Zynga steps beyond Facebook with its own platform

2 Mar 2012

Zynga is reducing its dependency on Facebook by launching its own gaming platform on Zynga.com which will host games from the social-gaming firm itself and third-party developers.

The platform will be a big move for the company, which currently hosts all of its games on Facebook. Facebook gets 12pc of its revenue from Zynga games while Zynga gets 90pc of its revenue from Facebook.

The social-games company will activate the beta of Zynga.com within the next few days, which will feature games such as Words with Friends, CastleVille, CityVille, Zynga Poker and Hidden Chronicles.

Zynga will allow third-party developers to create and publish games on the platform. Early partners include Mob Science, Row Sham Bow and Sava Transmedia. The platform will be open to other developers through an API later this year. The company will also let third-party developers leverage its zCloud private infrastructure, which allows them to quickly scale their games.

By launching this platform, it will help reduce Zynga’s dependency on Facebook, though it will still be strongly partnered with the social network.

“In 2007, Facebook changed the game with their courageous move to open their platform to us all,” said Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga, in a blog post.

“We’re proud to be a part of Facebook’s ecosystem and we built Zynga.com to complement their pervasive social graph. Zynga.com will be one of the first sites completely integrated with Facebook which has become the world’s social dial tone,” he said.

New features

The platform has been designed to let players connect with others to play with, obtain virtual items and advance in their games.

Players can log in with their Facebook ID and still play games with Facebook friends, as well as others, on Zynga’s new platform. It will have a social stream to let players get real-time access to items needed to progress through their games.

Players will have profiles which highlight their favourite games, friends, recent activity and a ‘helpfulness score’ to show how often they’ve assisted friends. There is also live chat on the game board to let players chat and send gifts while playing games.

The Zynga.com platform will launch later this month in 16 languages.