Social gaming news roundup: China, Google and PerBlue

Chinese social, online game markets booming – According to information released at the 2011 China Game Industry Annual Conference, China’s online gaming sector (MMOs, casual games and social games) is now worth more than 42.85 billion yuan ($6.8 billion), 32.4 percent more than it was worth in 2010, reports Penn Olson.

Persona 3 Social has 1 million members – Persona 3 Social, the social spin off game of PS2 hit Persona 3 has over a million members on Mobage, according Siliconera. The news bodes well for the Personal 3 Social creator Index Corporation’s next game, Persona 4 Social.

TeePee Game partners with OK! TeePee Games, a games discovery service based in the UK has signed a deal with The Express Group, the publisher of supermarket tabloid OK! to create a branded games discovery portal for the company’s UK Facebook group called OK! Games.

Vostu adds more Android games to its portfolio – Latin American social games developer Vostu is quietly expanding into mobile. The company soft launched three Android titles last year and will be releasing four more in the first quarter of 2012 according to Business Insider.

Monumental Games shuts down – UK-based Monumental Games, creator of the Facebook 3D MMO Little Horrors and the Prime toolkit for 3D browser and Facebook games has shut down, laying off 20 workers according to a report on Develop.

Cave pivots to social – Andriasang is reporting that Japanese developer Cave is shifting its focus to social games following a disappointing earnings report that predicted the company would only make $650,000 in operating profit this year. The company already makes social games for both Mobage and GREE.

Social games cheaters cheat in real life too – According to a new survey from EA’s PopCap Games, people who cheat at social games are likely to cheat in real life. Of the 1200 people polled, eight percent of social games players admitted to cheating, and of those 8 percent, almost half admitted to cheating in real life situations. Although more women than men play social games, men were more likely to admit to cheating in them.

Google Making its own social game – Google has released a video of an upcoming social game it is developing that uses Google Maps. The game will be available in February on Google+.

Kixeye releases Backyard Monsters expansion – As of today, the first expansion for Kixeye’s popular RTS Facebook game Backyard Monsters will be available on Facebook. Backyard Monsters: Inferno will allow players to explore below the surface of the earth.

Kabam expands Godfather: Five Families – Kabam has added another neighborhood to its social game, The Godfather: Five Families. Greenwich Village is now available to all players on the Kabam website, Google+ and Facebook.

Transformers social game coming to GREE – Beloved cartoon franchise The Transformers is getting a social game according a report from Andriasang. The game, titled Transformers for GREE was developed by Interspace and will be available next month.

Pulitzer Prize winner to pen social game – Gamasutra is reporting that Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is teaming with non-profit developer Games for Change to create a social game about female oppression. The game will be released on Facebook in late 2012.

[Launch] Mail.Ru releasing new browser-based MMO – Mail.Ru Games announced this week that it will be releasing a new browser-based MMO called RiotZone early this year. The game is a strategy game designed to appeal to casual gamers.

[Launch] PerBlue Brings Parallel Kingdom to Facebook – PerBlue’s location based MMORPG Parallel Kingdom is going against the tide of Facebook to mobile expansions and moving onto the web. The game is now available on Kongregate, Chrome and Facebook.