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Microsoft brings social games to Bing

By Alec Meer

Fri 17 Dec 2010 3:20pm GMT / 10:20am EST / 7:20am PST

Microsoft integrates optional sign-in version of Crowdstar title

Microsoft has announced places to bring CrowdStar's popular social game Happy Island to its Bing search platform.

While Microsoft hosts social games on a number of its services, this is the first to be built into its latest search engine. In addition, users will be able to play the game's first few levels without being required to sign in - which is touted as something of a first for social games.

Facebook Connect logins are available however, opening up microtransactions. Happy Island is built around Sibblingz social gaming development platform, with is purported to offer rapid release of social titles.

"Partnering with Microsoft to bring the first social gaming title to Bing opens up some very exciting opportunities for Sibblingz and the social gaming industry," said Ben Savage, founder of Sibblingz. "With this partnership, we're really thinking outside the Facebook canvas."

Crowdstar are releasing an update to the title (including its Facebook version) which will introduce a new minigame based around Bing's search function.

"Crowdstar and Sibblingz have shown amazing agility with taking an idea from concept to reality in record time" said Parri Munsell, executive producer of Gaming on Bing at Microsoft.

"Microsoft is excited to have Happy Island as the first social game available directly on Bing. We believe this launch brings several important innovations to the social gaming industry, starting with the ability to experience great game play before being required to sign in.

"Additionally, the search integrated mini game introduces a fun and exciting way to experience the power of Bing search right inside of the game."

Zuma's Revenge and Bubble Town also appear to be due for a Bing release in the near future.

Comscore reports place Bing as the third-biggest search engine at present, pulling in 1.9 billion searches over November, compared to Google's 10.6 billion and Yahoo's 2.6 billion.

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