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Zynga launches RewardVille promotions site

By David Jenkins

Wed 16 Mar 2011 10:31am GMT / 6:31am EDT / 3:31am PDT

CityVille publisher tries to break Facebook reliance with increased web presence

FarmVille and Mafia Wars developer Zynga has launched a new promotional site called RewardVille, which offers players additional in-game items in return for zCoins.

Zynga's in-game currency is based on the experience point style zPoints, which are used to increase a player's "zLevel". Eventually this unlocks the ability to earn zCoins, which can now be traded for items on RewardVille.

From a business perspective the main purpose of the new site appears to be to decrease the company's reliance on Facebook. Relationships between the two companies have been strained for some time, despite Zynga signing a five-year deal to use Facebook credits last May.

The new site also aids Zynga in its attempt to float as a public company, which requires it to demonstrate a greater independence from Facebook. As a result it is believed to be working on its own web-based portal, following a recent round of new funding and a net valuation believed to be as much as $10 billion.

RewardVille supports all of Zynga's major games, including CityVille, FarmVille, Zynga Poker, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars, Café World, Treasure Isle, YoVille, PetVille, and Vampire Wars.

Zynga recently attempted to enforce its trademark on the 'Ville' suffix, despite itself being caught up in similar legal complaints over the use of the Mafia Wars name.

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