Welcome to the Engage Digital Wrap-Up for the week of March 5, 2011. The Wrap-Up is where Engage Digital spotlights stories that we didn’t get to cover individually, but still make for interesting reading about the business of user engagement.
- Battlefield Play4Free Open Beta Next Month: Electronic Arts has announced that Battlefield Play4Free will launch in open beta on April 4. Over 600,000 players have signed up for the in-progress closed beta.
- Developers: How To Gain 4.5 Million Users In A Few Months: Funzio worked with AdParlor to tweak ads for its Crime City game, eventually growing the game from 2 million MAU to 6.5 million MAU in just a few months.
- Funium Lands $1.2 Million For Social Games: Social game developer Funium has raised $1.2 million in angel funding from Family Odyssey and FamilyLink. Funium will use the funds to launch its first game on Facebook, to be called Family Village.
- History Of Social Games: Author John Radoff connects modern social games to games people played for social reasons over 5000 years ago.
- Huge PS Home Update Adds Multiplayer: The latest update to Home will introduce streaming multiplayer, which means players of Home social games can compete exclusively with friends rather than over leaderboards. The first game to implement this feature will be Lockwood’s Sodium Two.
- Latin American Startup Gets $1.3M For 3D Social Gaming: Colombian social game developer Zio Studios has closed a $1.3 million round of funding from Colombian venture capital firm Promotora.
- Microsoft Shows Lifelike Avatar: Microsoft has demonstrated in-development technology that would allow Xbox Live users to have photorealistic avatars. Potential features would include realistic lipflap to accompany voice chat.
- Motorola Mobility Invests In HTML5 Game Developer And Publisher Moblyng: Moblyng has raised an undisclosed round of funding from Motorola Mobility.
- Panasonic Jungle Canceled: Panasonic plans to discontinue development of its planned Jungle handheld console, which was intended to focus on freemium browser-based games like those published by Bigpoint. Panasonic began public testing of the device late last year.
- Unity Adds Flash Support: Unity will now support development of Flash games, following Adobe’s first launch of the “Molehill” version of Flash which supports 3D gaming. Unity says it does not see Molehill as a competitor.
- Zynga Gets Sued For Blocking Abu Dhabi Firm From Buying Zynga Shares: Abu Dhabi-based firm Alpha Investments is suing Zynga after the company prevent Alpha Investments from closing a deal with one Andrew Trader for $1 million in Zynga stock.
- Zynga Hires Evri Founder Roseman To Lead New Seattle Office: Zynga has hired Neil Roseman, founder of semantic Web startup Evri, to head up its new Seattle office.
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