New Zynga Funding — A number of financial publications reported this week that Zynga is raising a large new round of funding. The Wall Street Journal kicked things off on Monday citing sources saying the company is looking to raise around $250 million at a valuation of between $7 billion and $9 billion, following profit of $400 million and total revenue of $850 million last year. Bloomberg then reported that the valuation could be $10 billion, from T. Rowe Price, and Fidelity Investments. Then All Things D and The New York Times reported yesterday that Zynga is finalizing a $500 million round worth $10 billion from those investors and others; the latter publication said the company is considering an initial public offering as soon as 2012, according to sources.
SNAP Interactive Releases Curious Valentine’s Numbers — SNAP Interactive announced some numbers regarding Valentine’s Day virtual items late last week. Based on their Facebook connected AreYouInterested.com, the holiday marked a significant spike in virtual gifting with over 100% more Valentine’s style virtual gifts being purchased in the past month, over the prior, and a 15% increase overall.
Tribeca Film Institute & Ford Foundation Partner to Support New Media — The Tribeca Film Institue and the Ford Foundation‘s JustFilms initiative have entered a partnership and launched the Tribeca Film Institue New Media Fund. The $750,000 fund is said to provide support and funding to film projects that incorporate newer media platforms including video games, mobile apps, social networks, and micro-blogging.
Big Fish Games to Close Treasure Quest — According to Worlds in Motion, Big Fish Games is closing its Facebook title Treasure Quest on March 15th. The game marked the casual developer’s first venture into the social gaming market, but currently only garners around 48,000 MAU.
Nexon Getting into Social & Mobile Games — MapleStory developer, Nexon, is looking to move into making social games for Facebook as well as for mobile, says VentureBeat. In order to differentiate itself, Nexon is looking to hook players through game play that connects users with an online community.
Game Closure Launches Cross-Platform Multiplayer App — According to TechCrunch, Game Closure has launched a new SDK that will allow developers to easily create, host, and deploy HTML5-based, cross-platform multiplayer games. Shown at SSE Labs‘ Demo Day at AOL, the SDK is compatible across iOS, Android, and Facebook apps.
Richard Garriott Plans to Beat Zynga — Richard Garriott and his new startup, Portalarium, is set to release their first title in about a month, and says he’s planning to beat out Zynga, says VentureBeat. Though he has released no specific details about the game, it is noted that it will be released on Facebook, Hi5, and other such networks and will not be a “plagiarized” concept; referring to some of Zynga’s past games.