Social games news roundup: PopCap, Funzio and 50 Cent

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By Mike Thompson Comments

EA PopCap adds Hasbro brand to Lucky Gem – EA’s PopCap-branded slots title, Lucky Gem Casino, gets its first Hasbro brand this week with Monopoly. The classic boardgame’s last Facebook outing was Monopoly Millionaires, an actual adaptation of the classic game that was developed by EA Playfish.

Funzio brings Kingdom Age  to iOS - Funzio’s Kingdom Age launched on Facebook earlier this week, and the company’s brought the game to one more platform: iOS devices. The iOS version of the game features graphics optimized for Retina displays and shorter gameplay sessions than the Facebook and G+ versions of the game. Kingdom Age isn’t a cross-platform title, however, so players won’t be able to carry their games between iOS and social networks.

50 Cent and GSN Digital launch Facebook blackjack game - Rap star 50 Cent is no stranger to the world of video games thanks to 50 Cent: Bulletproof and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, but he’s not exactly known for his involvement with social games. That changes this week as 50 Cent and GSN Digital partner for 50 Cent’s Blackjack on Facebook. The game adds a twist to the standard card game with boosts that allow players that change the odds. GSN Digital will also launch mobile versions of the game for both Android and iOS devices in the near future.

Game Insight and Unity hosting seminar at 2012 KRI Conference - Game Insight and Unity Technologies will team up to teach developers about the Unity engine and how it can be used for social games. The seminar is planned for May 18 as a part of the 2012 KRI Conference in Moscow, Russia’s annual development conference. Those interested in attending the seminar can sign up here.

Winster shutting down next month - Winster, the social games portal that caters to middle-aged and senior citizen players, will be closing its doors on May 31. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the site no longer has the funds available to keep operating. According to a letter posted by site co-founder Michelle Kaplan, “We simply can’t continue to operate the web site in its current form. The resources and effort required to run the servers, distribute prizes, and support our staff are just too much to bear.”

Konami’s social games reach 20 million players in Japan - Konami just announced it now has over 20 million users playing its social games in Japan. Two games make up almost half of the company’s social audience: Dragon Collection now has 6 million users on GREE, while the Sengoku Collection has attracted over 3 million players. According to Dr. Serkan Toto, Konami is beginning “thank you” campaigns in its various games that reward players with virtual items.

Premier Football comes to TeePee Games— PageFad LLC’s Facebook game Premier Football is coming to TeePee Games. The 2008 game will appear on the TeePee Games web portal, which specializes in online sports games, including Facebook titles. Premier Football is still performing well on Facebook, with 330,000 monthly active users and 30,000 daily active users.