Social Gaming Roundup: Game Awards, Acquisitions, Lawsuits & More

European Games AwardWooga Wins Best Publisher & Best Social Game — The 2011 European Games Award was given out earlier this week. Of the 69 nominated companies across 23 categories, social developer wooga walked away as the best European publisher and host of the best social game, Diamond Dash.

Digital Chocolate Acquires Sandlot Games — Digital Chocolate acquired casual games developer and publisher Sandlot Games. Through Sandlot, Digital Chocolate is looking to expand further into Seattle and Eastern Europe as well as “grow faster in pursuit of its cross-platform leadership strategy.”

SyFy Games Notes Six Facebook Games On The Way — SyFy is working with KlickNation under a muti-year, multimillion dollar contract, reports Games.com. While the social games developer will release Age of Immortals for Facebook later this year, SyFy president David Howe also told Hollywood Reporter that “around six Facebook games” are also in the works.

Restaurant City Hits iOS in Canada — Restaurant City’s iOS version is finally going live this week, starting in Canada.

[Update] Empire Avenue Now Supports Foursquare & Instagram — Virtual stock market Empire Avenue has announced a new update that introduces support for Foursquare and Instagram. Every check-in, photo, tip, comment, and follower, will improve players’ virtual stock value. Empire avenue also recently announced the raising of $1.2 million in funding.

[Announcement] Thunderstone Game Franchise to Launch on Social & Mobile Platforms — Zabu Studio and Alderac Entertainment Group have announced that strategy card game franchise Thunderstone will be making its way to Facebook, iOS, and Android with a free-to-play model.

[Announcement] Castle & Co Launches on Naver — Ubisoft is expanding Castle & Co to Korea. Under the name of 마법의 성 (Magic Castle), the title is now live on Korean social network and portal, Naver.

Crime Story[Announcement] Game Insight Releases Crime Story on Android — Social-mobile games developer Game Insight has launched their newest Android title, Crime Story. The game will allow users to build out a criminal empire, defeat enemy crime lords, and conquer uncontrolled regions of the city.

[Announcement] Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter Hits Closed Beta — Atari launched a closed beta of Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter this week. The turn-based role-playing game allows users to joing with friends to crawl through dungeons, fight fantasy creatures, and upgrade their own customizable character.

[Legal] Zynga Sued Over Credits Patent — More lawsuits enter the social space as Agincourt Gaming files against Zynga over two of its patents involving “credits-based online gaming and a prize redemption system based on the outcome of game play,” according to CNET. The company is seeking a permanent injunction against Zynga.

Also be sure to check out our social and mobile gaming highlights from GDC Europe.