New Company Shadow Government Aims to Model the Real World for Social Gaming — In what promises to bring together real-world data and gaming features, the startup is hoping to help predict actual events. It has $1 million in backing from angel investors, and a partnership with The Millenium Institute, which sells government-modeling software. “Now, for the first time, anyone with an iPhone or Android can ‘play’ at what it’s like to simulate running a real country,” chief executive Margaret Wallace said in a press release. “Let’s see if, using the model provided by The Millennium Institute, this Shadow Government can do a better job of managing actual events and world crises compared to our real-world counterparts.”
Playfish CoFounder Now EIR at Index Ventures — Sami Lababibi wasn’t the best known of Playfish’s four cofounders, but he was its technical leader, overseeing the company’s rapid growth on Facebook, and the first phases of its integration into acquirer EA. Having left last month, he’s now an entrepreneur-in-residence at Playfish backer Index Ventures.
Capcom Opens Subsidiary in Japan to Develop New Mobile Content — The established developer intends for the new organization to create original intellectual property game, and focus on developing its mobile social gaming market outside of the US, witha a special focus on Japan and Asia. More details from the company here.
Zynga Closing Mafia Wars on MySpace — Other developers have shut down some games on the struggling social network, as we’ve been covering. Now Zynga, which so far has only closed one game, is ending formative hit Mafia Wars (the Facebook version is meanwhile still going pretty strong despite a gradual long-term decline).
Hi5 Recategorized as Gaming Site by comScore — It is now the sixth largest such property in the world, with 21.7 million unique visitors — a far smaller user base than when it was a social network, but still something to work with as it continues its positioning as a social gaming platform.
FooPets Maker Raises Second Round — Rivet Games, formerly known as FooMojo has added a $5 million second round to its initial funding of nearly $10 million, as it plans more social and mobile games. The money is from existing investors Softbank, Baseline Ventures and Floodgate.