Hasbro, a multinational toy and board game company with the rights to the official Scrabble game, is teaming up with Zynga, a social network game developer with a number of popular titles under its belt, including Words with Friends, an online knockoff of Scrabble. The partnership gives Hasbro the rights to produce a wide range of toys and games based on Zynga's online games and brands, the two companies announced today.
After Freddy Got Fingered, we really shouldn't be surprised at the junk Hollywood will cast on the silver screen. Yet somehow we're still a little shocked that Farmville is making the move from Facebook to the local cinema, or at least that's what IGN was able to extrapolate from a recent interview with Toy Story writers Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen.
There's big bucks in farming (Farmville), whacking the competition (Mafia Wars), exploring the wild west (Frontierville), raising pets and dressing them up (Petville), exploring islands (Treasure Isle), and, well, hopefully by now you get the idea. Zynga's various 'villes and other social games have turned the San Francisco game company into a multi-billion juggernaut, according to an amended SEC filing, CNet reports.
It is official; Electronic Arts has purchased PopCap Games for $750 million in cash and stock. You might not know PopCap by name, but they are responsible for making some of the most addictive casual games of the last few years. Their titles include Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, and Bejeweled.
The makers of the point-and-click adventure game Machinarium came to a realization recently. Their DRM-free game was being pirated by about 90% of players. Such is life for a game that doesn't bother users with serials or authentication. A similar rate of piracy was found for the DRM-free World of Goo. However, the folks behind Machinarium are feeling generous, and are offering people the opportunity to participate in their new pirate amnesty sale.
Until August 12th, Machinarium (and its soundtrack) will cost only $5. It usually goes for $20. The game is available for PC, Mac, and Linux. In Machinarium you play as an unassuming robot traveling through a beautifully detailed world mechanical malcontents. We grabbed this game from Steam a while back, and can testify to its quality and challenging puzzle-based gameplay.
You don't need to prove you pirated the game to join in the fun. Anyone is free to buy the game during the sale. If you like point-and-click style casual games, $5 is a reasonable price to pay. You can check out a demo of the game, and buy it here.
Amazon has been pretty good about digital distribution in the past. Their music store is a strong competitor to Apple’s iTunes, and now it looks like they’re planning to man up the casual game division with their own game download center.
The fledgling game store is already packed with 600+ titles here on day one, and they’re planning to add more as time goes on. And, as a bonus to people that sign up with the store this week, they are offering full versions of “Jewel Quest 2,” “The Scruffs,” and “Build A Lot,” all for free.
Though, they are sure to note that this is only a beta launch, so if there are kinks, don’t stress about them too much. Growing pains are all part of starting something like this. Amazon, we’ll keep our eyes on you, you’ve impressed before.
Amazon has agreed to acquire casual web gaming company Reflexive Entertainment. The move marks the internet behemoth’s foray into casual gaming. Reflexive was constituted in 1997 and is stationed in Orange County, California. Reflexive is working on a game development and distribution service called Reflexive Arcade.
The Reflexive Arcade service will be restricted to only PC, Mac and web-based games. The true motivation behind this particular acquisition is not yet known. The two companies haven’t made the details of the transaction public.
So is PC gaming hosed? That seems to be the case for games that a) are not massively multiplayer, b) don’t have “Sims” in the title, or c) aren’t played by your mom.
But it’s not really as dire as all that. Mass Effect actually made it to number 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire to number 9, on the current NPD PC sales charts.
Those numbers, however, don’t reflect where PC owners are really gettin’ their game on: with casual games. Remember when you would say you were a PC gamer and people would say, “Yeah, me too,” and you’d ask what they played, and they’d say, “Minesweeper and Solitaire.” And you’d chuckle. Good times!