News Trademarks Video Games

Crowdstar working on next unannounced game called Modern Girl [UPDATED]

Modern Girl by Crowdstar

[UPDATED:. Crowdstar released Modern Girl on March 6, 2012.]


Original story:

Mobile social gaming company Crowdstar appears to be working on its next iOS “Girl” game called Modern Girl.

In a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on February 6, 2012, Crowdstar Inc. filed to trademark “Modern Girl by Crowdstar”.

The goods and services covered in the trademark filing (Serial Number: 85534912) include:

Downloadable computer game software for use on wireless devices and computers; computer-game software, video game software, and computer game application software; interactive-video-game programs; electronic game software and electronic game application software that may be accessed via the Internet, computers and wireless devices; computer software to enable uploading, posting, showing, displaying, tagging, blogging, sharing or otherwise providing electronic media or information regarding the fields of virtual communities, electronic gaming, entertainment and general interest via the Internet or other communications networks with third parties

Crowdstar’s Social Girl which launched in December 2011, snagged a million downloads in its first week of going live.

At the time of this story, Crowdstar has made no announcement about Modern Girl.

The trademark filing for Modern Girl comes at a peculiar time.  The same week Crowdstar submitted the application, Apple warned developers not to manipulate App Store rankings.

News Trademarks Video Games

Threats by Zynga backfire as thousands line up online to play Blingville on Facebook


Recently, it came to light over at TechDirt, a technology news blog, that Zynga sent a cease & desist letter to Blingville LLC, the West Virginia company that runs Blingville, an up and coming Facebook game that is currently in Beta testing.

Zynga’s threats against the company, which resulted in Blingville responding with a lawsuit (which can be read here), appear to have backfired at this point.

While no decision has been made as of yet in the lawsuit filed by Blingville, thousands are lining up to test the game online, partly thanks to the press Blingville has received by dozens of technology blogs and news sites, including domainer blogs The Domains and Domain Gang.  

I signed up earlier today to become a Beta tester, and was welcomed by a message stating, “Beta Testing in Progress: Your #20,992 in line to test Blingville.”  According to the message, testing will last a couple more weeks as the game is prepared for a full launch on Facebook.

Zynga/Ville Trademark developments

People have their own opinions on what the outcome should be when it comes to Zynga vs Blingville.

Whatever the case, there are more “ville” trademarks not owned by Zynga, than there are trademarks actually owned by the social gaming development company. 

In fact, earlier this month, Build-a-Bear applied for trademarks on and Bearville.  The company owns and operates Build-a-Bearville online, an extension of the in-store experience it offers to customers.

While Blingville LLC, hasn’t put out too much information, the company does have a subscription-based newsletter that aims to keep fans and supporters connected.  The company also registered additional domain names related to its soon-to-be released game, including, which re-directs to

The last public statement by the company was posted on the company’s Facebook page and read: ” Blingville would like to sincerely thank all of our loyal fans for their support in our defense against Zynga! Your comments are greatly appreciated!”

News Video Games

Breaking: No longer speculation, Zynga launches Rewardville Beta

Zynga Rewardville

You read it here first.  After days of speculation as to what Zynga’s plans were for the domain name and even a mention on AOL’s for confirming the rumor, Zynga minutes ago unveiled its Beta site for Rewardville.

Although no official announcements have been made, Zynga started displaying a web page this morning for its newest venture, which will be rolled out over the next few weeks according to a message posted on the website.

zPoints and RewardVille FAQ

Information made available on the Zynga customer help site explains more how Rewardville will work.  According to the website,, Rewardville will involve zCoins and zPoints.

What are zPoints?

Zynga writes: zPoints are points you earn for playing Zynga games. You can earn a maximum of 80 points per game per day, with a maximum of 300 points across the entire Zynga network each day. As you earn points you increase your zLevel and earn zCoins. Currently, you can earn zPoints for playing the following games: FarmVille, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars, Treasure Isle, Zynga Poker

What are zCoins?

“zCoins are awarded when your zLevel increases. zCoins are redeemed in RewardVille for in-game items.”

How do I sign up for zPoints?

“You automatically earn zPoints for playing all Zynga games. To redeem zCoins in RewardVille, you must register for a Zynga account.”

News on the launch of Rewardville

Although Zynga hasn’t announced the launch on its own blog or news section and nothing has appeared in the news, expect the big launch of Rewardville to be put out through Facebook to Zynga users in the coming weeks. 

I’ve informed several technology blogs and news sites about the launch of Rewardville Beta, and am hoping that any articles written will attribute the information in their stories to the correct source.

Updated 4:45PM EST:  Thanks to the following news sites for mentioning this story today: TechCrunch, News, Business Insider, Inside Social Games, and Gamezebo

Robin Wauters, was the first in fact, to write me in the wee hours of the morning after I posted my story to let me know the TechCrunch story was online with credit back to

I also received a statement from Zynga this afternoon while I was away from the computer, hours after my story went online.

“As a company focused on innovation we’re constantly testing new products and features.  When experimenting with new products we take the feedback we receive and apply it to deliver the best possible user experience.  We look forward to hearing how our users like RewardVille.”  -Zynga”

News Trademarks Video Games

Zynga likes to buy unlikely domain names, and social gaming is expected to be a billion-dollar business in 2011

Warstorm,,,,  As reported by Leena Rao of TechCrunch, social gaming is expected to be a billion-dollar business this year.  And those businesses that are getting into the social gaming market will be looking for domain names. 

As they did in 2010 and previous years, social gaming market leader Zynga will likely be looking for more domain names to use for their up-and-coming games.

The company has bought thousands of dollars’ worth of domain names on the aftermarket, including the name for its best performing game on Facebook, which it paid $38,225 for in June 2010 at Moniker.   Cityville is expected to top 100 million monthly active users on Facebook at any moment.

Most recently, the company paid  $4,500 for the domain name at Sedo, which is rumored that it will be used for its virtual rewards system.   Though Zynga hasn’t publicly confirmed plans for a Rewardville application, the company filed for a trademark in  Europe as reported here on

But and weren’t the only publicly reported domain name purchases by Zynga on the aftermarket.

Zynga purchased in 2009 on Sedo GreatDomains for €23,500.00 (or about $33,100).  Mafia Wars has gone on to be one of the top Facebook games, with nearly 3 million daily active users according to the latest Appdata metrics

The company also owns  Though Zynga didn’t directly buy the domain name, it did buy the company Challenge Games that acquired the domain on Sedo in 2008 for $9,450.

But one of the best domain deals for what is now a Zynga-owned game, is that of, which was purchased for a measly $400 on Sedo in April 2008, shortly before Zynga purchased the Facebook game in July.

With the social gaming market looking to make history in 2011, so might sales of domain names that end up as Facebook games.  Are you holding a winning lottery ticket?