Social Gaming Roundup: Charitable Wizards, Smule, PlayStation Home, and More

Meowmodan MountBuy a Meowmodon and Help Kids – Online game Wizard101 is feeling the giving spirit this Christmas season. Players who purchase the new Meowmodon mount will be indirectly donating the full price, $15, of the virtual item to two charities; the Austin Children’s Shelter and Child’s Play. Wizard101 developer KingsIsle will not be keeping any of the revenue from the Meowmodon sales, and is making the item available until January 5th of 2010.

Smule Raises $8 Million – Smule, creator of popular, musical iPhone titles such as Ocarina, Leaf Trombone: World Stage, and I am T-Pain announced this week the raising of $8 million in a third round of funding. The investment comes from Shasta Ventures as well as existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Granite Ventures. This brings the total funding to $13.7 million and keeps the company on track to meet its goal of $3 million in sales for 2009.

Sodium OnePlayStation Home Hits 10 Million – Having heard little in the past few months from Sony, regarding its virtual world PlayStation Home, it finally stated, yesterday, that it now has 10 million registered users. In tandem with the announcement the console developer also revealed a new virtual space within the world called “Sodium One” from European developer Ousto.  Within the space, players will find more social outlets, becoming bartenders, serving virtual drinks, playing mini games, buying new virtual goods, and oh… wreck havoc in some very sexy vehicles of destruction.

Crispy Gamer Media Acquires GamerDNA – The gaming social network, GamerDNA was purchased just this Thursday by the games news site Crispy Gamer Media for an undisclosed amount of money. Competitor to similar companies such as Raptr, GamerDNA connected gamers across multiple platforms such as Xbox Live, Xfire, and Steam. Since its launch in 2008, the social network has raised $3 million, but now Crispy Gamer is looking to take GamerDNA to a new level.

CrystaSquare Enix Begins Selling Virtual Currency – Japanese RPG developer, Square Enix– known best for its Final Fantasy series – is the latest mainstream games companys to make use of virtual currency. Users will now be able to purchase the currency known as “Crysta” in amounts of 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, and 10,000 yen with one yen equaling one Crysta. The virtual currency will then be usable for online community games, the Square Enix MMO, Fantasy Earth Zero, and the Square Enix e-store. Unfortunately, the new currency is only available in Japan.

[via Siliconera]

The iPhone App Economy is Bigger than Expected – According to information presented by mobile advertising company AdMob, the Apple iPhone’s app economy is much bigger than we thought. Presently, there are around $200 million worth of apps sold in the AppStore each month, thus equating to around $2.4 billion a year. Tthese claims are further reinforced by Apple, who states around 1.5 billion applications have been downloaded thus far. You can check out the full breakdown here.

TMI MomentAdNectar Uses Virtual Goods to Promote Privacy Filters – Privacy filters are screens for laptops and mobile devices when they are being used in highly populated areas. In order to promote 3M’s Privacy Filters, social advertising network AdNector is launching a number of branded virtual goods. Entitled “TMI” (too much information), the goods will feature images of people in… compromising… situations and can be sent as gifts from the Facebook application TMI Moment.

Sometrics Launches the Shop & Earn Shopping Feed – For all those Christmas shoppers out there, social analytics and advertisement targeting company, Sometrics has revealed the Shop & Earn Shopping Feed to help users earn a little something extra during their gift buying frenzies. Whenever an online purchase is made at certain retailers, the purchaser will earn virtual currency for a participating online game. Consider it like frequent flyer miles, but for computers, and on the Internet, and with pixels. Users need only click through the Shopping Feed to reach the participating retailers, make a purchase, and voila they get free virtual currency.

Free RealmsLive Gamer Launches Free Realms Real Money Marketplace – Known for its virtual goods transaction commerce solutions, Live Gamer has recently announced the launch of Live Gamer Exchange (LGX) for Sony Online Entertainment’s MMO, Free Realms. The new system will offer players a simple means to buy and sell game items with one another. All transactions will be authenticated through Live Gamer themselves, thereby reducing the threat of user fraud.

SponsorPay Monetizes Users Across Over 20 Countries – Established in April of this year, German company SponsorPay GmbH has provided advertising-based payments to the online gaming world. Today, the Berilin-based company states that it is now available in over 20 countries such as Chile, Canada, Brasil, and Turkey; each of which have their own localized interface, parters, and languages.

JivebugJivebug Tracks Your Friends – As creepy as it sounds, a new Facebook app by the name of Jivebug has the limited ability to track your Facebook friends’ real life locations. Through the app, you can install the tool onto your cell phone and it will tell you, by their first name, when one of your Facebook friends is near as well as let you chat, via text message, with anyone else you happen to find (close by) who has installed the app. The tool also has a little bit of a dating feature built into it as well, giving users an subtle beep whenever a single user is near.

Answer Our Inside Social Games Weekly Trivia Question, Win a Free USB Drive from SurfpinTell us the correct answer to the following question before anyone else, and mobile payment company Surfpin will award you an 8GB Surfpin-branded USB drive in the shape of a credit card. The question, drawn from an article we published this week, is as follows: What is the first Facebook game, that we know, to exclusively use Facebook credits? Send the answer to eric (at) insidesocialgames (dot) com.