Zynga kills PetVille and more to cut costs

Zynga has decided which titles are feeling the axe

Zynga kills PetVille and more to cut costs

Zynga has decided to terminate 11 games in a cost-cutting measure, according to TechCrunch. The closures are a part of the cost-reduction plan put forth by chief executive officer Mark Pincus in November. At the time, Pincus said that a total of 13 titles were on the chopping block, but only Treasure Isle and FishVille were mentioned. The current closure list covers 11 of those 13.

Mafia Wars Shakedown, ForestVille, Mojitomo and Word Scramble Challenge have been pulled from app stores already. Vampire Wars joined Treasure Isle and FishVille as games shut down on December 5. Montopia was closed on December 21, with PetVille and Mafia Wars 2 following on December 30. Finally, Indiana Jones Adventure World has been closed for new players, with a sunset date of January 14.

Zynga has already offered players of PetVille and other titles a free bonus package of virtual items for Castleville, Chefville, Farmville 2, Mafia Wars or Yoville. Players of mobile titles – like Mafia Wars Shakedown – have been told to contact Zynga Customer Support for possible compensation.

Confirmed: Tomb Raider Will Include Multiplayer

Just yesterday, UK retailer GAME listed a multiplayer component for the upcoming Tomb Raider in their product listing. It was quickly removed, but the damage had been done and the rumor was out there.

Today, thanks to OXM, we now know that multiplayer is definitely happening. While OXM doesn’t tell us too much about it, the game’s official tumblr pagemade a post today, telling us that the multiplayer is being developed by Eidos Montreal and that they’ve “been working tirelessly to introduce multiplayer to the world of Tomb Raider.”

The blog post also went on to state that the idea to include multiplayer withinTomb Raider was actually “inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response to co-op play in Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.” We’ll be given more information when CES begins on January 8th, so stay tuned.

Now that this is confirmed, what do you think of multiplayer in a Tomb Raider game? Is it something you’ll check out? Let us know in the comments below.


Temple Run and Minecraft rack up the Christmas downloads

mangi and Mojang’s titles see some Christmas magic

Temple Run and Minecraft rack up the Christmas downloads

Two independent titles, Temple Run and Minecraft, have seen some absolutely stellar numbers over the Christmas holiday.

Imangi Studios founder Keith Shepherd tweeted that Temple Run had been downloaded 2.5 million times across all platforms on December 25. That breaks down to 1 million downloads on the Apple App Store, 1 million downloads on Google Play, and 500,000 downloads on the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Minecraft creator and Mojang founder Markus Persson also tweeted about his title’s success. Minecraft sold 453,000 units all platforms on December 25.

“Across all platforms, Minecraft sold 453k copies on [December 24]! Wowzers!” tweeted Persson. “Sorry, [December 25], not 24.”

This brings Minecraft’s total sales to nearly 18 million, based on previous estimates of 17.5 million by Gamespot.

War Z exec producer apologizes for “arrogant” response to issues

Titov tackles the problems with The War Z in an open letter

War Z

In an open letter on the official The War Z forums, executive producer Sergey Titov apologized for his “arrogant” responses to issues surrounding the game.

“I need to admit that we failed to effectively communicate some of our plans and actions to both our existing players and to our new prospective players. This failure to communicate resulted in some very negative feedback from some members of our community, but while it might be easy to label them as “haters” or some other dismissive term, in all honesty this is my fault. I became arrogant and blinded by the early success and quick growth of The War Z, our increasing number of players, numbers we were getting from surveys, etc., and I chose not to notice the concerns and questions raised by these members of the game community as well as others,” wrote Titov.

“This failure is entirely on my shoulders and if anything I owe thanks to that vocal minority and admit that I should have paid attention sooner. At the end my arrogance led us to the moment, when all those small things finally caught up and created a “perfect storm” that affected all of our community members. For that I’m truly sorry and apologize to all of our community as well as the larger PC gaming community that is not yet playing The War Z.”

Titov’s letter outlines planned fixes for community management and moderation, with an expanded community management team and additional forum moderators. He also explained that Hammerpoint Interactive will be taking “a more prominent role in publishing/game operating process” with new hires experienced in operating online games.

The game’s continued delisting on Steam and the suspension of The War Z trademark were not mentioned in the open letter. The full open letter can be found here.

The War Z trademark suspended

The controversial game can’t use its original name

The War Z

The game pulled from Steam last week, The War Z, has had its trademark suspended by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The War Z trademark suspension was handed down on November 15, prior to the game’s December 17 release on Steam. The USPTO say the trademark is too close to applications filed by Paramount Pictures relating to World War Z, the novel and upcoming film.

In July of 2012, Paramount filed trademark applications 85673422 and 85673431. Application 85673422 is for World War Z “downloadable electronic game programs”, “electronic game software for handheld electronic devices”, and “video game cartridges and discs”. Application 85673431 mentions “providing online electronic games” related to World War Z.

The application for Hammerpoint’s game was filed only ten days after Paramount’s, but Paramount has held trademarks for other World War Z-related merchandise since August 2011.