Social games news roundup: Zynga, Nexon and Friendster

Zynga stock down after Q1 earnings report – Zynga’s stock took a beating today, opening at $9.50 a share and finishing the day at $8.52. This is likely the result of Zynga’s earnings call Thursday, which revealed record-breaking revenue and bookings in the first quarter, but the developer had a net loss of $85.4 million. Before the earnings call, some analysts believed shares would increase and possibly reach a high price point of $13 a share.

Nexon publishing Lucky Space in Korea – Nexon is partnering with developer A Bit Lucky to publish Lucky Space in Korea. Lucky Space is a sci-fi resource management sim that originally launched on Facebook and peaked with 30,000 daily active users in October 2011 before dropping to 2,000 DAU.  The game will be available on Nexon Korea’s online portal. A Bit Lucky co-founder and creative head Jordan Maynard tells us he never expected to have his game launched in Korea because competition for Korean audiences is tough due to players being notorious for their passion for online games.

Friendster re-launches as social game platform – Remember Friendster? One of the original social networks that was overshadowed by sites like MySpace and Facebook is still around and has been redesigned as a social gaming platform for Southeast Asia. The revamped site features a mix of original and imported social games like EdgeWorld and Boomz (known as BoomzThailand on Facebook).

Rovio improves Angry Birds’s privacy policy for users – It was revealed earlier this week that Rovio’s Angry Birds wasn’t the best about respecting users’ privacy, according to the social tracking group PrivacyChoice. Since assigning the game a flunking score of 65 out of 100, Rovio changed some things and the score improved to 89 out of 100. Jim Brock of PrivacyChoice tells Kotaku the score went up because Rovio, “amended their policy, as did one of the companies collecting data on their site.”

Playsino secures $1.5 million in funding – Developer Playsino just closed $1.5 million in new funding and is aiming to become the biggest social casino game publisher on both social networks and mobile platforms. Investors include IDM Venture Capital, Pacific Capital Group Siemer Ventures and a number of angel investors. $1.5 million isn’t nearly enough to turn a developer into the largest publisher of any type of game on social and mobile platforms, and Playsino says this is just, “part of what is expected to be much larger financing to support the company’s ambitious goals.”

Gabe Newell criticizes social companies for focusing on IPO instead of players – Valve Managing Director Gabe Newell doesn’t like how social and mobile game studios are focusing on short term business decisions at the expense of the player experience. Speaking of how certain groups within the game industry are operating in a “reality distortion field,” Newell explains how this is problematic during a podcast interview with Seven Day Cooldown. Newell states that certain studios tend to, “stop thinking about the player being the customer and instead the IPO as being the customer.”