Social games news roundup: Google game services, EA, Kabam and more

EA inviting Sim City Social refugees to Plants vs. Zombies Adventures — Last month we reported that game developer and publisher Electronic Arts announced that on June 14 it will retire three of its Facebook games: Sim City Social, The Sims Social and Pet Society. Today we’ve learned that EA is inviting Sim City Social players to play the beta for the highly anticipated Plants vs. Zombies Adventures Facebook game via emails. The game will launch publicly on May 20.

DreamWorks, PikPok and Verizon promote Turbo with mobile game and $1M in rewards — DreamWorks Animation announced it is promoting its upcoming film Turbo with a mobile game by developer PikPok, which will feature a contest with $1 million in total cash prizes. The Turbo Racing League mobile game is available on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android handsets and tablets, and Windows Phone 8, but players on Verizon, which is presenting the $1 million Shell-Out contest, will have access to unique content. You can read about the contest rules in detail here.

Former New York Times digital and mobile products manager joins EA’s Board of Directors — Game developer and publisher Electronic Arts has appointed Denise F. Warren to its Board of Directors. Warren is executive vice president of the digital products and services group and former chief advertising officer at The New York Times Company. The announcement comes on the heels of EA’s Q4 2013 earnings report which revealed the company earned $104 million in revenue from mobile, and its increasing focus on mobile and digital products.

Elephant Mouse launches Star Trek Rivals — Mobile game developer Elephant Mouse announced the launch of a free-to-play card battle game based on the recently released Star Trek Into Darkness feature film. The game will feature more than 100 cards for players to collect, representing characters, starships and technoolgies that appear in the film. The game is avilable to download for free from the iTunes App Store.

Sonic The Hedgehog debuts on Android — Game developer and publisher Sega announced that the 16-bit Genesis classic Sonic The Hedgehog has launched on Android. The game, which was already available on iOS, is now available to download from the iTunes App Store for $2.99.

Kabam to implement Google+ Sign-In — Social game developer Kabam announced that it will be the first games company to implement Google+ Sign-In. The new integration will provide users with a simple and secure sign-in process on and the ability to engage users with interactive posts, which allow players to share content and prompt friends to take specific actions in their games.

Corona Labs announces Dilbert Game Jam — Venture-backed mobile software company Corona Labs has teamed up with the creator of the Dilbert comic strip Venture-backed mobile software company for a mobile game development contest. Developers are invited to create a winning a game with the Corona SDK and Dilbert artwork. The winner will have the opportunity to publish the the game to major app stores. Additional prizes include yearlong subscriptions to Corona SDK Pro, iTunes gift cards and more. The contest runs from May 14 through July 12 with winners to be announced on July 19. You can read more about the Dilbert Game Jam here.

Google announces game services — During Google’s sixth annual I/O keynote in San Francisco Google’s vice president of Android product management Hugo Barra announced the launch of Google’s equivalent to iOS’ Game Center, Google Play game services. The new feature allows developers to add cloud sync to any game, so users can save their data like player progression and game state across any Android device. Additionally, Google Play game services adds leaderboards and achievements support as well as a new multiplayer feature. Also, game services isn’t limited to Android apps, the service can be integrated into an iOS or web app, allowing cross-platform play.