Social gaming news roundup: Zynga, Wooga and Digital Chocolate

Zynga setting up shop in Victoria, BC — Zynga is setting up a new Canadian office in Victoria, BC. It will be lead by Canadian Clayton Stark, who joined Zynga after his company, Flock, was acquired last year. Zynga’s Canadian office will be mainly responsible for working on Zynga’s platform, reports the Victoria Times Colonist. Zynga is the third gaming company to set up in Victoria in the last six months, following the lead of Microsoft and GameHouse.

GDC attendance up 17 percent — The 2012 Game Developer’s Conference set a new attendance record, attracting more than 22,500 attendees, up 17 percent year-on-year. Unlike previous years, mobile and social developers were a large presence at the event, with companies like GREE and Wooga well represented with prominent sponsorships.

Former Hi5 president launches — Alex St. John, the former president of the now mostly defunct social network Hi5, has launched a new social gaming portal called The site, which is currently in beta, bases its programming interface on Facebook’s in order to make it easy for developers to bring their games to, reports Gamasutra.

Wooga looking to mobile, but not IPO — Wooga is expecting more of its business to come from smartphones and tablets in the future. “I believe that playing on smartphones and tablets currently comes on top” of playing on a desktop or laptop computer,” the company’s co-founder and CEO Jens Begemann said to Reuters. Begemann also ruled out the possibility of an IPO, instead stating his company is concentrating on growth.

Unreal Engine now runs in Flash — Epic Games’ high-end Unreal Engine 3 now runs in Flash 11.2. Epic showed off a demo of the engine running in Flash during GDC. The latest version of Unreal Engine 3 rival Unity also outputs to Flash.

Digital Chocolate teams with Pokki to release Galaxy Life as desktop app — Digital Chocolate is the latest social game developer to take its games to the desktop, teaming with Pokki to turn Galaxy Life into a free-to-download desktop app.

TeePee Games partners with Nektan — UK-based gaming portal TeePee Games has signed a deal with Nektan to bring the startup studio’s first game, Click & Clear to TeePee’s platform.

[Launch] SELF magazine launches social game — Condé Nast published magazine SELF has announced it is releasing its own social game. Called SELF Workout in the Park, the game is based on the real-world event of the same name. The game will launch on Mar. 19.