updated 08:05 pm EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
Zynga aims to solidify standing outside of Facebook
Social gaming company Zynga has announced a new offering aimed at connecting gamers regardless of their means of access. Dubbed "Zynga With Friends," the new service is aimed at demonstrating yet again Zynga's standing independent of Facebook. The Wall Street Journal, reporting from a Zynga event today, said Zynga views the new service as a way of building a social network with gaming at its core while surmounting the platform and device boundaries that keep many players from interacting with each other.
Zynga expects to launch the new network soon, and it will be available to both Internet and mobile users. The company will open up the network's APIs to game developers, allowing them to track high scores and enable head-to-head gaming features. Zynga is currently partnered with eight companies to provide games for the service, though that number is likely to grow over time.
In the end, the company hopes that the new network will develop into an ecosystem featuring best-in-class mobile developers and best-in-class mobile games. Zynga executives estimate that the service could, at roll-out, have as many as 290 million users and 2.8 billion daily social interactions.
For the last several months, Zynga has been trying to demonstrate to investors its viability apart from social networking giant Facebook. In March, the company announced the launch of its own Zynga Platform, which was aimed at putting a bit of distance between it and Facebook.
Investors have been unimpressed, so far, and fearful that the company relies too heavily on casual games while neglecting the deeper games that have demonstrated wide popularity on dedicated consoles. Recent analyses indicating that gamers of all sorts may be losing interest in Facebook-based gaming have had a significant impact on Zynga's stock price, even as the company has been making more of a push in the mobile gaming sector.