Social Gaming Roundup: EA, Taxes, Japan, & More

Ben Cousins Leaves EA — Ben Cousins was the man behind making Electronic Arts’ Battlefield Heroes title a free-to-play success. Just the other day, however, a Twitter post from Cousins declared his departure from the studio: “@bfplay4free launches this week and it’s time for me to leave EA. Very proud of what I’ve achieved in the last 4 years.”

IRS Comes After Hawkins — Electronic Arts and Digital Chocolate founder Trip Hawkins appears to be having issues with the Internal Revenue Service, according to Forbes. A San Francisco federal judge ended rejected Hawkins’ attempt to cancel out around $20 million in federal and state taxes through the use of personal bankruptcy. The back taxes stem from “abusive tax shelters” that were used to shield profits from Electronic Arts, when it was founded about 30 years ago.

GREE Launches Social Games for Smartphones — Japanese developer GREE announcedthe launch of three of its popular social games on smartphones this week, says The games include Tsuri Star, Monpla, and Kaizoku Koukoku Columbus, each of which is now available as a touchscreen-optimized web app.

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Viximo Adds Orkut to Its Network — Social gaming distribution platform Viximo is expanding this week by adding Google’s Latin American social network, Orkut, to its own. According to EngageDigital, Orkut expects to see launches of Resort World, Backyard Monsters, and Ravenwood Fair in the near future.

OpenFeint Announces 14 New Titles for Android — Mobile social gaming network OpenFeint announced 14 new Android games published as part of its partnership with Chinese publisher, The9. Titles include Can Knockdown, Doodle Bowling, Grave Defense Silver Free, Guerrilla Bob, Meganoid, Ninja Rush Deluxe, Pyxidis, Return Zero, Snail Mail, Speedx 3D, Stellar Escape, Stupid Zombies, Tank Hero, and World Series of Poker Hold’em Legend.