Zynga Rolls Up Conduit Labs

Social gaming powerhouse Zynga has acquired yet another game development shop, this time Cambridge, Mass.-based Conduit Labs, it announced this morning. The deal, which will turn Conduit into Zynga’s Boston studio, was an all-stock transaction, according to Boston.com’s Scott Kirsner.

Social Gaming in 2009: Challenges and Opportunities

pet-society-by-playfishStartups associated with social gaming were all the funding rage in 2008. (Think SGN’s $15 million last May, for example, or the $17 million that went to Playfish in October.) And though executives with casual game startups recently told me they’re confident they’ll survive this recession, the challenges and opportunities for social games, which still primarily exist on major social networks, are considerably different. So what about the coming year worries and excites top execs in the social gaming space most? Read More about Social Gaming in 2009: Challenges and Opportunities

What Makes Gaming Social?

While it may temping to lump every game that has chat or a shared leaderboard under the social gaming umbrella, to do so muddies the water of a category that just may be the natural progression from social networking. It’s time to define what we mean by social gaming, so that we can better focus on the actual value we are creating for the players themselves — and avoid the trap of slapping a sparkly new phrase on any gaming startup that wanders onto the scene.