Social Gaming Roundup: Acquisitions, Digital Chocolate, Mixi, & More

Publishers Clearing House Acquires Funtank — Earlier this week, Publishers Clearing House announced the acquisition of Funtank LLC and its property, the casual and branded gaming site, Funtank will operate as a subsidiary of Publishers Clearing House in New York, run by co-founders James Baker and Scott Tannen. The financial details weren’t disclosed.

DeNA Under Investigation — DeNA, owner of Japan’s mobile social network Mobage-Town, is apparently under investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission this week, says Based on reports from Nikkei, the investigation involves unfair business practices, in which DeNA allegedly forced third-party game developers to stay off the network of its competitor, Gree.

Mig33 Goes to Android — The mobile social entertainment service Mig33 launched for Android this week, says Gadget. Now, owners of any Android mobile device will be able to access mig33’s games, chat features, virtual goods, and other social services.

Zynga Steps Up Its Mobile Game — has highlighted some of what Zynga’s SVP of Mobile, David Ko, said at LeWeb in Paris this week. With the acquisition of Newtoy, the company is getting deeper into mobile games with Ko hinting at location-based titles and noting that Mafia Wars will be coming to Android later this month.

Digital Chocolate Titles Ported to iOS — Digital Chocolate is expanding its Millionaire City remakes of Hollywood City and Vegas City to the iPhone and iPad.

EA Expects Significant Digital Sales Revenue — According to GameSpot, Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown has noted, at the UBS’s 38th Annual Media and Communications Conference, that the company is expecting the revenue from digital goods, this year, to be 20 percent; approximately $750 million.

Castle & Co Launches on Mixi — Ubisoft is taking its cutsie, virtual space game Castle & Co, which was already on Facebook, to Japan’s Mixi social network as “キャッスルらんど” or CastleLando.

SponsorPay Announces New Partnerships — European virtual currency monetization platform, SponsorPay has announced new partnerships with the online games publishers of Gamania and Mail.Ru, and the games distribution company Viximo.

Apple to Improve App Purchasing & Sharing — A release from the US Patent & Trademark Office has revealed a new patent for Apple and the purchasing of applications at places such as the App Store. According to Patently Apple, the system will utilize an “Application Seed” methodology, which means that when users download an app, they will be able to share it with others, allowing them try it, for free, and effectively helping to mitigate the over-saturation of apps on the market.

FarmVille Players Exhorted to Play CityVille — Zynga is pushing its new title hard, having added a “neighbor” called Sam to FarmVille that asks players to go try CityVille. Resident farmers can also see a rather sizable, and clickable, billboard promoting the new game. This follows other cross-promotion techniques that already led us to speculate that CityVille is in many ways a replacement for FarmVille.

Adknowledge Gains New Partners — Adknowledge has partnered with social game developers Ludia and GSN, according to EngageDigital. Users of the games The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune will now be able to earn free virtual currency through the ad offers of Super Rewards.