Chuck Norris Rejects FarmVillain – Apparently Chuck Norris is more powerful than Steve Jobs as the FarmVille spoof app, FarmVillain, makes its fourth failed attempt to be approved by Apple for release in the App Store. The reason? It includes Chuck Norris who “has previously objected to other applications that include features that use his name or likeness, and believes that such features infringe his rights.”
Virtual Goods Create Results for Brands – In a new research study from appssavvy, the real world value of virtual goods as they apply to brands has proven to be a most valuable opportunity. Among the highlights, it increased brand awareness anywhere from 44.5-69.8%. Mobile ad awareness was increased by 60.1-74.2%. Purchase intent was shown to have increased 31.5-62.8%.
Raptr Upgrades to 1.0 – Social gaming tool, Raptr is getting a big upgrade this week. Beyond its cross-platform buddy list (Xbox Live, PSN, Steam, Xfire, etc.), the service is stated to now support messaging on any instant messenger network including Facebook, AIM, and Yahoo. Additionally, the developers note that it will now dynamically generate a profile for users based on the games they play and achievements they unlock.
Super Rewards Monetizes TinierMe – At the Casual Connect conference this past week, Super Rewards announced that the developer behind social MMO TinierMe, GCREST, will be using the company to monetize itself through virtual currency.
TinierMe Adds Japanese Icon – In addition to the monetization announcement, GCREST has also debuted the appearance of the Japanese icon, Hatsune Miku in the culturally saturated TinierMe. Players will now be able to acquire limited edition virtual items for their avatars as well as have the chance to listen to free music from the anime-singer.
SupersonicAds Partners with BigPoint, Playdom, & Watercooler – International virtual currency monetization firm, Supersonic Ads, announced three new partnerships at Casual Connect this week: BigPoint, Playdom, and Watercooler. Players of these developers’ games will now be able to earn in-game currency through SupersonicAds’ targeted advertising and offers.
Shockwave Launches Virtual Goods Platform – Earlier in the week, casual gaming portal, Shockwave, announced its first virtual goods platform. Using Shockwave Cash, players will now be able to purchase in-game items across any number of the site’s games.
Real Networks Partners with Live Gamer – In more virtual goods news, Real Networks has teamed up with Live Gamer. The latter will power the virtual goods transactions within Real’s social gaming platform, GameHouse.
Sony Working with Codename – PlayStation 3 virtual world PlayStation Home is set to be transformed into a social gaming space. Partnering with indie label Codename, Sony has announced that the company, along with other international developers, will develop exclusive new games for the virtual world.
Heyzap Introduces Heyzap Arcade – Hot on the heels of its $3 million in funding, Heyzap is launching its newest product, Heyzap Arcade. Now, users will be able to add up to 30,000 games to their website with only one line of code. Already, the tool has been adopted by social network platform, Ning.
Zindagi Teaches Entrepreneurship with Social Games – In order to teach students (ages 10-15), a startup called Zindagi is working on a game that combines social game mechanics, problem solving, education, and real money management, says ReadWriteWeb. According to the developers it is “FarmVille meets Mint.com” and will teach kids concepts such as budgeting and saving, using actual money.
GameCoins.com Sees Success with “Missions” System – Introduced at E3, Sometric’s GameCoins.com‘s new “missions” system sought to create a fun means to intertwine game online mechanics and marketing campaigns. Now, the company is reporting that it is tracking an 86% completion rate with over 50% of those players earning extra virtual currency by telling their friends about it on Facebook.
Scvngr Adds “Bumping” to Location-Based Games – Scvngr is attempting to further socialize location-based games with a new means of checking in. Using the app of the same name, users will be able to complete in-app challenges by physically bumping their iPhones together.