Sulake’s investors flee in wake of Habbo pedophile scandal — Habbo developer Sulake was recently the subject of an investigative report claiming pedophiles are a large part of the game’s population. The company’s primary investors Balderton Capital and 3i have since dumped their interests in the studio, and several U.K. retailers are no longer carrying prepaid Habbo cards. Sulake claims it is working to improve user security and privacy.
Zynga could be social games industry’s “first high-profile failure” — There’s been a lot of media speculation about Zynga ever since its shares began taking a prolonged beating following the Facebook IPO. GamesIndustry.biz has an in-depth report about why the company’s been struggling on the stock market. The report claims the developer’s still too reliant on Facebook and it is “terrified” of the mobile games market because its marketing tactics often aren’t allowed. The report also says Zynga doesn’t seem to have a definite plan in place and its high-profile purchases of mobile developers are driven by panic. As a result, “social gaming may see its first truly high-profile casualty before long.”
Nexon buys almost 15 percent of NCsoft — Free-to-play game giant Nexon purchased a little over 3.2 million shares — 14.7 percent — of MMO publisher NCsoft. Nexon paid KRW 804 billion ($690 million) and is now the largest shareholder of NCsoft.
Zynga and CBS working on Draw Something TV show — Variety is reporting that Draw Something is getting a primetime game show, the pilot for which was picked up by CBS after a bidding war. The show’s pilot will apparently have celebrities and users competing against each other in front of a studio audience; Variety’s also reporting users at home will be able to to play along with the TV contestants, but it’s not obvious how this mechanic will work.
Peak Games announces record revenues — Developer Peak Games had a pretty spectacular first quarter. The company revealed its 2012 Q1 revenue increased 1,000 percent year-over year. Peak has seen a great deal of success in non-English markets over the past year, but its recent bubble shooter Lost Bubble has gained significant traffic over the past couple of months in English territories.
Grumpy Goats dev helps donate livestock for charity — Grumpy Goats developer Verge Games announced this week it has partnered with charity group World Vision. The new partnership will allow Grumpy Goats players to donate to the charity, which in turn donates much-needed livestock to families in need.
PopCap announces Solitaire Blitz marathon — PopCap is working to help break a Guiness World Record and raise thousands of dollars for charity with Solitaire Blitz. The developer kicked off an online pledge drive for charity: water this week that will climax with a transatlantic attempt to break the world record for the Longest Videogames Marathon Playing a Card Game. Solitaire Blitz players Kathleen Henkel and Laura Rich will travel to New York and London in order to play the game for 30 consecutive hours on June 26 and 27. The two women will also raise a minimum of $10,000 for charity: water if they both play for the alotted time.
Get an early look at Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in Hidden Haunts — News Corporation subsidiary Making Fun is now working with Fox Digital Entertainment to include nine scens from the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in its game Hidden Haunts. The movie is due out on June 22.
Gaia Interactive releases Monster Galaxy Soundtrack — Social game publisher Gaia Interactive released the official soundtrack for its popular title Monster Galaxy this week. The album is currently available for download on iTunes, with all 26 tracks selling for $0.99.
Former Evony devs reveal new social RPG — Veterans of the Evony development team have formed a new studio called uCool. The company’s first title is Tynon, a social RPG and city-building game that tasks players with saving their kingdom from a dark wizard’s spell. uCool promises the game will include RPG party customization, animated combat and player-versus-player combat. Tynon will launch on July 4.
Marvel heroes take over Disney’s Club Penguin — Disney’s Club Penguin Island is getting a Marvel Comics-themed makeover. The in-game event is called the Marvel Super Hero Takeover and will last from June 14 through July 3. The Takeover event has the Club Penguin island hit by a meteor, which powers up the Destructobot. Players have to dress up as Marvel superheroes in order to fend the creature off. The Island’s various locales have also been transformed and players are encouraged to explore them during the event.
Double Down CEO is Entrepeneur of the Year finalist — Double Down Interactive CEO Greg Enell is being considered as a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepeneur of the Year 2012 award. Out of 18 finalists Enell is the only member of the social games industry being considered for the award.