Following massive user drop, Zynga folds its gambling plans

New zynga-poker-top630Zynga CEO Don Mattrick has a lot of work ahead of him.

As the company continues to see users abandon its games at an alarming rate, it has reversed course on its plan to pursue real-money casino games in the U.S., a combination that led to investors punishing the stock Friday.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Investors double down on Zynga’s gambling ambitions

Not zynga-logotoo long ago, Zynga looked like a video game company that was dabbling in the gambling world. But more and more, it’s looking like the reverse might be true, with the type of gaming most closely associated with Las Vegas and Atlantic City moving to the forefront.

It’s no secret that Zynga’s stock has fallen far below its initial offering price. Lately, though, shares have seen two significant bumps–an 8 percent climb Monday and 10 percent climb on Feb 8. In both circumstances, it was the possible legalization of online gambling that drove the climbs.

Read more at Gamasutra

App Review: Panda Picnic

The match-three genre is a tired one, but you have to give the developers of Panda Picnic credit for finding a way to make it fun once again. By blending the random elements of a slot machine with the “match three of the same fruits” objective, and making it into a multiplayer experience, they’ve created something unique enough to turn heads.

The demand to log into Facebook, though, is very intrusive and for an app that simulates gambling, the app is very curiously (and obviously) tailored to children. From the music, to the graphics, to the name of the panda who sits at the top of the screen (Petey the Panda), it’s a page out of the “how to appeal to children” handbook. Adults will have fun with it, but there are a lot of lurking bad lessons and habits for kids.

Read more at Common Sense Media

Bet the FarmVille: How Facebook games are like casinos

Playing a game on Facebook from the comfort of your living room couldn’t be any further away from the loud, smoky casinos of Las Vegas or Atlantic City. But scratch that surface a little and you’ll find that, aside from the complimentary cocktails, the two are virtually identical.

Both are designed to keep you sitting there playing, unaware of the passing hours. Both attract millions of visitors per year.

And both rely heavily on a small percentage of those visitors to make up the majority of their income.

Read more at Yahoo! Games