This Week In Social Games – April 24, 2010

This week, we saw Zynga players raise $130,000 for two non-profits, Warner Bros acquire licenses to create Lord Of The Rings online games, Trip Hawkins and Nick O’Neill analyze whether social gaming will reach $100 billion by 2020, News Corp acquire a social games developer and Social Times announced the Social Gaming Summit. See the links and descriptions after the jump!

I would also like to announce that we’ve finalized our list of speakers for the Social Gaming Summit, and it’s going to be great. Click here for more information and register soon!

Social Gaming Summit, May 6 and 7th in San Francisco
Register for the Social Gaming Summit, May 6 and 7th in San Francisco
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Zynga Players Raise Over $130,000 For Two Non-Profits

By purchasing virtual goods, Zynga users have raised over $130,000 to support clean water in Haiti and research for Huntington’s disease. Zynga ran two separate five-day campaigns last month, and encouraged users to purchase limited edition items in Mafia Wars to benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) and in Fishville to support Water.org, a non-profit co-founded by Matt Damon for bringing safe water to developing countries.

Social Gaming Growth Is Getting Harder But Billions Lie Ahead

Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate, posted an interesting article on the company’s blog last night, suggesting that growth in social gaming has become increasingly challenging, yet he effectively argues how virtual goods could grow to become a $60 billion market in the Western hemisphere. There are a number of interesting ideas postulated by the company CEO, all highlighted below.

Warner Bros Acquires Turbine Studios and Lord Of The Rings Online License

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced today the acquisition of Turbine, Inc., an online social gaming studio that focuses on creating Massively Multiplayer Online games. Turbine was founded in 1994 and is based out of Boston, and has created MMOs based on Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings. This puts Warner Bros in a position to develop any type of game that they please using the Lord of the Rings license, and we can expect that to include social games at some point soon.

News Corp Acquires Social Games Developers Irata Games

News Corp, the owners of MySpace and IGN game network, have acquired a social gaming company called Irata Labs. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the LA Times says that there are no plans to fold Irata Games into MySpace or IGN. Irata Games develop Facebook and Twitter games and consist of three employees at this time.