The Chicago Syndicate: Games
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Showing posts with label Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Games. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

L.A. Noire Official Game Guide

The official guide to the year's most revolutionary game.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mafia II Adds Three New Value Packed Editions

2K Games announced that the notorious mobsters Vito Scaletta and Joe Barbaro of the epic crime drama, Mafia II, are returning in three new value-packed editions of the epic crime drama: Mafia II Greatest Hits for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system; Mafia II Platinum Hits for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft; and Mafia II Director's Cut for PC.

Mafia II Greatest Hits and Mafia II Platinum Hits are currently available at select retailers for $29.99, and will become available at additional retailers worldwide throughout April. Mafia II Director's Cut for PC will become available in the coming months. Each includes the standalone game, plus the action-infused escapades of the previously released downloadable content, providing more than double the content of the original game. These editions mark the first time that Xbox 360 and PC players can experience The Betrayal of Jimmy, featuring intense arcade-style gameplay that keeps Jimmy driving, shooting and fighting throughout Empire Bay. All three value-added editions offer extended storylines, with different playable characters and leaderboard challenges, making them an offer that players can't refuse.

This pistol-packed period piece transports players to Empire Bay, a fully realized and immersive urban cityscape set in America during the 1940s and 1950s. The action unfolds with white-knuckled car chases, explosive gunplay, compelling characters and an engaging narrative set against a backdrop of meticulously detailed period environments that showcase the difference a decade can make in the evolution of music, fashion, advertising and automobiles.

All three editions will include:

  • The full edition of the gripping crime-drama, Mafia II, where Vito and his buddy, Joe, are making a name for themselves on the streets of Empire Bay, working their way up the Mafia family ladder with crimes of larger reward, status and consequence.
  • The Betrayal of Jimmy: Players take on Empire Bay through an alternate perspective of the mob through the eyes of Jimmy, a mercenary. Jimmy is the guy the other guys call when they need to finish the job. The Betrayal of Jimmy features dozens of intense arcade-style, city-based missions that keep Jimmy driving, shooting and rampaging through Empire Bay.
  • Jimmy's Vendetta: Once the mob's most effective ally, Jimmy is now its greatest enemy. Fueled by rage, Jimmy takes on Italian and Irish mobsters in a slew of unlockable city quests, including assassination and timed vehicle pursuits ending in dramatic shootouts.
  • Joe's Adventures: Play as Joe Barbaro as he rampages through Empire Bay in the wake of Vito Scaletta's prison sentence. Joe must uncover the traitor who betrayed Vito while overcoming the challenges of moving up the ranks in the mob.
  • Four Style Packs including Vegas, Renegade, Greaser and War Hero — each with two cars and two suits for in-game use.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Mafia Boss Game Beta 1.0 Now Open to All Players

While 2010 proved to be a stellar year for The Mafia Boss, the longest running online multiplayer mafia game, 2011 promises to be even better. The Mafia BossOver the next few months, exciting new features will be launched that both diehard fans and newbies will appreciate. The Mafia Boss' brand new Beta version has recently completed its testing phase and is now available to all players; they can log in to play the current ongoing rounds which are both "Public" and "Turbo" rounds. The beta can be easily accessed without having to create a new account or do multiple logins.

Larbi Belrhiti, Founder and Managing Director of Just Fun Softwares Ltd. which produces The Mafia Boss, knows 2011 is going to be the game's best year ever.

"Judging from how well the game did last year and what's in store for our players over the next few months, we know that 2011 will be an amazing year," Belrhiti said. "We ended last year, with 100,000 active players and 34,000 Facebook fans. Collectively, those players and fans have won about 55 million credits, made 16 million attacks, and earned over $94,000 in cash jackpots," he said.

The Mafia Boss Beta 1.0 also features a Protection Program, which was designed to protect new players from experienced looters on the platform. All new players that join the game actually start under the Protection Program.

