Zynga launches Zynga Platform

Social company launches its own site for playing games, with third-party developers added

Zynga's reliance on Facebook is changing with the announcement today of Zynga Platform, which is going into open beta this month at

The Zynga Platform is designed to provide a richer gaming and social experience for players, both with Zynga games and third party titles. Players will use Facebook Connect with, meaning their Facebook friends will be immediately available on the Zynga Platform.

"We built to give out players more ways to connect with each other and play great social games whether built by Zynga or other talented developers," said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO, Zynga. "Together with our platform partners, we look forward to bringing more play to the world on our platform."

The initial platform partners announced are Mob Science, Row Sham Bow and Sava Transmedia. Zynga Platform partners will have access to the 240 million monthly active users who currently play Zynga games by publishing and promoting them across the Zynga network.

In addition to inviting developers to promote their games to its player audience, Zynga will enable partners to tap into channels and features that increase social engagement, analytics that measure and drive social, and back end technology that ensures scalability and availability. Financial terms of the deals with third party providers were not announced.

Manuel Bronstein, general manager of, said that discussions are ongoing with other third-party providers.

The initial beta release of 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 Chronicles and 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!'

The homepage for the Zynga Platform.

"Publishing on the Zynga Platform will allow developers to tap into a captive audience of players who love to play social games," said Rob Dyer, head of platform partners at Zynga and former senior vice president of Publisher Relations at Sony Computer Entertainment.

"What's more, we're committed to creating an environment that's a win, win for everyone involved. We know the challenges of being a game developer, and want to build the best destination for play - not just for players - but for the entire ecosystem as well."

"As an independent game developer, we have faced significant challenges in getting players to discover our games," added Michael Witz, CEO of Mob Science. "The Zynga Platform provides an unparalleled opportunity by letting us focus on building a game that can easily be enjoyed by the millions of people on Zynga's network who already love to play social games.

"As an early Zynga Platform Partner, we look forward to working closely with the company to evolve the platform and create the best environment for developing and playing social games." is expected to launch this month. The play service will be available in 16 languages, including: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai.

Zynga is initially working closely with select Platform partners, but plans to open up the Zynga Platform and make it more widely available to all third party game developers through an API later this year.

Latest comments (15)

Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 6 years ago
It seems that Zynga's usual level of originality now applies to its naming process, too.
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Private Industry 6 years ago
When I was reading the headline I was like "Yay thats awesome" until I got to the part of " Players will use Facebook Connect with, meaning their Facebook friends will be immediately available on the Zynga Platform."

At that point I was like "meh, they will continue to spam on facebook with posts and requests"
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 6 years ago
I like Zynga a lot.
Everything they do is driven by metrics, analysis, and statistics.
They are like a machine driven by maths And they are perfect for these days of games as a service.
And they make the traditional boxed game publishers look like the dinosaurs they are.

This is exactly what the industry needed. And all the smart publishers are watching Zynga and learning. So the Zynga methodology is spreading rapidly around the industry. Except for those bits of the industry that fail to understand it.

It is extremely fashionable among the gaming fanboys to deride success. I remember when EA were making profits and they were the great satan. Now Activision and Zynga are massive successes and so they have bile poured upon them. Despite the fact that their success comes from giving many millions of people the great entertainment that they want.
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Show all comments (15)
Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz6 years ago
The interesting thing for me is this platform should answer the question of whether people play Zynga games because they are on Facebook, or because they want to play Zynga games.
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Private Industry 6 years ago
Its questionable if Zynga provides great entertainment. Just because Glee and Twillight have many viewers doesnt make those shows great entertainment.

Yes many people play their stuff and its great for them that they make a lot of money. I tried their stuff a few times and I would never call it great entertainment. I wouldnt even call them decent games.
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Great entertainment is in the eye of the beholder. I wouldn't call most modern shooters or tedious sprawling RPGs great entertainment, but I have whiled away many an enjoyable minute playing Zynga games on Facebook or indeed watching Glee :p

I agree with Matt Martin though, it will be interesting to see if people will follow to Zynga Platform or just stay where they are on Facebook.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 6 years ago
This'll be the first step to creating a online gambling site. Which, as long as the two sides - playing for entertainment, and playing for money - are clearly seperated, shouldn't be a problem.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 2nd March 2012 11:43am

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Private Industry 6 years ago
Well I was maybe a bit harsh on Glee, but twillight is the Sci Fi equivalent to FarmVille :)

Didnt say no people enjoy it, sure many do otherwise Zynga would shut down bacause of no customers and Glee would be off the air without enough viewers, but would call them great entertainment or even a masterpiece? They are entertainment. I like playing Fifa but I wouldnt call it great entertainment, Flower or Motorstorm RC on the other hand I would.
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Daniel Forslund CEO/Producer, Trino Creative6 years ago
I cannot really understand how anyone in this industry can support Zynga in any way after their clear and frequent outright plagiarism. Sure, our industry is built on reuse and inspiration, but there is a line when business behavior becomes unethical. Zynga crossed that line a LONG time ago.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
Bruce - "I like Zynga a lot."

You might like their service model and take inspiration from their success, but you really claim to like Zynga, given all the moral bankruptcy and unethical practices that have been revealed about them? Have you forgotten Dream Heights so soon?!

I mean, I don't resent successful companies just for the sake of it (I'm a fan of Google products and services, for instance), but Zynga seem utterly abhorrent in how they do business.
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Look - lets call them apples ...apples.

Zynga is a great advertising marketing "entertainment" vehicle with a metric centric driven operation.

They dont...make games.
But they do know how to farm their metrics out amazingly, and unfortunately the business practice can be likened somewhat to a rape and pillage appraoch;

Does not encourage innovation, advancement in games industry, longevity, growth, deep meaningful insights, education, have meaningful gameplay, brain stimulus in puzzles, stimulus in mentality (although RSI -zyngaitis may be a new end result), involve any meaningful tactics, improve skill, improve hand to eye coordination (but good at dwindling both your age and "currency"), stimulate the wider games economy *Facebook doesnt count (which in itself a symbiont/monopoly)

I've left out originality as that may be contentious.

So in balance, what is there really to like about Zynga. honestly?
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Nick Parker Consultant 6 years ago
Is Zynga running a tributary of Facebook or striking out for independence? If anyone knows about friction, Zynga should and I wonder whether this, if by using Facebook Connect, would create more gamer friction by expecting gamers to take a few more steps to play games?
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Lets go back to the portal business. A step back for Zynga. The reason for leaving the portal before was not enough traffic.
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Have they made any games that aren't Skinner's Boxes?
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As someone who plays many hours of games a week, across various platforms - I don't feel that I have missed out on any "games" by never having played any Zynga "games" (for more than 5min).

They are a digital entertainment company - their games are as accessible as "movies" with little more gameplay than "movies". This doesn't make it wrong, or an invalid business practice in anyway - but this is NOT gaming.

What does worry me is the intent from Zynga to get into online gambling. As if there aren't enough people in the world who have their lives destroyed by this, now we have a company synonymous with Facebook, gaming for children, and social gaming - encouraging people to gamble.

Its bad enough that people have been brainwashed into spending significant amounts of real-world money on virtual items: now people will be encouraged to spend real-world money in the hope of making additional real-world money. Bad Zynga, bad.
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