Zynga VPs Depart, New COO Is Hired

Vice president of studios Bill Mooney, who was the general manager for FarmVille, and vice president of marketing Brian Birtwistle have both reportedly departed Zynga. When asked about the development, Zynga responded, “Zynga continues to lead the industry with the top talent in social game development. We’re proud of the teams working hard to create the next generation of social games including the recent launches of The Ville, ChefVille and the coming launch of FarmVille 2.”

Meanwhile, Maytal Ginzburg has left her role as senior vice president of corporate and regulated markets at 888holdings to become COO of Zynga. This show’s Zynga’s increased interest in online gambling and fills a position previously occupied by John Schappert, who left the company after he was stripped of his responsibilities over games.

Source: Bloomberg

Oculus CEO Talks Marketing A VR Headset

Oculus is one of the most ambitious projects for gaming, hoping to make a VR headset a feasible reality for most consumers. However, there’s a marketing problem in that the true functionality of the headset can’t be shown without owning the device, but Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe believes there are other ways to market the Oculus Rift.

“We’re going to do a lot of good press and marketing; we’re certainly going to have to ramp up,” said Iribe. “It’s hard but you have to get in front of the right people with the demo. So when we get in front of press with the demo, and they get to try the prototype, and we go and we visit those select game developers, as soon as you put this thing on your head and look around you get the potential of where this can go. You want to get involved, and you want to help, and hopefully write something positive about it.”

“Part of the Kickstarter is to start that kind of viral marketing,” he added. “When we ship 10,000 developer kits in December there’ll be an awful lot of people at a lot of different game studios and a lot of different developers that start talking about Oculus. For us, marketing is more a matter of getting all the developers to support it. As they start to promote that the game is compatible with Oculus it will drive a lot of interest.”

Source: GamesIndustry International

Guild Wars 2 Coming To China

ArenaNet has announced a deal with KongZhong Corporation to bring Guild Wars 2 to mainland China, one of the biggest licensing transactions for a Western game in the Chinese marketplace to date. ArenaNet has the option to buy up to 40 million of KongZhong Corporation’s ordinary shares after the Chinese launch of Guild Wars 2 as part of the agreement.

“We admire the dedication and passion of the Guild Wars 2 development team and believe this is reflected in Guild Wars 2 being highly anticipated around the world, including by China gamers,” said KongZhong CEO Wang Lei lei. “I believe Chinese game players will be impressed by Guild Wars 2 unique gameplay which will bring truly epic, cooperative gameplay back to the MMORPG genre.”

“We designed Guild Wars 2 to not only redefine the MMO category, but to appeal to a global audience,” added ArenaNet co-founder and president Mike O’Brien.

Social Success Of Gree And Mobage Examined

DFC Intelligence recently filed a report from Enterbrain titled “The Secret of Gree & Mobage’s Success – How to succeed with in-App Purchase in the Mobile SNS Market.” In it, they detail the profiles of Japan’s major social network companies, many of which are enacting trends that are likely to influence the North American and European markets in the years to come.

The social game market in Japan is expected to increase from 211.7 billion yen (about $2.6 billion) in 2011 to a forecasted 270 billion yen (about $3.4 billion) in 2012. The majority of this revenue comes from free-to-play titles; using Japanese social mobile networks, Gree and Mobage attract more premium users than social networks like Facebook.

Get the full report at dfcint.com. {link no longer active}

Puzzle Chaser Reaches 1 Million Users

Konami Digital Entertainment announced that Puzzle Chasers has over 1,000,000 monthly active users (MAUs). The Facebook game launched less than two months ago and has since become one of the top ten leading social games on Facebook.

There have been more than 8 billion miles traveled and 17,826,460 units of energy used in-game. There have been 1,625,906 trips to different countries by players and 127,658 lamps have been purchased in-game, the real-world powering ability would allow a person to travel in time with a modified DeLorean 6.33 times.

Play the game for yourself at facebook.com/ThePuzzleChasers.

Lose Your Hangups, Embrace Good Times

The reserved Lauren & the irrepressible Katie are polar opposites who become roommates & find themselves in business together. “For a Good Time, Call…” {link no longer active} is a guy movie with girls in it and Focus Features have launched several interactive engagements for the film.

The “Sexy Soundboard” is an interactive keyboard {link no longer active} that lets fans create the perfect commercial for 1-877-MMM-HMMM Try our soundboard and share your creation on our wall! Press the corresponding keys on your keyboard or click the keys to play your favorite sounds. Record your track and share with friends!

An age restricted mode allows fans that register to access saucier material.

Visit the destination URL tweetitlikeyoumeanit.com {link no longer active} and enter for a chance to win prizes every day. Follow @GoodTimeMovie and tweet your thoughts on the film #GoodTimeMovie. The Daily Prize Pack includes Pink Retro Phone Handset, Cell Phone Cover w/Cleaner, T-Shirt and a Custom Nail Polish Set and the Weekly Prize Pack includes $500 for Shopping Sprees, covering Your Phone Bill and More!

On Pinterest, both Lauren and Katie have their own Boards and fans can share For A Good Time Cards. Additional boards like “For a Girls’ Night In” and “For a Girls’ Night Out” gather pins of different treats and snacks. A Board of entirely Pink phones adds a nice touch.


Mars Probe Debuts will.i.am Song

will.i.am recently had a solar-system first event when he broadcast his new single from Mars. Reaching for the Stars was broadcast from the Curiosity rover as part of the NASA educational event for students at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

“Members of the team that successfully landed the rover on Mars earlier this month will explain to students the mission and the technology behind the song’s interplanetary transmission,” said an announcement by NASA. “will.i.am’s i.am.angel Foundation, in partnership with Discovery Education of Silver Spring, Maryland., a provider of digital resources to kindergarten through grade 12 classrooms, will announce a new science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics initiative featuring NASA assets such as the Mars Curiosity Rover.”

Source: Christian Science Monitor


Games We Play

Ian Bennett created a neat little animation that’s part of a travel series called “Follow the Foot”, using the Superhumanoids’ Cranial Contest music. It’s all about the games we play as a kid… and some still do secretly when they’re over 30.