Social Game Universe Creates Cross-Promotion Bar — Toronto-based developer Social Game Universe is announcing the launch of its Inter-Game API (IGAPI) this week with the idea of turning a cross-promotion bar into a sort of social game of its own. Using their own Hollywood Tycoon as an example, SGU lets players interact with friends in other games and applications without leaving the one they are currently playing. Using IGAPI “Action Cards,” users will be able perform social actions like gifting. The news is especially alongside this week’s acquisition of cross-promo bar AppStrip by TapJoy.
Judge Declines Dismissal of Zynga Class Actions — Zynga continues to spend time in court over advertising scams in social games, as U.S. District Judge Sandra Armstrong has refused to dismiss a class action lawsuit against the company. The case involves the usage of offers and advertisements to earn virtual currency, leading to the plaintiffs being “duped” into giving out their phone and credit card numbers and, inevitably, unknown charges.
Rixty Expands Retail Distribution — Alternative payment platform Rixty is expanding this week with the rollout of Rixty branded gift cards into the retailers of Kmart, JCPenney, Kroger and Kroger Co. across the U.S.
Game Center on iPad — The iPad is getting a major software update with iOS 4.2, according to ReadWriteWeb. In the update, Apple’s social gaming hub, Game Center, adds a feature that surrounds player scoreboards with the top Game Center games.
The Sine Wave Company Creates New Online Games Platform — London and Shanghai-based developer The Sine Wave Company has developed a new 3D virtual world and MMOG platform by combining the Unity3D web player with OpenSim. Having already created three virtual worlds (one for art, one for music, and one for the Indian market), the platform is now available for new virtual worlds with Unity’s signature high quality visuals and the ability to support between 200 and 400 concurrent users per server.
Bon Jovi Sells Digital Music in CrowdStar Games — Bon Jovi is getting into social games through a partnership with CrowdStar, according to TechCrunch. In Happy Aquarium, Happy Island, and It Girl, players can purchase The “Bon Jovi Greatest Hits Bundle” which includes a digital download of the music, Facebook Credits, branded virtual goods with in-game benefits, and a coupon code for the Bon Jovi online store.
More Social Games Come to Hi5 — Social entertainment site Hi5 has added four new social games for its network this week. The games include Club Galactik, Crazy Cars, Farm Frenzy Neighbors, and Caesary.
Hip Venture Shifts to Social Games — Virtual world developer Hip Venture has announced that it is shifting from making virtual worlds to developing social and mobile games, as noted by VentureBeat. The company plans to publish games on platforms including Facebook, Orkut, Hi5, iPhone, iPad, and Droid. Its first tile, HipChicas, is slated to be ready by quarter one of 2011.