Report: Zynga and Facebook relationship at "breaking point"

Zynga allegedly considering launching own social network as Facebook rules change

New reports have suggested that a dispute between Facebook and Zynga could result in the FarmVille developer and its games being evicted from the social networking site, while Zynga is apparently considering launching its own Facebook rival.

According to The Times, Zynga has been riled by Facebook's decision to introduce Facebook Credits for all transactions on its site, from which it takes commission of 30 per cent, and has threatened to leave the site.

For its part Facebook is allegedly ready to evict the company and all of its games - which also include Mafia Wars, FishVille and Cafe World - from its social network.

Anonymous sources from within Facebook have described Zynga as a "bad actor" which is putting profits before its users. They added that the situation, if it persists, would be best solved by Zynga's departure from the site.

And Zynga looks to be considering doing just that, having launched its own site from which to play FarmVille last year. The company is apparently now weighing up whether to launch its own rival social networking site.

Facebook first began testing Facebook Credits in May 2009, and started a beta trial earlier this year.

It says that the long-term goal with the Credits is provide a universal currency that makes the purchasing of virtual items across its 500,000-plus applications faster and simpler for users. Zynga though has reportedly called them prohibitive.

Earlier this week it was revealed that another change in Facebook's rules - a ban on applications being able to send notifications to users - had caused game player numbers to drop sharply in April.

Zynga was one of the most affected companies, with FarmVille losing 4.4 million of its 82.8 million users over the month.

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Latest comments (12)

Josef Brett Animator 7 years ago
A 'Facebook Rival' will not work (not in the next 18 months at least anyway).
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard7 years ago
Zynga could be on to something here... the thing that really, really gripes me about Facebook is all those annoying "Dave found a lost sheep in his shed" messages from Farmville... if Zynga can stop those by banning them then it could just work... :-)

Oh... hang on...
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Perry Chen Studying Finance, Boston College7 years ago
Zynga is bluffing. They seriously think that people will migrate to their new social networking site to simply play their games? Their dependence on Facebook cannot be understated.

Stuff like Farmville were merely sidebar activities for Facebook users, so that is why there was a drop in users recently. People will play a game if their friends are playing the same game, and it seems that not only does Zynga rely on Facebook as a platform for its game, but also for its playerbase. The fact that so many users have left Farmville in recent weeks is proof of this herd behavior that was responsible for much of their growth.

I have received many invitations to play the game on Facebook, and I have refused nearly all of them.
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Show all comments (12)
David Amirian Writer 7 years ago
Facebook essentially created Zynga. If Zynga moved off Facebook, they will have a lot more than 5 million people stop playing their games.

I for one am glad they banned notifications from applications. My feed was full of so much of that crap it wasn't even funny.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Amirian on 14th May 2010 7:59pm

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Leigh Pankhurst Studying Animator, Train2Game7 years ago
May I recommend Ad Bye - for Facebork ?
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George Manolas Computer Technician 7 years ago
I believe no one would go and sign up for the site if it was made by Zynga, it's bad enough how poorly the code is written for most of their games so I wouldn't even want to see a website made by them.
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Cedric Warluzel E-Marketing / CM (available) 7 years ago
And what if another Facebook friend studio offer new similar games that Zynga used to...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Cedric Warluzel on 15th May 2010 10:24am

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Leon Green Political lobbyist & Gamers Voice Director 7 years ago
Wait, does this mean if they go I won't recieve anymore of those damn notifications? This is a bad thing how...!?:D
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Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 7 years ago
Cedric: There are plenty of games on FB "inspired by" those made by Zynga, and Zynga has itself been "inspired" on at least one occasion as well.

For example:
Restaurant City, by Playfish: [link url=
Cafe World, by Zynga:
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Kieran MacGough Studying Computer Games Design & Programming, Staffordshire University7 years ago
I'm trying not to sound to narrow minded/stereotypical here, but most people who play FarmVille and other Zynga games are usually not so computer literate. Generally, people who are less computer literate are less adaptable to change in a computer environment. I cannot see them moving to a new social networking site just to play their games.
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Volker Boenigk Executive Product Director, Gameforge7 years ago
If Zynga splits from Facebook to create a portal with their games, they can be successful, no question. But they will be far less successful (especially in terms of revenue) than they are now. If they are aware of this and plan accordingly, they can make the break.

I believe that the majority of people that play Zynga games don't play it because they want to play Zynga's games, but because they can. Because the games are conveniently embedded in Facebook. People will still go to Facebook, even if Zynga leaves, but will they follow Zynga just for the games? I don't think so.

Many other companies have their own gaming portals and they work, and there were gaming portals before Facebook, and they still work. Facebook did not create gaming, but, as someone mentioned before, Facebook effectively created Zynga.

Facebook will also feel the blow and they will probably lose users and advertising revenue, but it qon't hit them quite as hard as Zynga.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 7 years ago
And face book becomes less annonying, how can we speed his exit?
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