"The new Protection Program enables players to learn the game quickly and stay protected from other players' attacks," said Santosh Kumar, Marketing Manager, Just Fun Softwares Ltd. "It's a great feature that will help people build up their Mafioso skills and remain in the game longer; this is an essential step on a player's path towards worldwide domination as a mafia don!"

The Protection Program Breakdown
The Mafia Boss Protection Program will buffer new players from the cruel Mafioso underworld so they can get up to speed. Once they've learned the ropes, however, the game's a crime spree free-for-all.

Here are the specifics of the Protection Program:

  • During a hit, players can't get attached or attack other players
  • At the bank players can't transfer money or receive transfers
  • Players aren't allowed to travel to another city
  • Players aren't ranked
  • Player can't use more than 5,000 turns in total scouting
  • Player can't use more than 5,000 turns in total collecting
  • Player can't use more than 5,000 turns in total producing

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Tips to Master Mafia Wars

Mafia Wars is a massive multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) in which millions of players build their own “mafia family” online and take over the online mafia world and other mafia families. However, getting good at the game can be extremely hard if a player does not have some sort of strategy or plan. Mafia Wars mastery can definitely be achieved, but it will take some time and effort to build up your mafia family and accumulate sufficient items. Before we go into the Mafia Wars mastery tips, let’s first discuss how you can set up an account so you can start playing.

Mafia Wars can be played on either MySpace or Facebook – you choose which one you’d like. Just go to their games section and search for Mafia Wars. Creating an account is self-explanatory and very simple, so just follow the instructions on the screen when you get there.

Now that you have your account set up, let’s talk about some Mafia Wars mastery tips. One of the most crucial steps when playing Mafia Wars is to use the cheat codes. No, this is not considered cheating; the game actually has a built-in option if you’d like to use cheat codes. The best-of-the-best are all using the cheat codes option, so if you want to be able to compete, you’d better use it too! There are lots of places online that have cheat codes, but the link below will guide you to all the cheat codes you need.

Another crucial aspect in Mafia Wars mastery is recruiting other members into your mafia family. This step is overlooked too often, which is why these people end up being bad players. The more mafia family members you have under you, the more power you have, the more money you can make, the more items you can buy, and the more other Mafia Wars players you can beat.

There are two common strategies that many Mafia Wars players use. One is saving all your money, and the other is spending it all. There are obviously benefits and drawbacks of each, but you will actually build your mafia family quicker and more easily if you accumulate just enough money to step up your items to the next level. Don’t try to save millions of dollars to go from having one car to 50 cars. Rather, accumulate goods gradually throughout the game. Just as a solid house is build brick-by-brick, your Mafia Wars family should be build slowly but surely.

The two key aspects of Mafia Wars mastery is in recruiting and in using the cheat codes.

Thanks to Tony McGuiagano

Monday, July 05, 2010

Agatha Christie 4:50 From Paddington

iWin, Inc.
Pack your bags . . . for murder. Join Agatha Christie's famed sleuth, Miss Marple, in this classic "whodunit". Uncover clues, solve perplexing puzzles and unmask the murderer before it's too late. All aboard!
Play Agatha Christie 4:50 From Paddington Free!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Vintage Playboy Covers and Centerfolds to be Featured in MAFIA II

Ah, the 1950s -- an era when Elvis Presley ruled the radio waves, Senator Joseph McCarthy helped fuel Cold War paranoia, and the internet hadn't yet made Playboy magazine totally irrelevant. That's precisely the point in American history that 2K Games hopes to capture with Mafia II, and they're partnering with Playboy to help lend a little authenticity to the game's '50s mobster atmosphere.

The licensing deal allows developer 2K Czech to place more than 50 vintage covers and centerfolds from the magazine's early history throughout the world of Mafia II. According to the announcement, players will be able to collect these in-game copies of Playboy magazine as they progress through the game.

