnich said. "I'd argue that Facebook could become a potential suitor for Zynga--of course I am not trying to spread any rumors; rather I am thinking out loud."

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Baird Equity Research Downgrades Zynga

October 5, 2012 -

Baird Equity Research has downgraded social game developer and publisher Zynga after the company said that it expected a massive loss in the third quarter that ended on September 30. The company said that it now expects to report a $90 - $150 million loss for quarter. Zynga blamed the new numbers on "weakness of certain games" and an impairment charge of $85 million to $95 million related to its purchase of Draw Something developer OMGPOP.

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For The People: Fantasy Politics Beta Launches on Facebook

October 2, 2012 -

Social game developer Rocket Surgeon has opened the beta of its Facebook game, For The People: Fantasy Politics to the public today. The 3D Facebook game lets players become the fictional 436th member of the House of Representatives, and play a key role in shaping the laws and policies of a fantasy democracy. Beginning today and running until the new Congress is seated in January, players can test their skills as a U.S.

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Party Politics: Match-3 Meets Presidential Politics

September 18, 2012 -

We missed Party Politics when it launched earlier this month on both Facebook (September 6) and Kongregate (September 13), but it's worth mentioning now. Developed by Checkpoint Studios, Party Politics is a politically-themed match-3 puzzle game that is free-to-play. The game uses a Bejeweled style of gameplay combined with political themes in a quest to earn support and win the 2012 election.

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Former Zynga GM Joins KIXEYE

August 23, 2012 -

Former Zynga Studio General Manager Alan Patmore has joined its competitor, social game developer KIXEYE. He will serve as the company's new Vice President of Product. Patmore served as the General Manager of CityVille at Zynga. He also oversaw the popular game Mafia Wars. In his new role he will be responsible for overseeing product strategy and development.

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Facebook: 235 Million Playing Games on Social Network

August 14, 2012 -

According to internal data released by Facebook, the number of Facebook subscribers who play games has increased by more than 15 percent over last year. According to the largest social network in the world, 235 million people play games on Facebook, up from 205 million. Facebook claims that this growth has mostly been driven by its new App Center feature, which has helped in driving install and return play rates upwards.

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Maxis GM Thanks Game Community for Support in Zynga Lawsuit

August 8, 2012 -

We missed this at the beginning of the week, but it's worth reporting on now even at the eleventh hour. Lucy Bradshaw, the General Manager for EA's Maxis Label, took to the EA Blog to offer a sincere thank-you to the gaming community for its strong level of support in the lawsuit against Zynga. Last week EA filed a lawsuit against Zynga alleging that its Facebook game The Ville blatantly copied key components from its game The Sims Social

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First Facebook Game to Offer Cash Prizes Launches in UK

August 7, 2012 -

UK-based game maker Gamesys has launched the first Facebook game ever that allows for real cash prizes. The game, available in the UK, is called Bingo & Slots Friendzy, and is the first on the Facebook App Centre to pay real cash prizes.

Bingo & Slots Friendzy is only accessible to those ages 18 and over, according to Gamesys, who promise "a series of controls" to protect those under 18-years-old and "vulnerable people." Users will also have access "self-help tools to limit their spending and exclude themselves from playing at anytime.”

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EA Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement

August 3, 2012 -

Hey, remember last month when we poked fun at the ability to make “whoopee” in Zynga’s latest ‘ville’ game The Ville and noted the similarity to the ability to make “woo-hoo” in EA’s Sims Social?

Yeah, good times.

Well, EA thinks “whoopee” and other features are just a bit too similar to its game and are suing Zynga for copyright infringement.

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Google, Facebook Join The Internet Association

July 26, 2012 -

According to this BBC report Facebook, eBay, Google and Amazon have joined a new lobbying group that will push issues they deem important in Washington. The new lobbying group is called The Internet Association, and will open up shop in Washington D.C. in September. They will handle political and regulatory issues in the capital.

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PHX Corphttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=176931667&postcount=12 although it's a little late, a comic strip on neogaf about the "release it now, patch it later" culture08/30/2015 - 7:37am
Papa MidnightBack to when, RedMade? A week ago? (seriously, though...)08/30/2015 - 1:55am
RedMageOh hey, a news station is trying to scapegoat gaming. That takes me back. https://twitter.com/GamingAnarchist/status/63754361236507443208/29/2015 - 1:40pm
Big PermA link to TB twitter with Matt Lees in the replies - https://twitter.com/Totalbiscuit/status/52528604482949939208/29/2015 - 12:16pm
Brad GlasgowWhy would he say the company lies about getting abuse? Oh, because people don't abuse GG?08/29/2015 - 10:38am
Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
Goth_SkunkMGSV: The Phantom Integrity - A Rant by RazörFist. (NSFW on account of language). RazörFist discusses the latest batch of unethical journalist conduct, with a caveat. - http://ow.ly/RwXYT08/29/2015 - 7:10am
Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - http://ow.ly/RwVeT08/29/2015 - 6:12am
Brad GlasgowI can't believe Matt Lees deleted his positive review of Ethan Carter because Chmielarz is sympathetic to GG.08/29/2015 - 5:30am
Goth_SkunkA GameDev's Year With #GG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Adrian Chmielarz - http://ow.ly/RwSCd08/29/2015 - 5:18am
Goth_SkunkDespite not being a fan of fighting games I had to check out that R Mika trailer. Loved it. Still won't buy the game though, on account of Isuckatstreetfighteritis.08/29/2015 - 2:42am
MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
ZippyDSMleeSora-Chan: Blender is easy compared to 3Dmax :P08/28/2015 - 6:51pm
Sora-Chantime to take up a hobby? maybe messing around in GIMP to make wallpapers? use qCAD to design somethin? open Blender and stare at it for a couple hours trying to figure what does what?08/28/2015 - 6:41pm
Big PermAlso, yes. I've been spamming the shoutbox. I don't have much going on today, don't judge me08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Big PermThanks, but yeah. Not sure I wanna drop that kind of cash :P I don't even mind the sound quality of my krakens, it just hurts to wear em after a couple hours.08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Sora-Chan@Big Perm: I'm a bit of a fan of the Omega Recon3D headset from SoundBlaster. Though it is a bit expensive.08/28/2015 - 2:36pm

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