Social Gaming Roundup: EA’s Origin Platform, CivWorld, Google+, & More

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By Christopher Mack

OriginEA Reveals More About Origin — At EA’s Summer Showcase event yesterday, the company revealed new features for its upcoming Origin social gaming network. The main highlight is cross-platform interaction for Facebook, iOS, and Android where users can import Facebook and Twitter friends and host universal leaderboards. Players can also launch games from within Origin and keep tabs on friends’ current games.

Also at the showcase, Electronic Arts Interactive Senior VP Chip Lange demoed features for the upcoming FIFA 12 on iOS, which will allow users to link up two iPhone 4 devices as controllers, and then link those to an iPad via Bluetooth. The iPad can then transmit the game to a big screen TV. Scrabble is getting a similar multi-platform play experience, allowing users on Android, iPhone, Facebook, and iPad to play live games.

Zynga Sales to Reach $500 Million for Facebook — According to GreenCast Capital Management as reported by Bloomberg, social game developer Zynga is expected to generate $500 million in revenue for Facebook this year. The company is stated to pay $100 million in advertising, and the 30% of virtual goods revenue from Zynga games is expected to total around $400 million.

Civ WorldSid Meier Talks CivWorld — Game designer Sid Meier spoke extensively with Gamasutra about the just-launched CivWorld on Facebook. Meier echoes many of the thoughts other traditional game developers have shared with regard to making social games: Find the fun first, then count on monetization from it.

PopCap May Bring Bejeweled Blitz to Google+ — As we’ve noted before, the Google+ source code suggests that social games may be in the platform’s future. According to Fusible.com, PopCap Games may play a role in that. The company has registered two new domain names including playbejeweledblitzplus.com and playbejeweledblitzplus.net. The logic behind the assumption is that all desktop versions of PopCap games are suffixed with the word “Deluxe.”

[Announcement] King.com Launches New Titles — Cross-platform social games developer King.com has announced two new titles this week for both mobile and Facebook. For the former, the iOS game of Miner Speed comes to Android, and for the latter, the company has released Mahjong Saga.

Outspark Launches New Digital Distribution Platform — Free-to-play online games publisher Outspark has announced the launch of a new digital distribution platform called Flint this week, says VentureBeat. The new platform is intended to help third party developers more easily distribute their free-to-play MMOGs and browser-based titles.