"For more than 55 years, Playboy has been a part of America's pop culture landscape, engaging its readers with insightful features, interviews, and fashion spreads, as well as pictorials of some of the world's most beautiful women,? reads a statement from Playboy magazine editorial director Jimmy Jellinek. "Mafia II is set when Playboy first came into vogue and features characters whose style and attitudes mirror content from our early issues. We're excited to bring an element of authenticity to the game that is unmatched in the men's publishing category."

Mafia II is currently scheduled for release sometime between August and the end of October this year.

Thanks to Dustin Quillen

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mafia II to set New Benchmark for Sandbox Gaming

2K Games has revealed its open world setting for Mafia II will set a new benchmark for sandbox gaming.

Mafia II to set New Benchmark for Sandbox Gaming

In an interview with IncGamers, the game’s senior producer Denby Grace emphasised that as well as having a strong narrative, on a technical level, Mafia II will stand out from the competition.

“As well as the story, the level of detail and realization of the world really is an amazing technical achievement for the team here at 2K Czech,” said Grace.

“No other open world city comes close with the texture quality, attention to detail and destructibility of our environments.”

Thanks to Andy Alderson

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mafia II Pin-Up Girl Calendar Contest

Mafia II Pin-Up Girl Calendar Contest
In support of their upcoming title, Mafia II, game publisher 2K Games has dropped a limited edition pin-girl calendar, and Baller Status has a couple to give away. The calendars feature pictures of era-based models that are seasonal to each month, and are a fun addition to any office desk or work station.

There will be two winners chosen for the new calendar. All you have to do to enter is fill out the contest form here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Public Enemies on Mafia Wars

To help promote the Dec. 8 DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of Public Enemies, Universal Studios Home Entertainment teamed with Zynga for a cross-promotion with its online Mafia Wars game.

Mafia Wars is a role-playing game accessed through social media sites such as Facebook that lets users run their own crime family, participate in various crimes and steal loot. In early December Mafia Wars staged “Public Enemies Week,” helping to promote the gangster flick with special jobs and loot objects based on the film’s plot.

The campaign, led by appssavvy, a direct sales team for the social media space, in partnership with the Los Angeles office of Ignited, a marketing innovations agency working on behalf of Universal, was touted as the first such promotion of its kind. Mafia Wars is played by more than 25 million Facebook users.

“Public Enemies on Mafia Wars is the blockbuster social media campaign of 2009,” said Chris Cunningham, co-founder and CEO of appssavvy. “The foundation of every campaign we’re involved with is focused on relevance and delivering something the end user will find valuable. This effort with Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Zynga demonstrated these fundamentals of social media marketing to perfection.”

Zynga reported Public Enemies Loot garnered nearly 55 million interactions during the week-long campaign, and tie-ins to Public Enemies activities within the game were posted to players’ Facebook news feeds more than 7.6 million times, delivering nearly a billion viral impressions. The campaign generated nearly 25,000 ‘Likes’ and more than 26,000 comments on the Mafia Wars Facebook fan page.

“Even John Dillinger would be impressed with the scope and success of this effort,” said Mike Wokosin, VP of digital marketing for USHE. “Mafia Wars was an incredibly dynamic environment to seamlessly integrate our property and to effectively engage a significant and relevant audience.”

Thanks to John Latchem

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mafia Wars Changes on Facebook

In case you've been taking a hiatus from your FarmVille, Mafia Wars, etc. over the holiday, you're going to notice some changes when you resume your regular Facebook gaming schedule.

The biggest difference? You might have problems sending in-game gifts to friends. However, it's not a problem at all, rather the result of Facebook setting limits on how many people you can send gifts to per game, plus an overall limit on gifting per day.

A Zynga rep had this to say about the changes, "Unfortunately since we do not control these changes we cannot provide "exact" details as there is no exact science as to how many requests you will be able to send on a per game/per day basis."

Of course, considering the millions of people who play these games (and send gifts), we're sure all of that activity taxes Facebook's backend resources, so we can understand why the social network decided to lay down the law.

