Social Gaming Roundup: Lawsuits, Promotions, Funding and More

LawsuitOregon Trail Copyright Owner Sues Zynga — According to Gamasutra, Oregon Trail creator The Learning Company has filed an infringement lawsuit against Zynga in a Massachusetts district court. The suit is over the coming May 30th release of FrontierVille expansion, “Oregon Trail.” A trailer for the expansion can be seen here.

TECMO KOEI Announces First Social Title — Game maker TECMO KOEI America launched the beta version of its first social game, Jollywood, for the Facebook platform this week. In this wildlife-habitat virtual space game, players are tasked with the design and decorating of vacation getaways.

Pretty Simple Raises New Funding — Pretty Simple, developer of the Facebook game My Shops, raised €2.5 million in funds from IDInvest this week. The company stated that it will go towards further growing its development team as well as creating new titles.

Lady Gaga & Zynga Promote GagaVille — As we noted last week, GagaVille is now live in Zynga’s FarmVille, but it seems the promotion goes a bit farther than we originally thought. You can view the latest promotional video here.

Kung Fu PandaZynga & DreamWorks Partner to Promote Kung Fu Panda 2 — Lady Gaga isn’t the only thing using Zynga games as a promotional platform. DreamWorks brings Kung Fu Panda 2 to CityVille this week in the form of a drive-in theater object that allows users to collect and unlock themed virtual items.

Playdom Slapped With $3 Million Fine — Playdom is under fire from the United States Federal Trade Commission for violating the U.S. Child Online Privacy Protection Act with several of its older games that did not get appropriate permission to collect and post player information from parents in cases where the player was underage. According to Kotaku, the games in question were originally owned by Acclaim Games before Playdom acquired them.

PopCap IPO Scheduled for November — According to All Things Digital, developer PopCap Games has confirmed that it is preparing to go public this November. The company launched a social version of one of its signature franchises, Plants vs. Zombies, on Renren in China this week.

Jamie OliverJamie Oliver Jumps into Social Games — Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver gets into social games this week by way of Playfish’s Restaurant City. For the next month, players will be able to make Jamie Oliver signature dishes, as well as acquire branded in-game items. This is the first-ever celebrity integration for Playfish.

We R Interactive Raises $5 Million for I AM PLAYR Global Expansion — Online gaming start-up We R Interactive collected a second round of funding from private investors, including former EMI Music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti and Paul Fitzsimons, an ex-media sector partner at Apax Partners. TechCrunch Europe reports the funds will go toward globalization for the developer’s first-person Facebook game, I AM PLAYR, which puts players in the shoes of a pro soccer player. The game is sponsored by Nike and Red Bull, among other prominent brands.