Is Facebook gaming dying?

Not farmville2-top630too long ago, many people believed Facebook was the Next Big Thing in gaming. Developers debated it — sometimes ferociously — at conventions, while venture capitalists couldn’t fund the companies making those games fast enough.

But over the past few months, the air seems to have been let out of Facebook’s tires. Major publishers are withdrawing their support. Pop culture breakouts like Farmville are far and few between. Most damningly, players seem to have moved on to other diversions.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Farmville is coming soon to a television near you

If farmville-ratner-tv-show-top630you thought the idea of an Angry Birds movie was ridiculous, how about a cartoon based on Farmville?

Zynga’s long-in-the-tooth Facebook hit is being transformed into a half-hour animated series, and it has managed to snag bigwig Hollywood director Brett Ratner to lead the effort.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Zynga unveils Farmville 2, Matching With Friends and more

Zynga is heading back to the farm.

At the company’s Zynga Unleashed press event Tuesday, CEO Mark Pincus unveiled a number of new titles and initiatives meant to showcase the company’s independence. Chief among those was a formal sequel to its breakout hit Farmville and a new entry in its popular “With Friends” line of mobile games.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

The fall of Zynga: Can the social game giant pull it together?

Over the past year, no tech company has had ups and downs quite like Zynga.

In the days leading up to its debut on Wall Street last December, the social game kingpin was heralded as The Next Big Thing, an unstoppable force in an evolving industry, with proponents pointing to the enduring draw of games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Words With Friends. Lately, though, the company’s stock has taken a brutal beatdown and those proponents have changed their tune.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Zynga prices its IPO

As expected, social game maker Zynga will begin trading shares on Wall Street Friday, marking one of the video game industry’s biggest public offerings in years.

The company has priced shares at $10 each, the high end of its expected range and will offer 100 million shares to investors. That puts the company valuation at about $7 billion.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Zynga sets a date for its IPO

FarmVille has a date with Wall Street on December 16. And we’re all invited.

Four months after signaling its intention to go public, Zynga has finally updated the paperwork to let investors know the date is imminent, with shares set to begin trading in two weeks. But despite speculation about Zynga instantly becoming the highest valued company in the gaming industry, that’s likely not going to be in the cards.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Red state? Blue state? The political battle for Farmville

As the 2012 election draws near, the number of safe havens from politicking is shrinking fast. Facebook was compromised nearly three years ago. Now, some of the most popular games on the social network are at risk.

Candidates and strategists have fully embraced the gamification theory, it seems — and Farmville is squarely in their sites.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

The Money Making Game #12: The Social Network

We certainly have no problem getting caught up in the fun of playing games, but the people who create them have their pocketbooks to worry about, too. In this column, finance expert and GameSpy contributor Chris Morris guides you through the tricky corridors the gaming industry’s financial side, touching on big-time business decisions and how they matter to the common gamer.

Not too long ago, publishers tended to turn their noses up at social games. Mafia Wars? Poker? Sure, they were mild distractions to entertain people in-between status updates… but a viable economic force? No way! Then FarmVille took off — and the bubble began growing. Big-name developers and executives began defecting. And publishers began investing. Flash-forward to today: No one’s foolish enough to say social (or mobile) games are going to replace console releases anytime in the foreseeable future, but at the same time, no one’s foolish enough to consider the field an afterthought anymore, either.

Electronic Arts, of course, is the biggest publisher to immerse itself in the social network gaming waters. Between its 2009 acquisition of Playfish (which consisted of a $300 million offer with an additional $100 million earnout) and its buyout of PopCap earlier this year (for $750 million and additional earnouts that could ultimately push the price over $1 billion), EA’s not taking the new casual gaming movement lightly.

Read more at Gamespy

Zynga may delay its IPO

Social network games maker Zynga may postpone its debut on Wall Street, giving the company time to address SEC concerns and ride out the current instability among investors.

The company’s IPO, initially planned for early September, had been looked at as one of the most promising listings of the year, perhaps even moreso than LinkedIn, whose shares more than doubled when they began trading in May.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog