Yahoo might have scored big time with its recent deal with Zynga, the company responsible for popular Facebook games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars. The two companies have reached an agreement that will see the integration of Zynga’s social games through Yahoo’s global network.
For Zynga, this could be a viable alternative to its Facebook presence, especially since Yahoo claims of more than 600 million users worldwide across all Yahoo sites. But the question is would users be open to the idea of getting their game on via the Yahoo platform?
Most of those users who play Farmville and Mafia Wars are into these games while at the same time maintaining their social networking profiles and connections on Facebook. Most of them play these games to while away time as they wait for their friends to go online, post updates and links. In short, Zynga games on Facebook are added functionalities for a site which has social networking as the main purpose.
Comparing these to Yahoo which doesn’t have a social networking site. Users go to Yahoo to find/search for information not to socialize. So, I don’t really see these Zynga games easily fitting into the demographics of Â Yahoo users.
Still, Yahoo is pretty positive that this deal would be both beneficial to both companies. Hilary Schneider, Yahoo America’s Executive Vice President tells us:
â€œZynga will bring top notch social game experiences to Yahoo!, including through our open platforms such as Yahoo! Application Platform and Yahoo! Updates. Yahoo! will also continue to work with other partners, developers and publishers to bring compelling innovations and experiences from across the web to our users.â€
And with this deal, Yahoo have finally laid down its social strategy and adds up to its previous partnership with both Facebook and Twitter. Would this finally bring some good tidings to Yahoo as a whole? That we will have to wait and see.
Fans of Mafia Wars on Facebook would be glad to know that Zynga, the game’s developer has just enabled full mobile access features. Â Whereas previously, the game’s mobile feature only allows users to receive updates of what was happening with their games, the new mobile features now allows you to do more activities.
To register for this feature you need to register from the Mafia Wars Facebook app page. Â The SMS Mobile feature link can be found from the HELP option on the main Mafia Wars page. You need to sign up your mobile phone number. And right after registration you can start sending “MAFIA” plus action commands such as “FF” for fighting your last opponent, “J” for doing a job and other available SMS commands. Â Send your SMS to the number (623-42). To get a list of commands, simply send “? to the said number.
Now, while this might seem an honest move on Zynga to inrease the engagement level of Mafia Wars players, this may also lead these members to purchase virtual good via their mobile phones.
What I’m not really sure is how Facebook will take this mobile feature as it will certainly take away valuable site eyeballs on Facebook.com. Of course, since you will be using your mobile phones, be reminded that those SMS messages will entail charges on your end. Â But if you don’t mind spending on SMS just to play Mafia Wars via text, then check out the new Mafia Wars Mobile feature.
For those of you who are into fantasy sports league, specifically Fantasy Baseball, you might be interested to know that Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball ’10 has just been chosen as the official fantasy baseball game of MLB.com. This means that Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball ’10 will now be promoted on MLB.com as well as on its online properties.
With the support of MLB.com, Yahoo’s fantasy league hopes to deliver the most compelling experience for fantasy baseball players, or gamers seem to be the more appropriate term. Â The deal would incude integrated in-game and post-game video highlights of the action on the Major League Baseball directly from the player’s homepage.
Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball ’10 gamers can now purchase MLB.com’s new Fantasy Highlights package which would give them an opportunity to watch customized, in-game and post-game video highlights direct from their homepage. Â MLB.com’s fantasy highlights package will be available for free-trial during the first two weeks of the MLB regular season. Â The full season of MLB will be available for $9.95.
In addition, Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball ’10 will provide new live online auction draft application and free live scoring as well. Â This will give MLB fans the ability to view live stats as well as instant scoring for teams or match ups. Users will also get real-time league standings straight to their homepage.
MLB.com senior vice president for business development, Kenny Gersh said that this product will suit fantasy baseball players’ growing appetites.
“Integrating this new highlights package with Yahoo!’s industry-leading fantasy baseball game will take fans beyond the box score to watch the performance of their fantasy roster as it unfolds on the field,” said Kenny Gersh.
With MLB.com’s support, Yahoo now has three fantasy sports game which have been blessed by the game’s official league administrators. Â Yahoo also has fantasy games for NHL and PGA.
