Social Gaming News Roundup: Playfirst, Cie Games and Google Chrome

Nexon Sets IPO Price at $1.2 Billion – Reuters is reporting that Nexon has reduced the price of its upcoming IPO to $1.2 billion dollars (91 billion Yen). Earlier this month Nexon revealed it would be aiming to raise $1.3 billion. Even with the drop in valuation, it will be the biggest Japanese IPO of the year.

GREE Teases First Games for New Social Mobile Platform – GREE has revealed more details about the initial lineup of games it will be offering on its upcoming mobile social network. According to a new Japanese GREE portal site, Square Enix, Capcom, Sega, Namco Bandai and Taito will all have games on the new platform.

Playfirst Lays off Employees – Diner Dash publisher Playfirst has laid off an unspecified number of employees according to Gamasutra. It’s unknown at this time how many employees were affected by the layoffs.

Tour Vostu’s Argentina Office – Business Insider has put up a virtual tour of Vostu’s Argentinian offices. Vostu now employs 580 people between its three offices in Beunos Aires, Sao Paulo and New York City. The company’s most popular Facebook game is Megacity, which has 1 million MAU and 130,000 DAU according to AppData.

We R Interactive Gets EU Grant – We R Interactive, the London-based social games publisher behind first person soccer social game I Am Player, has landed a €150,000 Euro ($200,000 USD) grant from the EU’s MEDIA program to create a new music based social game called I AM STAR.

PopCap Donates Studio Tour for Charity – At the annual Child’s Play Charity Dinner and Auction in Bellvue, Seattle-based PopCap games auctioned off a private tour of its studio, which sold for $5,000 after a round of intense bidding. Overall the evening raised more than $350,000 for the charity, which donates money and toys to hospitals all over the world.

Cie Games Makes Forbes’ Most Promising Companies List – Car Town developer Cie Games has been named to Forbes’ List of America’s Most Promising Companies. Cie was the only game developer to make the list and was ranked 47 out of 100 on the list of privately held companies.

Shanda’s Earnings Up in Q3, Online Division Strong – Chinese gaming company Shanda Interactive Entertainment Media has announced its Q3 earnings. Overall the company saw revenues of $279 million, up 28 percent year-over-year. The company’s online revenues were $54.1 million dollars, a 35 percent increase year-over-year. In 2010 Shanda bought San Francisco based Mochi Media, a company that provides advertising and analytics services to social game developers.

Nanigans Opens San Francisco Office – Facebook advertising company Nanigans is expanding with a new San Francisco office. The move puts the company, which uses a proprietary platform to manage large scale Facebook ad campaigns, much closer to both its client base and to Facebook’s headquarters.

Google Launches Native Client for Chrome Apps – VentureBeat is reporting that Google has created a native client for Chrome apps that allows games running in the browser to access a computer’s 3D graphics hardware, which will allow for console-quality graphics in its Chrome browser games. Square Enix has created a Chrome version of its console game Mini Ninjas using the new client.

DeNA’s Baseball Team is Official – DeNA’s baseball team has an official name and logo now. The team will be called the Yokohama DeNA Baystars according to Andriasang. DeNA originally wanted the team to carry the name of its Mobage network.

[Launch] Digital Chocolate Debuts Galaxy Life – Zombie Lane developer Digital Chocolate has released its latest social game, Galaxy Life. The sci-fi strategy game is available on both Facebook and Digital Chocolate’s website.

[Launch] Richard Garriott Collaborates on Facebook Game – Austin based developer Portalarium has almost finished its first social game, Ultimate Collector: Garage Sale. Developed with the assistance of games industry veteran Richard Garriott (Ultima Online, Tabula Rasa), the game will be going into closed beta before the end of the year.