Social Gaming News Odds & Ends: Facebook Redesign, Brave Arms, Tiny Town, City of Eternals, Xbox Live

Sun, Feb 7, 2010

Facebook, Industry, Social

Here are some social gaming odds & ends to take your mind off football for a while – news to tide you over ’til Monday in 10 links or less:

Facebook users content with redesign. For now. (via Christian Science Monitor and PC World) – “Facebook has launched a redesign of its homepage. Amazingly, not many Facebook users are complaining. On Thursday night, Facebook began implementing another redesign, this time of its homepage. The idea is that users will now find it easier to access the most important stuff – the games, the apps, the picture tags. Among the best new features – all of which are documented at length over at PC World, if you’re interested – is a one-click notification icon, allowing you to easily access new activity on your profile or on a friend’s.”

GameZebo reviews Happy Aquarium, a Facebook game by CrowdStar – “Unlike other games that are only about breeding and selling, Happy Aquarium also includes a number of mini-games that give the genre some much needed variety… Maybe it’s best to view Happy Aquarium as a starter fish tank rather than a full-size 30-gallon behemoth.”

Brave Arms aims to bring a ‘real video game experience’ to Facebook (via Games.com) – “If you’re bored of playing games that revolve around planting, cooking or cleaning friends’ pets/fish/cafe — upcoming first-person shooter Brave Arms wants to shake things up by bringing “a real video game experience” on Facebook. Details about the game are scarce, other than the fact that players will be able to compete solo or form teams with friends, and microtransactions will be part of the game.”

Tiny Town: a New Facebook City Building Game (via Inside Social Games) – “The first version of Sim City came out in 1989, but the concept continues to thrive these decades later. The most recent example is a quaint little Facebook application called Tiny Town from the developer Domisuto. The premise of the game is that you are a giant construction worker, helping the mayor of Tiny Town to build up the city.”

City of Eternals, a New Blend of Social and MMO Gaming, Goes into Public Beta (via Inside Social Games) – “This well-designed, Flash-based game is especially notable for pushing boundaries between social and traditional online gaming. It not only tasks players with the MMO-style goal of bringing order to a chaotic vampire-run city, it also has players doing less intense activities, like building and caring for their avatars, and decorating a living space.”

Civilization Comes to Facebook This June (via Variety) – “Attention corporate America: You’ve gotten a bit of a breather. Take Two Interactive Software tells us that the beta for “Sid Meier’s Civilization Network” isn’t expected to hit until sometime in June… The game will use Facebook’s social qualities to let fans play solo, competitive or cooperative games in a persistent world. It will, like other social network games, be free to play as well.”

Xbox Live to Get Zynga Games? (via Industry Gamers) – “Since the leading social gaming company is getting all chummy with Microsoft, we wondered if Xbox Live could be the next platform to see Zynga’s titles. After all, Xbox Live Arcade already serves both a hardcore and casual audience, and Microsoft is looking to widen its audience on Xbox, so it could be a good fit.”

Speaking of Xbox Live… Microsoft: No More Original Xbox Games Over Xbox Live (via Kotaku) – “Microsoft announced tonight that online play for original Xbox consoles and titles – including those played on an Xbox 360 – over its Xbox Live service will soon be discontinued. The axe will fall on April 15, and will bring an end to years of online play for games like Halo 2 and…whatever other original Xbox games people still play these days.”

World of Warcraft Facebook Armory App touts in-game progress (via Games.com) – “On February 1, World of Warcraft launched a Facebook Armory app, designed to inform friends about your accomplishments in the hugely popular online game from Blizzard. For those who aren’t in the know, the WoW armory is where players go to check their stats, keep up with guild activities and equipment (and much more).”

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