Social Gaming Roundup: Raptr, Japan, New Launches & More

Indiana Jones Coming to Adventure World — Zynga and LucasFilm have partnered up and announced that they will be bringing Indiana Jones into the social game maker’s latest release, Adventure World. Further details have yet to be revealed.

Social Games Highlighted at Tokyo Game Show — Social games are getting a lot of love in Japan at the Tokyo Game Show this week between GREE and DeNA, says Reuters. The news service reports that the Japanese social gaming market to reach approximately $5.1 billion by 2013.

Double Down Interactive Opens New Office — Social games developer Double Down Interactive is expanding with a new office this week. The company announced its new headquarters within the 505 Union Station building in Seattle which has room to add a another 100 employees atop its existing 52.

Unity Wins Best Development Environment Award — Unity Technologies has announced that its Unity game development platform has won the award for “Best Development Environment” at this year’s CEDEC (Computer Entertainment Developers Conference) in Japan.

Even a Tiny Zoo Can be Cruel According to PETA — TinyCo is the latest gaming company to draw the ire of outspoken animal rights organization PETA. According to a letter sent to TinyCo’s cofounder and CEO by PETA, the game Tiny Zoo “sends the message that life for animals in actual zoos is acceptable when, in reality, captive animals suffer immensely.” The letter suggests that TinyCo could revamp and rename the game in the next release; instead of building a zoo, players could rescue animals and rehabilitate them as they play “Big Sanctuary.” Tiny Zoo is the latest entry in a growing list of games that have been accused of promoting cruelty to animals by PETA.

Raptr Hits New Milestone — Gamer social network Raptr now has over 10 million registered users and a daily active user count of over 1 million.

New Social & Mobile Golfing App — Teepsy is a new Facebook and mobile app, displayed at Demo, that allows users to brag about their golf game. Additionally, it lets users sign up for discounted tee times at certain golf courses. Players can earn badges for their golf accomplishments and track their scores.

HoneyLizer Offers More Monetization Tools for Social Games — Also at the VentureBeat-affiliated Demo conference was Bees and Pollen’s new marketing tool, HoneyLizer. The platform allows developers of social games to better target social gamers, based on their social data, with promotions intended to convert more of them into paying users.

[Launch] Viximo Launches Facebook Title — Viximo has announced the release of its social game, Snap Me Up for Facebook this week.  Already available on networks such as Quepasa, the game involves the buying and selling of photos of their favorite people in a buy low, sell high style of stock market play.

[Launch] Idle Worship — At the TechCrunch Disrupt, Idle Games finally sent its deity sim game, Idle Worship, into closed beta ahead of a larger beta launch planned for the immediate future. The total development cycle is at about 23 months as of now.

[Launch] Metrogames Launches Coco Girl on Facebook — Social developer Metrogames has released its latest title, Coco Girl. The app is a fashion game, targeting women, in which players create an avatar and and customize its look with thousands of outfits, hair styles, and accessories that they purchase within digital malls.

[Launch] Kixeye Unveils War Commander — The creator of Backyard Monsters, Kixeye, has announced the launch of its newest Facebook game, War Commander. The social game is a real-time strategy title in which players command over 27 customizable units as they vi for resources within a war-torn future version Earth.

[Launch] Itsmy Games Launches Games for Web — Mobile and social games developer, itsmy Games, has announced that it has launched its catalogue of over 100 free-to-play titles as mobile web apps. Each game makes use of HTML5 and can be played partly offline.