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Habbo “muted” all chat, effectively removing one of the main reasons why teens visited the experience. Paul La Fontaine: I’m going to give a brief overview of the story, the events that occurred, and what we did in response.

At other times, it seems like the controversies are intentionally manufactured for marketing reasons, so that the game can rise above the noise and catch the public’s attention.

But that’s a double-edged sword, as such marketing can turn off as many consumers as you attract.

Zynga denied outright copying, and it noted that EA’s Sim City Social was similarly a copy of Zynga’s own city-building game, City Ville, and that City Ville itself has only passing resemblance to EA’s Sim City games on the PC.

In response to similar allegations of copying in a bingo game, Mark Pincus, chief executive of Zynga, claimed that his company has re-imagined past games by making them more social.

The horrific shootings at Newtown left 20 children and seven adults dead. Supreme Court ruled that video games were protected under the First Amendment.

Though it happened late in the year, this incident revived concerns over excessive violence in video games. But calls for regulation and studying of a possible link between games and violence went out again in the wake of the shooting.

The video game business never has a year without controversy. But the different ways that game companies could get into trouble and draw mass market attention were surprising.

The age-old controversies about sex, violence, and other cultural insensitivities surfaced again this year.

And we’ve been moving back to a freer, but filtered, chat. La Fontaine: Initially we saw around 35 percent of folks staying away.

We now have 85 percent of the user base restored back to that.

Electronic Arts finally sued the company this year for allegedly copying The Sims Social with the launch of Zynga’s The Ville people simulation game.

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