Social Gaming Roundup: Zynga, Foursquare, Booyah, & More

Mike MurphyMike Murphy Takes Advisor Role at Zynga — According to All Things Digital, former Facebook head of advertising sales Mike Murphy is now taking a part-time role at Zynga, advising on its advertising strategy. In addition to this, Murphy will be focused on team growth, advertising products, and creating new relationships with major brands.

[image via All Things Digital]

Mafia Wars Expands to Four New Languages — Earlier this week, Zynga announced that it’s long running Mafia Wars title will now be available in French, Italian, German, and Spanish. According to the developer, approximately 15% of the game’s daily players speak one of these four languages.

Cute CastleCastle & Co Launches in Chinese — In more localization news, Ubisoft’s Castle & Co is getting a Chinese language version this week. The new app is entitled “萌堡奇緣” or “Cute Castle, Amazing Encounter!

SiXits Jumps into Social Games — A new startup by the name of SiXits is getting into social games says VentureBeat. Using cross-platform games, the company is hoping to set itself apart by incorporating more engaging games. Their first title, dubbed Babies Everywhere, centers around users caring for a cartoon-like baby.

Pocket GodPocket God’s Episode II Launches on Facebook — Frima Studio and Bolt Creative have announced the launch of Pocket God’s latest update, Episode II: Clash of the Frightened! for Facebook. The new version includes new social quests, friend taunting, extra idols, and more.

PopCap Goes Cross-Platform with Bejeweled Blitz — PopCap Games appears to have gone cross-platform with its popular Bejeweled Blitz title for Facebook and iOS. Based on information from W3i’s blog, users can now connect and compete with one another from either platform.

WhereoscopeZynga May Acquire Whereoscope — Social developer Zynga may be close to acquiring a company by the name of Whereoscope, who helps parents keep track of their kids using a location-based application on smartphones.

Zong & Boku Partner with Verizon — Mobile payments companies Zong and Boku have announced a direct carrier billing service with Verizon through BillToMobile, says TechCrunch. Now, the companies can now offer services at a much lower transaction rate than SMS payments.

FoursquareFoursquare Grows 3400% in 2010 — Foursquare released some interesting numbers this week, noting that it had grown 3400% in 2010. In addition to this, the company has totaled 381,576,305 check-ins last year, one of which was from the International Space Station. A full compilation of top check-in locations, numbers, and States, can be found here.

Spartacus Comes to Facebook — In more social gaming news, the recently previewed title Spartacus: Gods of the Arena has launched on Facebook. Published by 6 Waves and developed by Large Animal Games, the Starz show marks yet another franchise to make its way onto Facebook.

Facebook to Focus on HTML5 — After noting the growth and potential of HTML5 at ISA 2011, it looks like Facebook is now focusing more heavily on it with JSGameBench version 0.1.

Drop the BassBooyah & Indaba Music Present Nightclub City Album — Booyah and Indaba Music have announced the release of a new music album, Drop the Bass. Centered around the music of Nightclub City, the tracks are all created by members of as part of the “Drop the Bass” contest held late last year.

HeyZap Gains First Unity3D Game — A previously reviewed title by the name of Foxie Hunny Jump is coming to HeyZap this week. Of particular curiosity, it is noted as the first title to utilize Unity3D on the platform, says the developers, Fusion Studios.