Social Gaming Roundup: Dr. Dre, Bing, Charities, & More

Zynga Partners with Dr. Dre — Social game developer Zynga has announced it’s first in-game music partnership today. Mafia Wars players will now be able to view the music video “Kush,” featuring Snoop Dogg and Akon, a single from the upcoming album Detox. Additionally, users will be able to collect limited edition Dr. Dre virtual items and experience music content from the new “Hustlin’ wit Dre” portion of the game. Players will also be able to view an exclusive video message from Dr. Dre and become eligible to win signed Beats By Dr. Dre headphones and a signed copy of the upcoming CD.

Happy Island Comes to Bing — Sibblingz has announced that it is bringing the social title, Happy Island to the Microsoft search platform Bing. Users who play the new Bing version will be able to play through the first few levels of the game without any need to sign in, and will then have the option to do so using Facebook Connect. To add to this, CrowdStar is said to be releasing a “search integrated gaming enhancement” mini-game that will allow players to earn in-game rewards on both the Bing and Facebook versions.

Frima Studio Uses Rock Paper Sumo for Charity — Quebec-based Frima Studio has announced that its Facebook title, Rock Paper Sumo will be donating 100% of proceeds earned through marked, in-game items to Child’s Play 2010. The items come in the form of Child’s Play-themed sumo armor pieces (seven in total) that can be purchased individually for anywhere from $0.49 to $1.49, or in a pack for $5.

EA Cuts Prices to iDevice Titles for the Holidays — According to listing on Touch Arcade, Electronic Arts has slashed the prices of its iDevice titles for the holidays to $0.99. Perhaps this presages a bigger move towards the now-burgeoning free-to-play business model?

Pocket Gems Lands $5 Million in Funding — Mobile social developer Pocket Gems has announced the securing of $5 million in growth financing in an investment round led by Sequoia Capital. The funding is slated to be used to fund the expansion of the company’s engineering team to “continue to drive the evolution of mobile entertainment.” The company has also stated that it will be expanding to the Android platform.

BOKU Announces Partnership with Gumtree — Mobile payments company BOKU has announced a new partnership with the UK’s, allowing users to pay for the online classified listings with their mobile devices. Gumtree spans six countries, including the UK, Ireland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Kobe Bryant Coming to Social Games — According to EngageDigital, 6 Waves has announced a partnership with Endemol USA and is planning on bringing basketball star Kobe Bryant to social gaming. Thus far, the game is said to be for the Facebook platform (as well as other social networks and gaming sites) and will be the first social title centered around a “global” celebrity. Bryant will also be involved in the game’s creative process.

Unreal Dev Kit Comes to iOS — Epic Games is releasing its Unreal Development Kit to the public this week, says The Wall Street Journal. However, this free-to-download version is tailored specifically for bringing high-quality visuals and functionality to the iOS. Free though it may be, developers that wish to sell apps that use the tools will have to pay a $99 licensing fee and 25% royalties after the first $5,000 in sales.