Facebook and Zynga Kiss and Make Up
Those of you who read reports that Zynga, the social gaming company behind the most annoying addictive and most played games on Facebook, Mafia Wars and FarmVille, was going to ditch Facebook and were excited worried, then you can rest easy. Facebook and Zynga have just released a press release that states the two have "entered into a five-year strategic relationship."
That means you've got at least another five years worth of Facebook friends talking about their crops or chilling with their gang. Let the good times roll. Zynga will also be further implementing Facebook's 'Facebook Credits' system. Players will now need to buy Facebook Credits to perform a variety of micro-transactions, which used to require Zynga's own monetary system. This means Facebook will now be taking a substantial cut of the lucrative social gaming market which The Escapist reports is to the tune of 30 percent.
It will be interesting to know whether this is still the percent Facebook will take from each credit as it was reported that the implementation of Facebook Credits and the amount Facebook took from each credit was a sore point for Zynga. It will also be interesting to see how this affects Zynga's agreement with Microsoft and MSN as a deal had been signed to allow MSN users to access their FarmVille account through the Microsoft portal.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen Zynga stick to its guns and try and go it alone. It employs 775 people and has an average of 120 million players a year. It's by no means a small company and if it chose to break away now it could take its already huge investments, large and somewhat loyal fanbase and take a stab at iPhone or iPad gaming or WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network gaming and try and broaden its horizons. Even if it didn't choose to go down that route, and just created a Zynga gaming site, which had been rumored, that would mean they weren't firmly in the pocket of Facebook and required to bend to their every demand.