Things are getting heated in the land where Farmville and other casual games reign supreme. Zynga, the largest game developer on Facebook, has created a new site (http://www.Zynga.com) where it plans to hosts third party games along with its own. Facebook makes a lot of money from users paying for Zynga games; money Zynga would rather have lining its pockets instead of sharing.
Zynga is closely linked with Facebook, 90% of the company’s revenue comes from Facebook alone, while 12% of Facebook’s revenue stems from Zynga. When users pay for Zynga games, Facebook gets 30% share of the cash, which could be one of the reasons Zynga is branching out. Another reason could be because Zynga relies heavily on Facebook to stay afloat, and it might want cut those ties and rely on itself, which, in our eyes, is a good idea.
I think that plan is to drive Facebook members off the platform just so they can do gaming only there (on Zynga.com) and bring in their non-Facebook friends,” said Michael Patcher, analyst at Wedbush Securities.
We have to agree, and if this works, we will see if Facebook users are only visiting the Social Network for games or other activities. Facebook should have acquired Zynga - both companies are a great fit for each other. The reason we haven’t seen a buyout could mean Facebook tried and failed in its bid. That is the only logical explanation.
The new site (Zynga.com) will launch with five games, CastleVille, Words With Friends, CityVille, Hidden Chronicles and Zynga Poker. The website will use Facebook’s payment system where Facebook gets a 30% share. However, expect Zynga to use its own payment system in the future.
Moreover, players would be able to friend other Zynga players without having to share their Facebook profile. This is great, because not everyone wants to share their profile to get people to play with (this is one of the biggest problems with Facebook-based games).
As time goes by, Zynga is expected to slowly move away from Facebook and be a company that relies heavily on itself than on another for 90% of its yearly revenues.
Here’s a quick snapshot of Zynga.com beta features:
> zFriends – Connect and play with more people, beyond your Facebook friends, who love to play as much as you do. > More Games – Five of Zynga’s top games – CastleVille, Words With Friends, CityVille, Hidden Chroniclesand Zynga Poker – will be accessible on the site at launch, but soon you will be able to discover and play more social games by Zynga and third party game developers. > Social Stream – Get real-time access to items needed to advance faster in games by posting to Zynga’s live social stream without ever leaving your game board. > Player Profile – A profile that is all about the way you play, highlighting your favorite games, top zFriends, recent activity and your helpfulness score to see how you stack up against friends. > Live Chat – Without leaving the game board, you can also chat with zFriends in real-time to send gifts, strategize, or just say ‘OMG, look at the size of that beastie!’
(Reported by Vamien McKalin, Edited by Surojit Chatterjee)