Social Gaming Roundup: Zynga, Game Developers Choice Awards, Bungie Aerospace & More

Game Developers Choice Online Awards Reveals Finalists — The finalists for the second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards have been announced. Below are the social game nominees and their respective categories.

  • Dragons of Atlantis (Kabam) — Best Online Visual Arts, Best Social Network Game
  • CityVille (Zynga) — Best Social Network Game, Best Online Technology
  • Gardens of Time (Playdom) — Best Social Network Game, Best New Online Game
  • FrontierVille (Zynga) — Best Social Network Game, Best Online Game Design, Best Audio for an Online Game
  • Ravenwood Fair (Lolapps) — Best Social Network Game, Best Online Game Design, Best Audio for an Online Game
  • Empire Avenue (Empire Avenue — Online Innovation
  • Zombie Lane (Digital Chocolate) — Online Innovation
  • Monster Galaxy (Gaia Online) — Best New Online Game

Zynga Launches Campaing with Edible Schoolyard Project — The Edible Schoolyard Project is an organization that supports education throughout the United States and now Zynga’s FarmVille players can contribute. Players can purchase a limited edition “rainbow chard” for their farm with 100 percent of proceeds going to Edible Schoolyard. Additionally, should players donate $5, $10, or $25 they will both receive the chard but also gain a limited edition garden gnome decorative item. Once the crop is mastered, they will also receive a virtual lunchbox full of produce.

Zynga Boosts CEO Voting Power — According to pre-IPO documents obtained by Bloomberg, Zynga is revising its stock structure into multiple tiers so that CEO Mark Pincus has 70 times more voting power than public investors.

Bungie Aerospace Announces Crimson: Steam Pirates — Social and mobile game publisher Bungie Aerospace is ready to reveal its first game at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this week. Crimson: Steam Pirates for iPad is a freemium turn-based strategy game developed by Harebrained Schemes. Bungie Aerospace was established by the Halo creator to support independent social and mobile game developers.

Sony to Redesign PlayStation Home — Ars Technica reports on an upcoming redesign for the PlayStation Home virtual space accessed via the PlayStation 3 console. The new direction will convert Home from “a social network to a social game platform.” Within the new Home, players will be able to visit four themed spaces representing and filled with different types of games and participate in an optional quest meta-game that encompasses all of Home.

WildTangent Adds DoubleDown Casino — WildTangent and Double Down Interactive have announced a partnership this week that will bring the social title DoubleDown Casino to the former’s game platform. A virtual casino, the game offers players chances to win virtual currency in games such as blackjack, slots, poker, and roulette.

MapleStory Runs Cross-Promotion With MapleStory Adventures — Nexon is running a cross-promotion between MapleStory and its Facebook title, MapleStory Adventures. Players that log on to the Facebook version will now be able to earn experience points and Mesos (virtual currency) for the primary game.

[Announcements] RockYou Adds Back To School Content to Gourmet Ranch — School across the U.S. started fall semester this week, and RockYou has updated its Facebook title Gourmet Ranch with a “Back to School” set of features. Users can now create a scholastic theme for their restaurant with items such as chalkboards, school-themed costumes, and healthy lunch recipes.