Thanks to Libe Goad

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mafia Wars is Profitable

At least one company is making money off of social networking. The game developer behind 'FarmVille' and 'Mafia Wars' has seen its web-based games take off – and deliver profits.

On any given day 500,000 tractors are sold on the Internet. But don't start buying stock in John Deere or Caterpillar just yet. These are $20 "virtual" tractors that belong to the 50 million players of FarmVille, the largest and fastest-growing social game on the Internet.

Social games are free online applications accessed through sites such as MySpace and Facebook. If you've spent any time on either site you're probably familiar with titles such as FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and Caf World. All three games, which rank among the top five games played daily on Facebook, were developed by San Francisco-based Zynga, one of the tech sector's most talked-about companies these days.

Behind the buzz: Annual revenue at the two-year-old firm is likely to surpass $100 million this year, prompting speculation that the company — backed by the likes of LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and PayPal cofounder-turned-investor Peter Thiel — will soon go public. The software company also has managed to do something that other hot online brands such as Twitter and Facebook have not: Zynga has found a way to make social networking profitable.

Zynga was founded in 2007 by Mark Pincus, 43, who also started social-networking site and software company SupportSoft (SPRT), which eventually went public. (The name Zynga is a misspelled tribute to his deceased American bulldog, Zinga.) While many of his Web 3.0 peers rely on advertising and sponsorship for revenue, Pincus makes its money by getting gamers to buy virtual goods, like tractor fuel or land in the case of FarmVille, that enable players to build bigger farms at a faster rate.

By developing games on social networks, Zynga is able to capitalize on the viral nature of the platform. (Zynga estimates it has 70 million monthly unique visitors.) Gamers can invite friends to join them in the game, and they can send updates on their progress to their friends, stoking interest.

Once hooked, Pincus says, players spend real money on virtual goods to help them advance to higher levels — thereby enriching Zynga. And although playing requires only short spurts of time, the game never ends, as Zynga's designers keep adding levels so that players come back for more.

"For me it's just relaxing and fun. I don't have to think hard about it, and I can do it while watching TV," explains Lauren Kohn, 37, a mother of three in San Jose who has spent more than $100 on virtual goods since she started playing FarmVille four months ago.

Pincus won't reveal his margins, but he acknowledges that the company has been profitable every month since September 2007.

By contrast, Twitter doesn't even have meaningful sales, and Facebook only recently claimed to be cash-flow positive. And if online reports are to be believed, Zynga spends millions each year marketing itself on Facebook, thereby providing the social-networking site with a chunk of its revenue. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

Thanks to Jessica Shambora

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mobsters on MySpace is Expanding to iPhone

The number one social game on MySpace is getting an iPhone app, as Mountain View-based Playdom announces Mobsters for iPhone.

Most significantly, the company tells Gamasutra that its 13.5 million users can now play the game on either MySpace or iPhone seamlessly. This brings the company into more direct competition with social gaming rivals like Zynga, operator of rival title Mafia Wars.

Further, existing players of Mobsters on MySpace will be able to transition their progress to the iPhone version at launch. But the company also tells us that it's adjusted gameplay in the iPhone version to account for the fact that the platform's less viral, and to allow those introduced to Mobsters via iPhone to still participate on the same level.

"For the pure iPhone players discovering the game for the first time, it’s a bigger game," Playdom product director Jesse Janosov says. "It's more content and more dynamic."

As more social game companies begin migrating and extending their content to the iPhone, it's sure to add a new dimension to the social gaming phenomenon.

Thanks to Leigh Alexander

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

One Year Anniversary of World Wide Mafia Wars

Zynga, the largest developer of social games, announced the one year anniversary of social gaming’s most popular crime-based game, Mafia Wars. Since its launch in June 2008, Mafia Wars has grown to more than four million daily active users; in the last three months, alone, the game has doubled the number of daily players.

