Social Gaming News Roundup: Google+, Car Town and Nordeus

First Person Social Games on the Way from New Studio U4iA – Former Activision vets Dusty Welch and Chris Archer have formed a new studio called U4iA that will focus on hardcore social games according to Gamasutra. The company has trademarked the term “first-person social” and is set to release its first game in 2012.

Gigamedia Reports Third Quarter Loss, Promises to Pivot into Mobile – Taiwan-based social game company Gigamedia reported this week that its third quarter revenues had dropped 12% quarter over quarter to $7.8 million dollars. The company also reported a loss of  $3.9 million dollars for the quarter. In a press release accompanying the results, CEO Yichin Lee said the company would change course, extending its platform to mobile devices.

Brazilian Social Gaming Market Growing Quickly – Research firm SuperData is predicting that the Brazilian social gaming market is will be worth $238 million by 2014. At that point more than 52 million Brazilians will play social games, up from the 35 million people who currently identify as social gamers.

Nordeus Best Social Gaming Startup of 2011 – Serbian social game company Nordeus has been named the best gaming startup of 2011 at the annual Europas Awards. The company won the award due to the strong performance of its football game, Top Eleven, which currently has over 3.3 million MAU, according to AppData. The Europas Awards are decided by a panel of industry experts.

Brands Flock to Google+ – Bright Edge is reporting that 61 of the world’s top 100 brands (well known household brands like Coke and McDonald’s) have set up Google+ brand pages since they’ve been available. However, according the company’s November Social Share report even the biggest brands had yet to attract a significant following on the brand new social network. According to a quick search of the social network, just 221 people have added Coca Cola to their circles.

Zynga and Best Buy Team to Offer Limited Edition FarmVille Toys – Just in time for Christmas, fans of FarmVille will be able to collect a series of 8 FarmVille plush toys. Each toy is $9.99, or $0.99 with the purchase of $25 Zynga gift card. The toys will be blind-boxed, but players who collect all 8 will be able to unlock a special in-game Super Orchard.

Car Town Teams with Nitto Tire for Yearlong Campaign – Cie Games has signed an agreement with Nitto Tire to embark on a year-long integrated advertising campaign in its Facebook game Car Town. The promotion will include in-game activities, contests, giveaways and virtual items. Car Town is no stranger to in game promotions, having previously signed deals with Walmart and Universal Pictures.

120 Million People a Week Playing Social Games according to PopCap Survey – PopCap has funded a study conducted by Informations Solutions Group that has found the number of people playing social games has grown extensively. According to the study than 81 million people play social games at least once a day and 120 million people play social games once a week. The whole study can be found here.

Google+: Rumors of My Demise are Greatly Exaggerated – Online analytics service Experian Hitwise is reporting that Google+ traffic continues to grow, with the site receiving 6.8 million US visits between November 5th and 12th, 5% more than it received the week before. 74% of those hits were from returning visitors.

Shanda Games Reports Record Quarterly Revenues, Sees MAU Drop – Chinese free-to-play MMO publisher Shanda Games released third quarter results that showed the company posted revenues of $212.9 million, a 23.4% increase year on year,  but had lost 3 million MAU between the second and third quarters.