FarmVille fans who also happen to have the Google Nexus One, rejoice! Recently, some modders were able to install the HTC Desire ROM that Â brings HTC Sense and Â Flash 10.1 support to Google’s flagship mobile phone. If you still don’t believe that HTC Sense on the Nexus One can support Flash 10.1, well here’s a proof – Redmond Pie has posted a short video showing FarmVille being played on Facebook.com on the Nexus One browser.
The result, although not as flashy and clean as you may expect is still something worthy of perhaps rooting your Nexus One and going through all the trouble of installing the HTC Desire Â ROM. Well, I mean if you’re a huge FarmVille fan and you couldn’t stop playing it. Well, here’s your chance to play the game even while on the go, on your Â the Nexus One.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of installing the ROM, you might want to wait up for future upgrades of Android OS as it is rumored to have Flash capability already. But if you can’t wait that long, follow these steps to install the HTC Desire ROM with HTC Sense UI on your Nexus One.
I’m not really thrilled by the fact that installing the HTC Desire ROM on Nexus One will bring Flash 10.1 which will allow you to browser flash-based sites including FarmVille since I’m no t going to take the chances and brick my phone. What I’m particularly excited about is the fact that this feature could be in the next version of Android OS.
Let’s not forget that smartphones are not confine to the Google Nexus One or the iPhone. Nokia has it’s own smartphone too and its called N900. And in case you’re not aware, the N900 is powered by the Linux-based Maemo5 mobile operating systems, making this Nokia smartphone almost like your usual mini internet device.
So, if you’re a Nokia N900 user, you’ll be glad to know that the Nokia Ovi Store is now available for N900 handsets. What? You don’t know what the Nokia Ovi Store is? Well, if you’re an iPhone user like me, you can think of the Nokia Ovi Store as the iTunes Apps Store for Nokia high-end devices.
With the Nokia Ovi Store now accessible from N900 devices, you can now download apps and games and install it as quickly as possible to your N900 devices. The Nokia Ovi Store that you access from your N900′s home screen is tailored for the unit’s screen real estate giving you an organized way of browsing for these apps and games.
Some of the nice mobile apps that you can download from the Nokia Ovi Store include Qik video app and TuneWiki, a lyric-search app. You can also download various themes and other personalization stuff from the Nokia Ovi Store to make your N900 unit truly your own.
Possibly not wanting to let Xbox Live one up them, Sony has officially announced support for Facebook. Â The announcement was made via a post at the official Playstation blog about the latest PS3 firmware (v3.10) update. Â One of the new features of the firmware updates is of course “partial” support to Facebook.
Partial support meaning if you are a Playstation 3user, you can have the option to let your PS3 automatically updates your Facebook news feed with your game trophies as well as purchases at the Playstation Store. But to do this, you need to link your Playstation Network to your Facebook account first. Similar perhaps to the process of allowing third party apps to connect to your Facebook account. More →
If you’re on Facebook (who isn’t anyway?), Â don’t be surprise if you receive a notification coming from FishVille. It’s not a typographical error since FishVille is not FarmVille. It’s actually a new game from Zynga, makers of Mafia Wars and FarmVille, Â two of the widely played Facebook game apps. More →
Mulitiplayer online games provider OGPlanet has received funding from venture capital firm DFJ Athena. This funding supports its continued growth and the company is expected to reach profitability soon.
OGPlanet licenses online games from Korea and markets them in the US. Its growing portfolio of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games includes Cabal Online, Rumble Fighter, Albatross18 and the recently announced La Tale coming in the third quarter of 2008. OGPlanet operates all of its games under a free-to-play model while in-game item purchases are available through a micro-transaction system.
Electronic Arts Inc. announced that EA Phenomic Studio based in Germany is developing BattleForge, a new fantasy online real-time strategy game where you assemble your own army with collectible trading cards. Win, trade and buy your cards online to create your ultimate deck.1 Mix and match the elements of your cards to play with your friends online and conquer massive online battlegrounds.
BattleForge is expected to ship in Fall 2008 for the PC.
“The Mist” is rolling in with Blockbuster Inc. by launching a free online game inspired by the Stephen King film. The game pits players against the predatory “Mist” creatures from the movie and highlights that Blockbuster will have exclusive rentals of The Weinstein Company film when it is released on DVD on March 25.
Now through April 8, “The Mist” game will give gamers a chance to live the movie. Players must defeat a series of predators, battling their way through three levels based on scenes in the film. Those who escape the mist and win the game get a sneak peak of an exclusive interview with Stephen King and director/screenwriter Frank Darabont.