In celebration of Mafia Wars’ one year anniversary, Zynga also launched Cuba, an entirely new destination, and extends the amount of time players can enjoy Mafia Wars. Players who have reached the rank of “Consigliere” (level 35) can leave New York City and cross the Cuban border which has been outside the reach of the Mafia’s influence for almost 50 years. Now with Cuba as a destination, players can expand their influence and increase their power with new loot, weapons, businesses, collections and achievements. Cuba offers more than 100 levels of additional jobs, items, a unique property system, and opens up a wealth of new opportunities including:

* 40+ new jobs to carry out
* 52 brand new weapons, armor and vehicles
* Four businesses that can be purchased and upgraded

“Mafia Wars is on its way to becoming a cult classic,” said Bill Mooney, executive producer, MMO Studios, Zynga. “We have the most dedicated and loyal players who have made the game a hit and we want to thank them by extending the game in a dynamic destination that makes the game unique and challenging.”

The Mafia Wars franchise has reached key milestones during its first year. The iPhone version which launched in April contains rich, high-quality graphics and interface including original animations and sounds, creating a fun and addictive gaming experience. Mafia Wars was also recently voted Best Game of the Year in the Webby People’s Voice Awards where more than 50,000 votes were cast by people around the world for their favorite sites, video, and ads. Additionally, Mafia Wars has garnered over two million fans on its Facebook Page making it the highest ranked page.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, Taken Over by The Mob

Not so long ago, the faces of gaming on social networks were those of zombies, vampires, and cuddly virtual pets. Now it's more along the lines of Michael Corleone or Tony Soprano.

You've probably seen it in your news feed: From Facebook to MySpace and now Twitter, Mafia-themed games have more or less taken over. Mobsters, a game created by development company Playdom, is the most popular application on MySpace's platform. Mafia Wars, owned by Zynga, is a huge hit on Facebook. The Social Gaming Network has an iPhone app called Mafia: Respect and Retaliation. And earlier this month, a Twitter-based game called 140 Mafia launched. The craze appears to have started with a Facebook app called Mob Wars, which was built by a smaller company called Psycho Monkey.

The premises of most of these games are the same. You can found or join a "mob" with friends from the social network that the game has been built on. You can carry out missions, including "killing" other players in rival mobs, in order to earn points. Your activities are broadcast, via news feeds or Twitter posts, to your friends on the network in question.

With the mobster gaming craze, social-network developers may have found the secret to bringing multiplayer role-playing games--long the lucrative domain of ultrageeks--fully into the mainstream. They can build elaborate role-playing scenarios with points, levels, teams, and weapons, but without the nerdy stigma that's become attached to fantasy-themed games in the vein of World of Warcraft. (A 2006 episode of the Comedy Central cartoon "South Park" summed this up well.)

"A lot of the core architecture is very similar to role-playing games in the past, in the way that levels and achievements and so forth are often themed around the certain topic but are pretty generic, actually," said Justin Smith, who runs the blogs Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games. "When you compare a dragon game to a mob-based game, they're actually pretty much the same thing with different content."

"People just really like the crime genre," said Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga, which publishes Mafia Wars. The mobster game is currently the company's most popular app, with 15 million active users across social networks Facebook, MySpace, and Tagged. "GTA (Grand Theft Auto) and a lot of derivative games of GTA top the charts, and I think that it's more those games feel more culturally relevant to people than a lot of other games that go into other genres that are either historical or more fantasy. I think that people like fantasies that are closer to reality."

There's another side to it: Organized crime in the real world tends to be concerned with the illicit transfer of wealth in one form or another (drugs, laundered money, gambling, you name it). When you take the popular perception of the mobster lifestyle and transport it to a gaming environment, there are plenty of opportunities to bring money into the mix. Most of the Web's Mafia-themed role-playing games make money from display ads as well as the sale of virtual goods, and some make it possible to earn extra points and "level up" by completing offers and surveys. It's no secret that some social gaming companies are making a ton of money, but mobster games are a particularly lucrative enterprise.

