Zynga Shuts Down PetVille, Mafia Wars 2 And More

Zynga recently shut down and made unavailable to download 11 games over the holiday season as part of a large cost cutting plan announced in November. These games include PetVille, Mafia Wars 2, FishVille, Vampire Wars, Treasure Isle, Indiana Jones Adventure World, Mafia Wars Shakedown, Forestville, Montopia, Mojitomo and Word Scramble Challenge.

“These shutdowns might not seem like a big deal to everyone, but they were near cataclysmic for some players who pumped countless hours and dollars into these games,” writes Josh Constine. “If you’d spent years tending your virtual aquarium only to have it disappear, you can imagine how disappointed or angry you’d be. Comments from gamers on the shutdown notices included things like ‘my daughter is heartbroken’ and ‘Please don’t remove petville. I been playing for 4 yrs. and I’M going to miss my pet Jaime . . .why do you want cause depression for me and others. Why do you want to kill my pet ‘ To numb the pain and try to get gamers hooked on titles that will keep running, Zynga offered people who played FishVille, Adventure World, and some other titles a free bonus package of virtual goods in one of its flagship games CastleVille, ChefVille, FarmVille 2, Mafia Wars, or YoVille.”

Source: TechCrunch.com

World Of Tanks Begins Korean Assault

Wargaming has announced that World of Tanks has launched in Korea. Over 60,000 players participated in a recent beta test in the region, where Update 8.2 has now launched at WorldofTanks.kr.

“It’s a great day for the whole team. World of Tanks has been a huge success globally, and the Supertest in Korea has shown that the game has the brightest prospects in the market,” said Chankuk Park, General Manager, Korea. “I’m sure that World of Tanks will be able to gain more and more gamer attention in Korea, thanks to the game’s profoundness both strategically and gameplay-wise.”

Temple Run’s 2.5 Million Sales On Christmas

Imangi Studios founder Keith Shepherd announced that Temple Run had a lot of success on Christmas day. The game racked up over 2.5 million downloads as people across the globe opened up new iPhones and Android-powered devices.

Temple Run saw over a million downloads on iOS and Android apiece, so that includes both smartphones and tablets. The game also saw over 500,000 downloads on Amazon on Christmas day.

Source: Twitter.com

Instagram Usage Drops Over The Holidays

According to AppData, Instagram’s daily usage counts diminished from 16 million to 12.4 million on Christmas. Many feel this drop was due to Instagram’s controversial ToS agreement, which the company later reversed course on.

An Instagram spokesperson disagreed with the negative assessment, saying, “This data is inaccurate. We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram.”

“AppData reflects only Facebook-connected users of the Instagram app. Though the terms of service change spurred a lot of negative media attention and complaints from users, the decline in Facebook-connected daily active users began closer to Christmas, not immediately after the proposed policy changes,” later AppData qualified. “The drop between Dec. 24 and 25 seems likely to be related to the holiday, during which time people are traveling and otherwise have different routines than usual. A number of other apps saw similar trends, including Skype, Pandora, Pinterest and Yelp. The original statement issued by the NY Post was not approved for citation by AppData.”

Source: TheVerge.com

Tribune Corporation Gets New Board

The Tribune corporation saw a new board made up of entertainment industry executives with no news experience. Between that and the likely future CEO Peter Liguori (veteran of Fox and Discovery), it is expected that ownership will push the company to focus on its 23 TV stations.

Tribune’s daily newspapers are valued now at an estimated $623 million, diminished from their pre-recession price and before the actions of former owner Sam Zell. LA Times saw an offer by David Geffen for $2 billion in 2006, now it will fetch much less if it comes on the market.

Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner indicated both interest and means to purchase the Tribune papers. “We clearly have the means and the team by which to look seriously at the Tribune papers and, from the outside, they may very well have enough of the elements that we’re looking for,” he told reporters.

“The only reason the company was in play for Zell to pick up was that the heirs of the once-mighty Times Mirror empire, welcomed into the Tribune Co. boardroom with the deal, sought to cash out,” writes Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal. “Zell and his management team, however, did little to deliver on promises of unlocking value through a more intelligent corporate structure and other strategies. Combined with the huge debt their acquisition piled on, the company’s slide only accelerated.”

Source: LAobserved.com