Zynga Moves Beyond Facebook

Zynga is now looking to extend its gaming reach beyond Facebook by adding new three major gaming companies to its partner list and launching the Zynga.com website.

Console game maker Konami Digital Entertainment has joined Zynga’s new gaming network along with Playdemic and Rebellion, the company announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Zynga now has six third-party game companies on board.

Rebellion and Japan’s Konami are working on new games for the new site. Playdemic will offer social games “Gourmet Ranch” and “Crossword Buddies” there.

The new site, Zynga.com, debuted Monday, redesigned to make it easier to play games more quickly outside of Facebook, the source of 93 percent of its revenue. It also offers live chat and message boards. LiveMint quotes Baird Research analyst Colin Sebastian, as saying:

Zynga is building their own web-based platform, which makes them a bit more independent and creates a brand for them outside of Facebook. But it doesn’t really cut the cord with Facebook, and it won’t have a dramatic impact on their margins.

The lure to third-party game developers: access to its 246 million monthly active users on Facebook, its analytics and infrastructure, known as the zCloud. Said Manuel Bronstein, general manager of Zynga.com:

If they want to play on Facebook, if they play on mobile, if they play on the Web, I want them to be connected to Zynga and it cannot be constrained to one single destination.

The new platform is still tied to Facebook, however. Users still have to sign on to Facebook and use its virtual currency. Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of credits earned on the site and it’s not clear whether that will continue with Zynga’s new site.

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