Social Gaming News Roundup: Playdom, Zynga, PayPal, Wooga and Kabam

Kabam: Games Targeted to Males Can Be Lucrative – In an interview with Gamasutra, Kabam’s chief product officer has revealed that while its audience may be smaller than competitors, the company’s strategy of targeting hardcore gamers has paid off with higher engagement, longer playtimes and more in-game purchases. On average, the audience for Kabam’s social games is 72% male and the majority are under 40.

Sims Social Cannibalizing Zynga, Other EA Games According to a report from gaming based social network Raptr, the popularity of the The Sims Social has come at the expense of both Zynga and EA. While Zynga games like FarmVille and CityVille have seen their playtime drop between 10% and 25%, EA’s own franchises are suffering much bigger losses. Bejeweled Blitz has seen playtime drop 20% and Playfish’s Pet Society has seen a 50% drop. EA marketed The Sim Social aggressively to their existing users, converting over 60% of Pet Society players and more than 30% of Bejeweled Blitz Players.

Playdom Lines up a Dozen New Releases – In an interview with All Things D, Playdom’s COO Brad Serwin has revealed the company intends to release 12 new games in the next fiscal year. After a delay that Serwin attributed to transitioning into the Disney organization, Playdom will release two games this month, with a further 10 forthcoming, three of which will use existing Disney brands.

Domain Registration Points to Expansion of Zynga Casino – Fusible has found another host of domains registered by Zynga on the day they announced their new game lineup. The purchase of domains like zyngacraps.com, zyngadice.com, zyngakeno.com and zyngaroulette.com points to expansion plans for the Zynga Casino franchise beyond poker and bingo. The full list of domains can be found here.

PayPal Adding HTML5 API’s – In an announcement at the X.commerce Conference, online payment giant PayPal revealed it will soon be launching API’s for HTML5 that will enable developers to integrate in-context, in-app payments into their products. While details are slim so far, the PayPal blog indicates that many developers have asked for the feature, which would theoretically allow content providers to bypass the payment systems set up by Apple, Facebook and Google.

FarmVille Coming to the Big Screen? – Toy Story writers Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen have revealed they are negotiating with Zynga to bring one of the developer’s brands to the big screen. In an interview with IGN, the pair was quoted as saying “can’t really say too much on that front yet, but ‘Old MacDonald’ didn’t have a factory.”

Nexon May Purchase JCE – This is Game is reporting that Nexon, the South Korean publisher of MapleStory is in talks to purchase JCE, another South Korean developer known for its MMORPGS and online sports games. If successful, JCE would become a full subsidiary of Nexon.

Non-Facebook Social Gaming to Hit $5.6 Billion in Revenue, Growth to Come From Europe, South America – According to a study commissioned by social game distribution platform Viximo, the most lucrative market for social games is outside Facebook and outside North America. The report found that Brazil, Germany, Russia and Turkey are all fast growing markets with low acquisition costs. It also estimated that by 2014 non-Facebook platforms will generate $5.6 billion in revenue per year.

Playdom Wins Best Social Game at GDC Online Game Developer’s Choice Awards Playdom’s Gardens of Time took home the award for Best Social Game at the second annual GDC Online awards in Austin Texas. Independent developer Grey Area took home the Innovation Award for their iOS MMO Shadow Cities.The awards are decided by the ICAN Online network, an invite-only club of 400 game developers from the online game industry. A full list of the winners can be found here.

Peanut Labs Picks Up Four New Social Gaming Partners – Social media monetization company Peanut Labs announced this week that it had signed deals with Z8 Games, Rock Hippo, Bigpoint and CyberAgent to monetize their games through its market survey and marketing service. Players of the games will be able to earn virtual currencies by completing market research surveys and offers.

[Launch] Wooga Debuts HTML5 Based Magic Land Island – German developer Wooga has taken its first steps into mobile gaming with the launch of Magic Land Island, an HTML5 based mobile version of its game Magic Land. Specifically designed for Facebook’s mobile app and site, Magic Land Island is a stand-alone social game compatible for both iOS and Android devices.

[Launch] Moblyng Debuts Social Poker Live, World Racer Live – California based Moblyng Games has launched two new, all HTML5 based games for Facebook’s mobile apps and mobile site. The games can be played entirely within the Facebook app or mobile site, and are therefore compatible with Android, iOS and mobile browsers.