games people play

Zynga With Friends: Wooing Non-Facebookers to Come and Play

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 28, 2012 06:04 PM

Zynga is biting the hand that fed it by pitching “Zynga With Friends” as an alternative to Facebook.

The new social network will be accessible through, and players can build profiles, connect with other players and access a real-time multi-player mode for collaborative game-playing on platforms including laptops, smartphones and tablets. 

"Zynga With Friends will be your social lobby wherever you are, whether on the Web or on mobile," said Zynga GM Manuel Bronstein during Zynga Unleashed, its conference this week for reporters and analysts.Continue reading...

games people play

E3 Watch: With Miiverse, Nintendo Unveils Social Network for Wii U Consoles

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 4, 2012 03:04 PM

The annual E3 video-game conference this week is bringing gamers a flurry of announcements to keep them excited about where the ever-evolving industry will take them next.

Ahead of the annual confab, Nintendo released a video (watch it below) to showcase how its new Wii U console (called the Wii U GamePad) will use social networking in new ways. “The machine will promote the Miiverse in which users can see what others are playing, share self-created game content and swap gaming tips,” the BBC reports.

The plan is for users to be able to connect into the network not just from the new console, but from PCs, smartphones, and 3DS handhelds.Continue reading...

games people play

Nintendo's First Operating Loss Raises Alarm Bells

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 27, 2012 12:02 PM

In 1889 Nintendo put out its first batch of playing cards. Since then, the brand has done all it can to represent good times for the world’s fun seekers. It has adapted and shifted through its 123-year history to keep things moving. 

With the rise of technology, of course, things need to shift a little more quickly but it appears that Nintendo isn’t quite ready to shift away from its last big game-changer, Wii, Reuters reports.

It’s understandable that Nintendo isn’t quite ready to push Wii out the door. After all, it’s made the company about $14 billion, the wire service notes, and completely changed the gaming industry back in 2006 by getting the whole family involved rather than being a segment dominated by kids.

Now, the alarm bells are sounding: On Thursday, Nintendo reported its first-ever operating loss in a market that is now dominated by games designed for smartphones and other mobile devices — an area Nintendo hasn’t made a strong push to join other than the sale of its DS and 3DS handhelds.Continue reading...

games people play

March Madness: The Likeness of Legends

Posted by Nicole Briggs on March 30, 2012 04:31 PM

As you tune into the March Madness games, what do you think your favorite college athletics should receive for their hard work on the court, their image, and likeness? As you mull over that question, consider this case. 

In the fall of 2011, former Boston Celtic and University of San Francisco athlete, Bill Russell, who led University of San Francisco to the NCAA championship in 1955 and 1956, joined forces with former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon on the behalf of other former NCAA players to sue Electronic Arts and the NCAA, as covered by Bloomberg News. 

The former college basketball stars accused the NCAA and Electronic Arts for “violating federal antitrust law by unlawfully foreclosing former Division I men’s basketball and football players from receiving any compensation related to the commercial use of their images and likeness,” stated Jon King, an attorney for the former players, to Bloomberg.Continue reading...

games people play

Z's Leaving Home: Zynga Expands Beyond Facebook

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 2, 2012 04:55 PM

Zynga raised a few eyebrows this week when the social games publisher announced it’s launching an online destination outside of Facebook – the mothership that nurtured its unrivalled success.

As it tests life beyond the great FacebookVille with its own standalone website to offer and connect gameplay, the beta version of will give players access to social games created by, for the first time, third party developers.

“We built to give our players more ways to connect with each other and play great social games whether built by Zynga or other talented developers,” stated Mark Pincus, founder and CEO, Zynga. “Together with our platform partners, we look forward to bringing more play to the world on our platform.”Continue reading...

games people play

Sony Brings "World-Changing" PS Vita to US and Europe

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2012 12:11 PM

When Sony’s new handheld gaming system, PlayStation Vita, launched in Japan in December, it came with some unfortunate bugs that caused it to crash on occasion and lag a bit during some games.

Sony says it has updated the software and is feeling good enough about things that it launched the product Wednesday in the United States and Europe. What's new and improved about PS Vita? To paraphrase Shakespeare, the game's the thing.Continue reading...

games people play

Jeep Finds Traction With Interactive Games in Europe

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 17, 2012 10:29 AM

Above, watch a video case study submitted to the Cannes Lions for Jeep-In, a mobile interactive game created for Chrysler's Jeep brand in Poland by Leo Burnett's Warsaw office. The mobile marketing promotion targeted young car-buyers by inviting them to hit the off-road and check-in along a virtual treasure map and collect awards along the way, with the player collecting the most awards winning a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Elsewhere in Europe last year, Leo Burnett Brussels tested a different spin on treasure hunts for a different Jeep model (the Compass) with a different interactive game challenge: to find Belgium's most deserted mailbox.

games people play

Zynga IPO: Social Gaming Comes of Age

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2011 03:11 PM

“The virtual cow is the new cash cow of Wall Street,” writes the New York Times of Zynga's blockbuster IPO today.

Even as its first-day performance is closely watched, Zynga's public debut is being seen as a coming of age for the gaming industry; the largest tech IPO since Google in 2004 and the biggest in gaming history, and an exoneration of sorts for CEO Mark Pincus, who persisted in his vision of the ‘freemium’ model (free basic play with incentives to pay for upgrades) despite derision from investors and critics of his company’s relentlessly hard-driving corporate culture.

Founded in 2007, Zynga now has 230 million monthly active users on Facebook and is a lead player in an explosive virtual goods market worth $9 billion last year.

“Zynga embodies a confluence of trends in the gaming industry. Its whimsical games cater to casual users, who may not own a console like a PlayStation 3. Its games, which are available on Facebook and mobile devices, also use social networks to allow players to share activity with their friends,” summarizes the Times.Continue reading...

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