Shrek meets FarmVille as Katzenberg joins Zynga board

Hollywood and social games are forging an alliance as both pursue wider audiences. The latest link between the two is Zynga’s  appointment of DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katezenberg to its board of directors.

Lady Gaga donates $1.5M to Zynga’s Japan quake relief campaign

Lady Gaga made news in Silicon Valley last week by visiting Google and Twitter’s headquarters. Now she’s donating $1.5 million to Japan earthquake relief via Zynga’s funding campaign in its various social games. Part of that money is also separately going to the American Red Cross.

Do women play more games than men?

Women now play games more than men, according to a report by mobile app analytics provider Flurry. At least that’s true in the realm of mobile and mobile social games, where the likes of Zynga’s FarmVille and Popcap’s Plants vs. Zombies are at the forefront.

Richard Garriott: My plan to beat FarmVille and CityVille (video)

Richard Garriott is known as a video-game pioneer, an undersea diver and an astronaut. Now he wants to outdo Zynga, the creator of FarmVille and CItyVille, in social games. His new game company, Portalarium, will debut its first major game in a month.

Zynga’s CityVille grows to 100 million users in 43 days

Zynga keeps making history with CityVille, the fastest-growing game of all time. Today, the Facebook game broke another record as it reached 100 million users, just 43 days after its launch on Dec. 2.

Zynga’s CityVille becomes the biggest-ever app on Facebook

Who would have thought that a simple city simulation would become the biggest-ever app on Facebook, eclipsing FarmVille? Zynga’s CityVille game crossed 84.2 million monthly active users over the weekend, beating Zynga’s FarmVille, which peaked at 83.76 million users in March, 2010, according to market analyst AppData.

FarmVille co-creator working on stealthy startup BetterWorks

Is your job about to get a lot more addictive? Maybe — Sizhao Yang, one of the original team members behind insanely popular Facebook game FarmVille, is working on a new startup called BetterWorks that wants to create “rewarding work environments.”

CityVille could surpass FarmVille’s 56M users in a few days

After just 18 days, Zynga’s CityVille social game has soared to more than 47.9 million monthly active users. At its current growth rate, CityVille could surpass FarmVille, currently the largest social game at 56.3 million monthly users, in a matter of three days or so.

Fastest-growing game in history: Zynga’s CityVille hits 26M players in 12 days

Zynga’s CityVille has become the fastest-growing game in history. And based on an interview with a key Zynga executive, that isn’t an accident. The company has all but figured out how to turn its game launches into a science, and that helps them spread to increasingly large audiences on Facebook.

Zynga launches rewards program with Citi

Finding a new way to make money, social game firm Zynga is announcing an alliance with Citi where it will make a line of exclusive game items available for Citi cardholders to purchase with their rewards program points.

Call of Duty Black Ops multiplayer blows away other video games on engagement

When a video game like Call of Duty Black Ops debuts, it’s hard to measure its true impact. The latest installment of the modern combat game series has sold more than 5.6 million copies and could very well top 20 million units sold by the end of January or so. With the game selling at $60 each or more, those unit sales generated revenues of $360 million on the first day and could yield $1.2 billion in revenues in the first three months.

Zynga has its best launch ever with CityVille social game

Zynga said today that it had its best social game launch ever with the debut of CityVille last week. In its first 24 hours, more than 290,000 people played the city-building simulation game on Facebook.

The secrets behind Zynga’s success in social gaming (video)

Zynga has become the biggest social gaming company with its Facebook-based games such as FarmVille. Yesterday, 33 million gamers logged into Zynga games. Overall, 215 million log in each month. Those are incredible numbers that game companies could only dream about a few years ago. How does the company do it? What are its secrets?

Zynga’s data-junkie leaders aim to improve game design for hit social games

Social game publisher Zynga has become the fastest-growing startup in the valley in part because it is run by “data junkies” who measure every click in every game. At the same time, Zynga is paying more attention to the long-term efforts of its veteran game designers, who have developed an intuition about what games will be popular.

Zynga CTO: We turn on 1,000 new servers a week for FarmVille and other games

Each day, Facebook game developer and FarmVille creator Zynga delivers about a petabyte of data — that’s 1 million gigabytes, or more than six Libraries of Congress — for its array of social games, chief technology officer Cadir Lee said at the Oracle OpenWorld  2010 conference in San Francisco today.

FarmVille maker Zynga could unveil SoftBank deal in Japan this week

Talk about big in Japan! Zynga, the maker of FarmVille and other popular social games, is nearing an announcement of its alliance with Japan’s SoftBank, which plans to invest around $147 million into Zynga and its Japanese subsidiary.

FarmVille makes its way to the App Store for iPhone 4 debut

FarmVille, the obsession of millions of Facebook users, has finally made its way to Apple’s App Store, just in time for the Thursday debut of the iPhone 4. The biggest game in the world is now available for purchase and can be used with Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad devices.

Zynga’s social gaming phenomenon, FarmVille, coming to iPhones

Zynga is the biggest success story to come out of the new wave of social game companies, bu it has been curiously absent from one of the hottest new game platforms — the iPhone. That’s changing today with chief executive Mark Pincus’ announcement that Zynga is releasing FarmVille for iPhone.