Zynga, the gaming company behind CityVille and Famville, announced ten new games Tuesday at Zynga Unleashed (including speculated hit CastleVille) as well as plans for a major new gaming platform, code-named Project Z.
The social gaming firm announced the release of 10 new games, including: CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles, Zynga Bingo, Mafia Wars 2, Dream Zoo, and five new mobile games (Words with Friends, Poker, and FarmVille Express, Mafia Wars Shakedown, and Dream Zoo).
CastleVille, a medieval-themed game, is speculated to be a bigger hit than its predecessors FarmVille, CityVille, and FrontierVille.
We want to create a narrative with characters that redefines the social-gaming experience, says Bill Jackson, creative director of CastleVille.
Rumors claim that the game bears a resemblance to DreamWork's Shrek, with movie-like production, a cast of well-sketched characters and an original soundtrack.
Zynga also announced plans to release a new self-contained site for its games, known as Project Z. The exact release date of Project Z is unknown and limited details were revealed. However, the key to the project is that it will bring Zynga games to users outside of Facebook's platform.
There have been tensions between Zynga and Facebook due to Facebook's specific terms and conditions. By having its own gaming platform, Zynga could control its promotion and payment system instead of relying on Facebook's credit method.
For two years we've been building out products, CEO Mark Pincus said. We hope to enable a direct platform for a direct relationship with consumers whether on the web or mobile. We can give you a whole sandbox and create a new social [experience] around the games not just in the games.
The relationship between Facebook and the potential Project Z remains unclear. Zynga has greatly benefited from Facebook's enormous 800 million user network in the past as 60 million Facebook users play Zynga games.
The social gaming firm filed its S-1 for an IPO in July and there has been speculation about when the company plans to offer its initial public offering. According to the company's filings, Zynga seems profitable, earning $522 million in revenue during the first half of 2011, more than double the $231 million earned during the same period last year.
However, some question whether Zynga can sustain its huge growth.