When I put together my Top 10 Predictions for 2014 last week, I actually dropped an 11th prediction -- that bitcoin would start to make inroads as a currency for games. Which is a bummer, because had I kept it in there, I would already have proven myself to be an able prognosticator.The Verge is reporting that Zynga has quietly announced it has added Bitcoin support for seven of its web games.Starting today you can buy items on Zynga.com in FarmVille 2, CityVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles and Hidden Shadows with Bitcoins via a test partnership with Bitpay. Per Zynga's post on Reddit, they are making this move because they say that Bitcoin is getting too big a payment method to ignore. Surely the other reason is that it's a good bit of publicity to start the new year with, and that it positions Zynga as a leader amongst game developers (where it is usually accused of being a follower).
- Wasn't it just the other day that I speculated that Zynga is probably in talks to buy OMGPOP, makers of the #1 game now on Apple and Facebook, Draw Something?Well, I was right. According to Techcrunch, Zynga is in early talks to acquire OMGPOP in the $150 - 250 million range. OMGPOP has raised $17 million to date and is also being courted by Japanese gaming heavyweights, Gree and Mobage/ngmoco. As reported, both companies are making a big bid to compete with Zynga in the social and market US market.
- Ever since the dawn of mankind, as defined as since the release of FarmVille, Zynga has had the number one app on Facebook in terms of daily average users (DAU's) until now.Today, OMGPOP's Draw Something is officially the most popular app on Facebook with 10.8 million DAU's, compared to Words with Friends with 8.6 million DAU's according to AppData.
- According to the New York Post, Zynga is delaying its IPO from September to early November, due to "rocky stock markets."Since Zynga released its S1 documents signaling an intent to go public, the market has been volatile and US treasuries were downgraded by S&P. LinkedIn and Pandora successfully went IPO, but their current stock prices are not setting the world on fire. The story behind the headlines, however, is the back-and-forth squabbles reportedly between Zynga and the SEC.
- Zynga has announced that it has partnered with Tencent, the largest Chinese games company, to launch Zynga City in China. Let the race for Western game companies to enter the Chinese social games market begin!
- After a week of speculation, Zynga has filed its S-I with the SEC and officially plans to go public to raise at least $1 billion. Highlights and my insights below the fold!
- This is ironic, or ironico, as they say in Portuguese. Zynga is suing Brazilian social games developer Vostu for copying its games. Zynga, of course, has been accused and sued for copying games themselves (or Mafia Wars, which was inspired by Mob Wars) so if they are filing a lawsuit, the evidence must be over-whelming.Based on the reporting by Techcrunch, it's compelling. Screen shots of Vostu's MegaCity are quite carbon-copy like to Zynga's CityVille. Filing a lawsuit for copy infringement in the world of games, where "cloning" is an actual business strategy is a slippery slope.
- Our last journey down the Golden Trails took us to the Old West, but this time around, we're hoisting the Jolly Roger and tracking down pirate booty. Golden Trails 2: The Lost Legacy is the best kind of sequel - one that keeps everything that made its predecessor special while polishing out those tiny flaws that marred the experience.