"(It's about) climbing your way to the top, and the status, and the ego of being the biggest and the best and the toughest," said Jason Bailey, CEO and co-founder of Super Rewards, the company that has partnered with 140 Mafia to power its payment platform. In 140 Mafia, for example, players who want to speed up their "recovery" from a round of game play can petition to the "godfather" for a favor (and that'll cost them real money).

Plus, Bailey said, it gets personal: "It has that small violence factor as well, being able to feed on people and put them on the hit list. When somebody does that to you, when somebody kills your character...the rage that it conjures up in people is much much stronger and they're much more willing to retaliate than in a sports game or a racing-themed game."

As with any online sensation, though, the question remains: Is this just a fad? From film noir to "The Godfather" to "The Sopranos," mobster themes have a solid shelf life to them, but mobster games on social networks could easily fade from favor if something more exciting comes along. But the real lasting power, social gaming insiders said, is in the fact that Web development makes it possible to keep a game in a constant stage of evolution. Once these games hit critical mass--which Mafia games arguably have--it's easier to keep people around.

Short attention spans
They're also low-maintenance, said Dave Kahn, head product manager for Zynga's Mafia Wars.

"I would say the difference between what makes Mafia Wars more popular over time than your traditional console game or your traditional hardcore game is that you can have the same experience with five minutes of play and you can interact with your friends," Kahn said. "I would say a game like GTA or a game of that crime genre would be much more popular if you could interact with your friends on a daily basis, and it doesn't require much time investment for you and your friends to have that satisfactory interaction."

"You're able to come in and come out in short spurts. You can play for 30 seconds, you can play for five minutes," Jason Bailey said. "It's not like a first-person shooter or a real-time strategy game where, if the phone rings, you're going to get shot. It's really easy to come in and out of these games."

On the flip side, though, casual players who haven't put a massive time investment into a game are quite likely to be more fickle about whether they stick around or not. Time will tell when it comes to just how "sticky" mobster games turn out to be for players who aren't completely hardcore.

But beyond attention span issues, perhaps the biggest challenge to the creators of mobster games is that there are simply too many of them already, and the companies that make them have fallen into courtroom infighting that bears an ironic resemblance to actual mob warfare. There's an outstanding lawsuit between Zynga and Playdom, for example, over the latter's allegedly illegal use of the Mafia Wars name in advertising its own Mobsters game. And Mob Wars creator Psycho Monkey sued Zynga over copyright infringement in February.

"There's a variety of litigation that's still pending, and I think it just generally reflects the current culture of game development on social networks right now," Inside Social Games' Justin Smith said. "There's a lot of rapid iteration based on adapting other games and twisting them in a very slight way, and there haven't been many good examples of cases in which the IP has been successfully protected in the courts. So I think it will really be interesting in seeing how some of these cases play out over the next few months."

As we learned in the Scrabulous-Wordscraper-Lexulous affair last year, in which the manufacturer of board game Scrabble used litigation to force a Facebook-based imitator to change its name, intellectual property laws for games are complicated, and extremely similar games may legally coexist as long as they don't share a few key features. But it's not clear whether the mob wars over Mob Wars and its ilk will be without carnage.

"There's literally 20 or 30 mob-themed games on the Facebook and MySpace platforms, and that's conservative," Jason Bailey said. "If people find something that works, they copy it and copy it and copy it, ad nauseam."

The playing field for mobster games, as well as any other games on social networks that make money through virtual goods and transactions, could also change dramatically when social networks start introducing payment systems of their own. Facebook will start to do this soon, and it's also been circulated as a possible business model for Twitter. It's unclear what the rules will be in either case.

But Super Rewards' Jason Bailey--whose company will be a competitor to Facebook's in-house virtual currency platform, it should be said--thinks the dominance of mobster games won't change much if Facebook brings new rules to the applications on its platform. It may be too late for the massive social network to be the real kingpin when it comes to monetizing the likes of the mobster game craze.

