We are thrilled to announce that Macon Money has won the FutureEverything award for outstanding innovation in art, society and technology! Congratulations to the Knight Foundation and many thanks to the people of Macon for making this game a huge success!!!
For the first time in years, Drop7 is available for free on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad! Thanks to Zynga, your friends have one less reason to not play Drop7!
Current players can get the upgraded version of Drop7 by Zynga with high-resolution graphics for free! Just update your Drop7 App in the App Store and select “Yes please!” on the message prompt to complete the upgrade. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity for high-resolution graphics and continued support!
We are excited to announce that, as of today, the Area/Code team will be joining Zynga. Area/Code Games is now Zynga New York.
With a new name, the company will be in the same place, with the same amazing team we’ve built up over the years. Frank Lantz and Demetri Detsaridis remain on as Creative Director and General Manager, respectively; co-founder Kevin Slavin remains nearby but focused on other new ventures.
Zynga is the undisputed leader of an industry in the midst of an important transition. Social games have demonstrated massive popularity and commercial success even as they are still developing; Area/Code’s ideas, passion and experience will now participate in that development.
For almost six years, Area/Code has been inventing new ways to play. From the earliest days in a tiny downtown office, we’ve been experimenting with novel combinations of technology and media, creating games that overlap with the real world in surprising ways. Area/Code began 18 months before the Wii hit the shelves, a few years before the first social game on Facebook, years before a phone with an App Store attached to it. Every time a new mode of interaction emerged – whether it was cameraphones, GPS, broadcast co-viewing, or the Facebook API – we took every opportunity to use what we found to push the boundaries of where we play, when we play, and who we play with.
While we were working hard, so was everyone else; the “videogame industry” bears little resemblance to what it looked like when we started. The way to get a game in the hands of a million people years ago is quite different from today’s landscape of 600 million Facebook users.
This is the number one reason the studio is evolving: we want to make great games on a large scale. Our ambition is to contribute in a major way to the evolution of games on social networks, to make games in this space that are deeper and more interesting, games that reward the time and attention of the millions of people who play them with complex, meaningful experiences. We believe our best shot at doing this is working with Zynga, the biggest, most successful company in this space.
Zynga is smart. They know you can’t just optimize on what stands, that you also have to push forward and explore new ideas. That’s an exciting business to be in.
The future of social games is a vast territory filled with unexplored potential. Six years after we started from nothing, we are just as ready to roll up our sleeves, step into the center of the storm, and discover how to make great games for the most people on the biggest platform in the world.
There are, of course, many people we would like to thank for helping us get here, but we would especially like to express our gratitude to our advisors at Creative Artists Agency and Evolution Media Capital.
We are excited that Inside Social Games included CSI: Crime City in their list of the best facebook games of 2010, citing its “overall high level of polish” and “meaningful social play.” But that’s not all…
Macon Money is one of the top 5 Social Impact Games of 2010! Thank you to everyone who supported our game with nominations and votes. We’re flattered and grateful. Check out the post and the other winners here.
Check out this video about Area/Code and Kati London. It’s part of Fast Company’s video series that highlights young innovators and their work. Kati discusses how curiosity is a driving force behind the wide variety of games Area/Code develops.
In the spirit of the holidays, Area/Code’s Drop7 is participating in the Indie iPhone Holiday Sale. One third of all proceeds will be donated to Child’s Play Charity, an organization that helps bring games and toys to hospitalized children!
“Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over 7 million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception. When gamers give back, it makes a difference!”
We’re happy to report that Aki Järvinen, Lead Social Designer at Digital Chocolate, is a Drop7 fan. He has declared Drop7 to be one of the 5 best mobile games ever, thanks to its “beautifully harmonious yet addictive gameplay.”
Discussing Area/Code’s work, Kati London explains, “Games are stylized systems of social interaction that incentivize engagement and behavior. That potentially makes them great engines for influencing and producing behavior change.”
Be sure to tune in to see Kati’s presentation at the Web 2.0 Expo tomorrow. Her presentation, “Games that Know Where you Live,” is one of the featured presentations during the 4 day long NY Expo. Kati takes the stage at 4:55PM EST. Login and watch it live here.
Earlier today, the Knight Foundation announced their support for Area/Code to develop real-world games for Macon, GA and Biloxi, MS. These games are designed to help residents build community and prepare for disasters, respectively.
Area/Code is delighted to be working with the Knight Foundation on these new forms of civic engagement. These efforts are the result of the Knight Foundation’s vision and commitment to the future of local communities.
Trabian Shorters (VP of Communities, Knight Foundation) has an insightful blog post that gives additional context for this ambitious endeavor.
While Area/Code gets ready to announce its next big Facebook title – hold your breath – check out Power Planets, launched for the Science Channel in conjunction with the broadcast of its TV series Powering the Future. Control the fate of your own miniature planet…but keep your eyes on the prize; every few days a “handoff” takes place, and everyone’s planet is given to someone else! Will you stick your best friend with a polluted nightmare or take over a stranger’s well-tuned point machine? Get ready and get started here
“This late in the day, the internet hardly needs another article about how good Drop7 is. Yes, it’s certainly the greatest thing to ever emerge from an ARG; yes, it’s probably the best game on the iPhone; yes, it’s possibly the finest puzzler since Alexey Pajitnov started hacking around on a computer back at the Soviet Academy of Sciences.”
“It’s not just that it’s sparse but attractive, either, or that the true ramifications of the game mechanics unfold in devilish interlocking spirals of understanding. It’s more about the social side – the way you evangelise Drop7 to other people. There’s always a sense, as with Tetris, that you’re not teaching friends the rules to a new game so much as training them to do something they’re going to spend quite a lot of the rest of their lives doing.”
Look what we just noticed! Way back in April 2009, the sun published an article comparing Drop7 to Tetris and calling it “a modern classic” and “nothing short of essential”. It is never too late to recognize such an observant piece of journalism…
Kingdom Keepers Online, developed for Disney’s Hyperion Books and based on novels by Ridley Pearson, is our new massively single-player game with procedurally generated levels. Play it at http://www.thekingdomkeepers.com/
Area/Code is proud to announce that our first iPhone game Drop7 is available in the app store. Drop7 gives a smart, quirky number-logic twist to the simple drop and break mechanics of a classic puzzle game.
Area/Code quietly cleans up at the PMA awards, awarded 4 Reggies for our work with A&E Networks, including two Gold for the Sopranos Connection (best Digital, best National Consumer Campaign) and Bronze for the use of our Media Res servers with Southwest Airlines
At DLD 08, Kevin moderates on “Digital Gets Physical”, together with Julian Bleecker, Neri Oxman, Ohad Eder-Pressman and Area/Code’s own Kati London. Beyond her work with Area/Code, Kati presents a case study on Botanicalls.
Area/Code is invited to take place in the State of Play workshop led by Clay Shirky. In a group that included Danah Boyd, Tom Coates, Eric Zimmerman, Ben Hammersley, and 20 other brilliant minds, we brainstorm ways that technology could help groups achieve collective action.
Area/Code takes part in Ubicomp 2005, contributing to both the Julian Bleecker / Ian Smith workshop, Ubiquitous Computing, Entertainment, and Games, and Eric Paulos’ workshop, Metapolis and Urban Life. We also launch SuperStar, a Tokyo Big Game designed to conicide with the conference.
Together with Jan Abrams, Michael Bierut, Steven Johnson, Dana Spiegel, Kadambari Baxi, Katie Salen, Jane Harrison, and Benjamin Aranda, Area/Code is part of a roundtable discussion on The Mobile City, for the Van Alen Institute.