Social Gaming Roundup: Black Friday, RockYou, Layoffs, & More

Black Friday Hits Social Games — It’s the biggest shopping day of the year, and more than just marketers are using Facebook to make a sale. Along with the sales noted yesterday in City of Wonder and It Girl, companies such as Playdom, CrowdStar, RockYou, Zynga, and Nexon have announced more.

Many other Playdom games, such as Social City, are having 50 percent off sales on virtual currency; CrowdStar is hosting half-off many virtual items in games such as Zoo Paradise; RockYou is running Flash Deals all day for Zoo World, offering up to 80% specific items; Zynga has specials such as The Black Friday Raid, in Mafia Wars, where players will receive discounts in the Marketplace on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday; and according to Engage Digital, Nexon is hosting specials for Maple Story, Mabinogi, and Dungeon Fighter Online with discounts ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent off.

RockYou CEO Steps Down — Lance Takuda, founder and CEO of RockYou Lance Tokuda is no longer running the social developer, says TechCrunch. According to statements from COO Lisa Marino, his role is now being filled by an “Office of the CEO” team that includes herself, CFO Steve Van Horne, and SVP President of Technology & Engineering Shamik Sharma.

Pocket God Coming to Facebook — Frima Studio and Bolt Creative announced, earlier this week, that the popular iPhone title Pocket God will be coming to Facebook. Though an exact date is not known yet, the announcement states it will be ready “later this fall.” [image via Pocket Blog]

Gaia Online Lays Off 15-20 Employees — Teen virtual world creator Gaia Online has laid off 15 – 20 of its employees, says VentureBeat. For context, Gaia’s staff was around 110 back in June.

EVE Online to Add Virtual Goods — Another subscription-based title, the MMOG EVE Online, is adding virtual goods into the mix. That said, the items are said to be decorative and not effect the game’s “merit economy,” which is made up of items that affect gameplay.

iOS 4.2 Available for iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch — Apple has released iOS 4.2, this week, for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. As noted two weeks ago, Game Center comes to the iPad with the update.

Lionside Raises $1.6 Million — Based on an SEC filing, social sports games developer Lionside has raised $1.6 million in a first round of funding. Their first title was Lionside Football on Facebook.

Rixty Announces Holiday Bonuses — Alternative payment platform Rixty has announced that starting today, and continuing until December 31st, users that purchase $40 or more in Rixty will instantly receive $10 extra for free.

Foursquare Adds TSA “Baggage Handler” Badge — Spoofing the current changes to TSA security measures, Foursquare has added a “Baggage Handler” badge, says About Foursquare. To unlock the badge, one must check in at any airport with the shout “TSA”, “grope,” or “Don’t touch my junk, bro!”

Disney’s Graham Hopper Resigns — According to VentureBeat, Disney’s General Manager of Disney Interactive Studios, Graham Hopper, has resigned. Thus far, no reasons for the departure have been stated.