This Week In Social Games – Feb 20, 2010

This week, we saw a Facebook Connected version of Diner Dash, the legendary creator of Ultima start a Facebook games startup, Zynga open a new office in Bangalore, Miniclip.com partner up with Social Gold, and we reviewed the King of Kung Fu. Read on for information!

Report: 56% Of Virtual Goods Buyers Are Repeat Customers

According to a new report published by Social Gold, 56% of virtual goods customers make repeat purchases. This comes on the heels of their partnership with MiniClip.com, where Social Gold will be used as the virtual currency for the site’s 550 games and 57 million players.

PlayFirst Adds Facebook Connect To Diner Dash 5

PlayFirst is including Facebook Connect in their upcoming release of Diner Dash 5: Boom for PC/Mac. Players will be able to gift a power-ups to friends by logging into Facebook Connect.

Big Fish Games Enters Social Games Arena With Faunasphere For Facebook

Seattle’s Big Fish Games is bringing Faunasphere, its flagship MMO, to Facebook. This marks the first Facebook game launch for Big Fish Games, and the game will be completely interoperable with the version of the game available at the Faunasphere home page.

Yes, Your Mom Is Playing FarmVille

A new study by PopCap Social Gaming Research, creators of Bejeweled, confirms that mothers are the primary players of social games. As we wrote in the past, middle-aged women are the core demographic of social gamers, and this survey confirms that 55% of gamers are women, aged 43 on average.

Legendary Ultima Creator starts Portalarium

Richard Garriot, creator of the famous Ultima series, has started a new social games company called Portalarium. Portalarium will be creating a social games platform that will allow games to increase their production quality and be easily publishable to various social networks. The company’s focus is on publishing higher-than-Flash quality games, and Portalarium also has interests in “open learning, open health, open science/environment, open government and more”.

Zynga Opens New Office in Bangalore, India

Zynga, the leading social games developer, has opened up a new office in Bangalore, India. According to Zynga, the new “operation will focus on game and large-scale infrastructure development”. One can interpret this to suggest that the India office will be focused on ensuring games have solid networking and scalability backend components.

Play Games, Earn Money, Cash Out With Yoo-Mee Games

Yoo-Mee, a new product from Hooked Media Group, is a new social gaming platform that introduces the ability to win real money and prizes. By enabling users to play cash tournaments and one-on-one challenges, players have the ability to win “Gold”, which is measured in real dollars and can be cashed out at any time.

57 Million Miniclip.com Users Will Now Use Social Gold

Social Gold, one of the leading virtual currency and monetization providers, has partnered with one of the largest casual game destinations on the web, Miniclip.com. Miniclip’s 550 games and 57 million monthly players will now have the ability to use Social Gold to purchase in-game virtual goods with just a few clicks. There were no details of any specific virtual goods at this time.

Live Out Your Spy Fantasy With ColdWar Clambake

Coldwar Clambake is a new Facebook spy game developed by Big Daddy’s Chicks production, and while it draws heavily from its Mafia Wars roots, the game has a few innovative elements that keep the game interesting. Specifically, the art style, the innovation on standard gameplay elements and the fun community make this a game worth trying.

Master Your Martial Arts Skills With King Of Kungfu

Grab your sword, equip your pet, and jump into the arena for some fully animated matches against fellow kungfu masters in Koramgame’s King of Kungfu Facebook app. The game involves creating a brightly-colored, anime-style avatar whose goal is to battle other players for honor, gold, and experience, leveling up and gaining skills in order to become the King of Kungfu in the daily tournaments. Koramgame does a good job of incorporating an element of chance and luck into the player versus player battles, so that even a level ten player challenging a level fifteen or twenty isn’t counted out until the final blow.