"Facebook's issue, I believe, is it's hard to tack something like this on later...companies go out and spend millions of dollars building games for your platform," he said. Were Facebook to start requiring a cut of the revenues, "there would be literally a riot of people with torches at (CEO Mark) Zuckerberg's house tonight complaining about it."

Well, that's a whole different kind of mob.

Thanks to Caroline McCarthy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Twitter Given a Mafia Offer That it Can Refuse, For Now

A new Mafia video game has presented Twitter with an offer, but it's one that Twitter thinks it can refuse.

On Tuesday, a Twitter-based game called "140 Mafia" became the first to use "virtual currency" on the social networking site, providing a money-making platform that experts believe could fuel Twitter's success.

Designed by a company called Super Rewards, the virtual currency lets users pay for game-playing advantages. For instance, in the popular role-playing game "140 Mafia," players will now be able to visit a character named the Godfather to buy virtual health, money and ammunition with their real credit cards or bank accounts.

Although most virtual currency users pay $15 to $20 per transaction, some have paid thousands of dollars playing the original Facebook version, "Mob Wars," which debuted in March 2008, and immensely popular "Mafia Wars" sequel.

Super Rewards Chief Executive Jason Bailey said his company is currently on track to make close to $100 million in revenue this year through the games' success on Facebook and MySpace, as well as iPhone applications. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Twitter, and they can make a ton of money" said Bailey.

Apple takes a cut of its app sales. Social networks like Facebook and NewsCorp's MySpace use an advertising model to generate revenue -- driving up site traffic as gamers use more and more virtual currency.

Facebook began selling "Facebook credits" that game players can use for virtual currency, but many analysts say they came too late to the table to be successful.

Bailey believes that Twitter, which is new to the virtual currency frontier, could lay down Apple-like ground rules for future games and make a killing off of it. But, he added that, "Twitter seems content to not make money. It's all about eyeballs with them."

They're getting those eyeballs. Twitter is by far the fastest-growing social networking Web site. The site attracted 18.2 million unique visits last month, up 1,448% from a year ago, according to the latest data from Nielsen. Average time spent on the site increased 175% during that same time period.

Excitement about Twitter has grown rapidly in the past few weeks, as the social network has gotten a lot of free press amid its role in broadcasting the post-election Iranian protests. Iran's tight restrictions on outside news coverage of the protests have led the global media to turn to protesters' 140-character "tweets" to find out what is happening on the ground.

Twitter continues to turn down opportunities to make money off of its popular Web site. It has no advertising. It allows third-party developers to use the social network's platform to make games and applications, but it doesn't charge those companies a fee. And it doesn't seem interested in revenue sharing with virtual currency companies either.

Many analysts believe that the company taking a Google-like path, generating millions of users as it figures out its business model. Google, which some believe is a prime candidate to buy Twitter, was popular for many years before it figured out the key to online advertising.

"Twitter absolutely wants to have a long-term sustainable business once they find their business model," said Ray Valdes, social network analyst at Gartner.

Others wonder if Twitter is becoming the Craigslist of social networks. Craigslist is an online classified Web site that famously does not monetize its business.

"I don't know who puts hippies in charge of these companies," said Bailey, who noted that he has begun making far more money with Twitter than Twitter itself.

Twitter not budging. Twitter appears to be content where it is.

Though the company declined to comment for this story, co-founder Biz Stone has previously said publicly that Twitter does not need to generate revenue for the time-being, since it has still yet to blow through the more than $50 billion it has raised from venture capitalists.

"They are passing by the pennies on the path for the real dollars further down the road," said Valdes. "As long as they provide opportunities for others to have an ongoing engagement with Twitter users, they can monetize later."

Valdes said Twitter is getting buyout offers from several companies for close to $1 billion. But he does not believe Twitter is interested in selling quite yet. Instead, Valdes said Twitter will likely take advantage of its unique position in the social networking world, as a kind of live-updating news service for millions of followers, as highlighted by the Iran protests.

