Social News Wrap: Real-life Mafia Wars and Zynga's 'f*&# the users' methods

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social gaming news wrap
This was a big week for Facebook games and social gaming. All of our games were flooded with leprechauns, green clovers and various pots of gold for St. Patrick's Day and we finally got a sneak peek at those FarmVille dogs we've been hearing about for eons. Outside of the game, however, it was a big news week as well -- mostly building on the over-arching premise that, 'Hey, Facebook gaming is blowing up!' See the can't-miss headlines from this week:

Real Mafia Wars: Mafia Kingpen caught thanks to Facebook addiction
You know Mafia Wars on Facebook, right? In a twist of irony, a real life mafia kingpin was busted due to his Facebook addiction. His Facebook nom de plume? Scarface. Way to be discreet, genius. [via BBC News]

ScamVille strikes again ... on iPhone
Looks like Offerpal is at it again, this time serving up scammy direct marketing ads to iPhone gamers, including "SMS-subscription offers, which trick users into putting long term subscriptions on their mobile phones." Remember: if something sounds too good, it probably is. [via TechCrunch]

Zynga has an 'F*ck the users approach' to game development

In a rant about social games, David Hayward from Pixel-Lab drops the f-bomb when he describes how Zynga approaches game making, i.e. "extract revenue and multiply users in every way possible." Ouch. [via Pixel-Love]

Seven features that should be in every social game
An article from Social Times which offers some decent suggestions on how to improve social games -- like leaderboards, challenges and, well, the rest -- you'll have to see for yourself. [via Social Times]

Facebook more popular than Google; Zynga Pay Pal's Second Largest Customer, Behind eBay

Last week, Facebook was actually more popular than Google and Zynga is PayPal's second largest customer after Ebay, which actually owns PayPal. Meaning? People like to hang out with friends online and they like to play social games -- not exactly a newsflash to those of us in the know. [Via Inside Social Games, Business Insider]

Playdom lays $5 million on social games start-up, Metro Games
Playdom, which recently launched Social City, is expanding its horizons by investing $5 million in a company called MetroGames, after buying Offbeat Creations a few week ago. Note: if you're a social gaming startup looking for cash, be sure to give Playdom a call. [Via Virtual Goods News]
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