Social games news roundup

Zynga (sort of) reveals The Friend Game — Zynga yesterday announced that it’s begun closed beta testing with its latest title, The Friend Game. According to the company’s vague blog post, “we’ve set out to reimagine what ‘social gaming’ means.” The post makes it sound like the game might utilize personal trivia about a person’s friends, but details are still nonexistent at the moment. releases “Saga” games for Android — this week launched its two most popular Facebook games Bubble Witch Saga and Candy Crush Saga on Android. This follows the games’ earlier release to iOS, which has proven intensely profitable for the company (Tommy Palm told us at GDC Online that iOS monetizes three times better than on Facebook).

Square Enix announces mobile holiday sale — Square Enix is kicking off December with a month-long “Winter of Mobile” sale that sees titles on both Android and Mobile severely discounted. Titles like Final Fantasy Dimensions, Demon’s Score and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will be discounted by up to over 80 percent in some cases. You can read more details about the sale over at Square Enix’s site.

Tylted’s HTML5 platform snags 10 development partners and 50 titles — Social and casual gaming community Tylted this week revealed it’s established partnerships with ten companies companies including Tweensoft, Bushido Games and TinyCo to bring games like Tiny Monsters and Slingo Ricochet to its re-launched mobile site.

Kabam Acquires Balanced Worlds Studios — Kabam this week acquired Chinese game development group Balanced Worlds Studios, which specializes in action-heavy 3D social games. Details about the deal weren’t disclosed to the public.

Beeline Interactive and Sony Pictures partner to develop Ghostbusters mobile game — Game publisher and developer Beeline Interactive and Sony Pictures Consumer Products announced the development of a freemium Ghostbusters game for smartphones based on the movie series. Armed with an arsenal of proton packs and ghost traps, players will assume the role of a new Ghostbuster as they capture ghosts and upgrade their gear by running experiments.

Sega and Three Ring Design launch Spellwood on Android, iOS [Launch] — Developed by Three Rings Design and published by Sega, Spellwood is magic themed word battle game available now on the iTunes App Store and Google Play for $1.99.

EA launches Word Derby [Launch] — EA launched its newest social mobile word game, Word Derby, this week for iOS. The game can be played by up to four people at a time, where they engage in a virtual horse race that’s powered by the word tile gameplay. There’s also a virtual gambling element, where users can place wagers on their horses by using the game’s in-app currency.