Experts are mixed on how the company's business model will eventually pan out, but most say virtual currency and charging users to follow certain content could likely be a part of that.

"Twitter is a new kind of broadcasting, with millions of people listening in real time on their cell phones and computers," said Valdes. "There's money to be made on all sides of Twitter interactions."

Thanks to David Goldman

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mafia Wars Are Addictive on Facebook

A simple concept game, Mafia Wars courtesy of Zynga encourages mafia families to form. With a strong mafia family, fights are easier to win. With an energy meter, the players accomplish jobs to work their way up. Both earn money, before long property ownership comes to play to earn even more money. And that is Mafia Wars on a basic level.

Addiction comes from wanting to beat anyone deemed weaker to gain experience points, level up or simply get more money.

The catch about Mafia Wars is everything is based on a timer. Whether it's the energy, health or stamina meter, time is of the essence. A key characteristic to the game is patience. To monetize the game, developers offer a way to buy points to refill meters but it'll cost at a minimum $5. Gotcha! It also encourages interaction with strangers which is the point of social networks.

For some the game may have gone stagnant. Leveling up and mafia domination can get old. To spice up the game, developers recently started to beta test a change in setting: Cuba. While it isn't available to everyone, select few have been racking up more jobs and exploring the new aspect of the game.

Personally, the fun of the game is finishing jobs with fun names like: Run a Biker Gang Out of Town, Flip a Snitch or Recruit a Rival Crew Member. The other upside is seeking revenge on other mafia dons who attack me. Revenge can be done as an attack, sucker punch or adding them to the hit list.

While the jobs can sound gruesome and exploit the mystery of mafia life, it's all text. Unlike console video games there are no moving parts to the game. Stealing an Air Freight Delivery is simply a click. There is no video that comes with it. The game relies on imagination to fill in the action.

Thanks to Tracy Yen

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Mafia 2 to Get an Opposite?

Wondering what Rockstar's new PlayStation 3 Exclusive, Agent is? Well, there's a rumor running around the internet saying that the game will be 'the opposite of Mafia 2 (Which is set to hit our screens this year). Eventhough Mafia 2 will be set in the 1940's/1950s and Agent will be set in the 1970's

So at the moment it does look like you will be playing an undercover agent killing crime down in one city or another.

This is all just speculation for the moment. So don't get too excited and we will bring you all the info on Agent as soon as we get it.

Thanks to mjolliffe

Friday, June 05, 2009

Omerta Mafia Game to Release Version 3

Omerta, a text-based MMOG about the Mafia in existence since 2003, is set to launch its newest version, and brings a host of player-requested improvements with it.

The Godfather and Mafia games might let you live out your dreams of being a hard-nosed mobster in the golden age of American organized crime in 3D, but sometimes words speak louder than polygons. For that you might want to turn to Omerta, a free-to-play text-based MMOG that takes place in the 1930's Mafia world. The game, which commands a healthy playerbase of over 3.5 million folks, has been around since 2003 and is set to launch its newest iteration, version 3.

Omerta sounds like a pretty thorough simulation of the mobster life, beyond the more action-packed aspects like riding in nice cars and shooting people with old-timey guns. Here you progress by "stealing and racketeering, by robbing banks and racing cars together with other players and eventually banding together to form Mafia families."

For the newest version of the game, Omerta's developers are responding to fan demand by implementing oft-requested features, like the ability to hire bodyguards (you get your pick of different muscle with different personalities) and alleviating the grind of having to rebuild your empire from scratch after you get knocked off the top by making it so that same aforementioned bodyguard takes your place.

"The launch of version 3 is a huge milestone in Omerta's history," said CEO Steve Biddick. "We've been doing this for nearly five years now and by listening to the player community and discussion of their suggestions, we are confident that we are presenting the players with what they want - of course, they designed most of these features themselves!"

Omerta version 3.0 will be available sometime in the next month.

Thanks to Keane Ng


Affliction Sale

Flash Mafia Book Sales!