Social games news roundup: Playdek, Zynga’s love survey, SqueeDogs and more


Playdek launches President’s Day Weekend sale — Mobile game developer Playdek is hosting a sale for the long weekend. iOS players can pick up Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer for $2.99, and the in-app expansions Return of the Fallen and Storm of Souls for $1.99 and $2.99, respectively; Nightfall for $.99; Penny Arcade the Game: Gamers vs Evil for $2.99; and the “Everything Bundle” in-app purchase within Summoner Wars for $4.99.


Mother and son launch Facebook game SqueeDogs — Game developer Pirate Epstein, at the urging of his mother Cerise Jacobs, has launched a 3D Facebook pet sim called SqueeDogs using $10,000 in Kickstarter funds. As Wicked Local’s Brookline blog reports, the project got off the ground because Jacobs wanted a game that starred her rescue dog, Mencius.


Zynga Valentine’s Day poll reveals that With Friends players flirt with chat — An annual Zynga survey of players reveals that people sometimes flirt in social/mobile games. Highlights from the survey include: 30 percent of players flirt with their opponent through the chat feature; 23 percent try to play higher-scoring words against someone to whom they are attracted; 24 percent are more competitive when playing against somebody they have romantic feelings for; 53 percent report being more attracted to players with a good vocabulary; and 26 percent of married players play with their spouse.


Teen creates social network for cancer patients that love video games — Polygon reports that cancer survivor Steven Gonzalez is creating a social network for teens with cancer that want to play video games together. The not-for-profit network, Survivor Games, will function like a virtual arcade where players can chat, game together or spectate other games.


Why Sony couldn’t get PlayStation Portable games to work on smartphones — Two years since launching an unsuccessful campaign to bring PlayStation Portable games to Android devices like the Sony Xperia tablets and phones, Sony’s Chris Mahoney explained to the audience at the Appsworld conference in San Francisco why the company had to rejigger its approach to mobile games: “What people were saying is not that we have to fit these games into the device, but fit these games into how people use it. People are using games during these little bursts of time. So we thought, what is a console game? A console game is ten 30-60-minute levels. Mobile games are like hundreds of levels that are three to six minutes, sometimes even less. What if we take the higher quality graphics, and the narratives that everyone is asking for, and we put it on a mobile phone and fit it into these little bursts of time. We took that back to consumers, and they said ‘Yes, that’s it exactly, that’s what we want.'” Read the rest on GamesIndustry International.


[Launch] PerBlue brings Boardtastic to Android — Parallel Kingdoms developer PerBlue brings free-to-play 3D skateboarding sim Boardtastic for Android this week. The game offers a competitive multiplayer mode, a set of five tricks to master and new abilities to unlock as the player progresses and clothing customization that offers player bonuses.


[Press Release] Investment group App Fund seeking mobile game submissions — The App Fund, an investment group dedicated to supporting mobile apps across a broad range of categories is seeking mobile game submissions. Interested parties can apply here and check out the press release detailing the App Fund’s approach here.


[Press Release] EA to launch Tetris Blitz on iPhone, Android — This spring, EA will bring a new flavor of Tetris to mobile devices with Tetris Blitz. The game challenges players to reach a high score in a fixed amount of time and the touch interface offers a new control scheme.