Social gaming news roundup: Zynga, Wooga and funding

Social game companies raised $807 million in 2011 – Social games raised a record $807 million in funding last year according to VentureBeat. More than half of that figure was the $490 million Zynga received in February from Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe Price and others. According to VentureBeat’s summary, the biggest social game funding rounds of the year were:

  • Zynga $490 million
  • Kabam $85 million
  • SixWaves Lolapps – $35 million
  • Happy Elements – $30 million
  • Wooga – $24 million
  • Crowdstar – $23 million
  • Funzio – $20 million
  • Kixeye – $18 million
  • SNS Plus $12.5 million
  • Digital Chocolate – $12 million
  • Supercell – $12 million
  • Peak Games – $11.5 million
  • Tiny Speck – $10.7 million
  • OMGPOP – $10.1 million
  • Idle Games – $10 million
  • Kobojo – $7.75 million
  • Rocket Ninja – $7.5 million

Overall, investment in the games industry increased 47 percent year-over-year.

Zynga’s stock dips to all-time low – Zynga’s stock dropped to its lowest point yet, trading at a new all-time low of $8.48 on Friday morning before rebounding to $8.81 by the end of the day. Zynga launched two new games this week, Hidden Chronicles on Facebook and Scramble With Friends on iOS.

Social Shenmue sunset – The social game spin-off to the Dreamcast cult-hit Shenmue has been sunset, just over a year after launch. Developer Ysnet announced the end of service with a short post on its website. Originally released 1999, the Shenmue games were the most expensive ever made at the time, but they only sold moderately and caused Sega to lose millions of dollars.

Wooga plans to expand cross-platform offerings – Wooga co-founder Jens Begemann has told Reuters his company will focus on releasing more cross-platform games in 2012. Wooga’s gem-matching Facebook game, Diamond Dash, has gained more than 1 million MAU and 800,00 DAU since the game debuted on iOS, according to AppData.

Aeria Games acquires Ijji online gaming portal – California-based MMO publisher Aeria Games has bought competing online games portal Ijji Games from Korean Internet company NHN for an undisclosed sum. Under the agreement, Aeria gets the first rights to publish NHN online games outside of Asia and receives a cash investment from NHN. With the acquisition, Aeria now has a user base of 35 million people.

GameHouse launches on PlayJam – Seattle-based GameHouse has signed a deal with PlayJam to bring its games to PlayJam’s Connected TV network. GameHouse titles will now be available on all smart TVs and Google TV devices.

PlayFirst sees best month ever for mobile revenue – PlayFirst had some good news to report this week, announcing that December 2011 was its biggest month yet for mobile revenue. The company also announced plans to move into Android development. The San Francisco-based company had a rocky 2011, exiting the social games market after its games failed to gain momentum and laying off an unspecified number of employees in December.

Google+ Continuing to Grow – Experian Hitwise is reporting that Google+ received 49 million unique visits in the U.S. in December, the social network’s biggest month ever for traffic.

Funzio’s Crime City facilitates marriage proposal – Funzio made Christmas Day a lot more romantic for two players of Crime City this year, helping a user put a engagement ring into his girlfriend’s in-game inventory as part of a marriage proposal. While there have been proposals in TwitterGroupon and even hacked versions of classic games like Chrono Trigger, this is likely the first Google+ proposal. For reference, the answer was yes.

Entertainment Games posts loss – Pennsylvania-based Entertainment Games has posted a net loss of $1,385,000 for the fiscal first quarter of 2012. Overall, the company’s revenues decreased by 37 percent year-over-year. According to a liquidity condition update, Entertainment Games has posted a net loss in every fiscal year since 2006.