Zynga announced today that it is moving forward with its separation from Facebook. Following the social gaming company’s filing with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) last November stated its desire to change its relationship with the world’s largest social network, starting next week, Zynga.com is now making Facebook Connect an optional login protocol.
For a while now, Zynga says that it had been testing a new website that focused on creating innovative ways to play and discover gamers. According to Cadir Lee, Zynga’s CTO, the new site enabled the company to discuss the changes with their users. Lee said that gamers are interested in finding a place that is dedicated to games and allows for better discovery. Additionally, they also want a place where they can share their wins, level ups, and in-game achievements.
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The new Zynga.com will go live starting next week that lets people create their own account just for playing games. Existing Zynga.com players will continue to have their accounts and the company says no data will be lost. Lee says that all players will have the option to connect with Facebook in order to share their accomplishments, but it will no longer be a required feature to log in.
As a recap, here’s the result of Zynga’s separation from Facebook:
- Facebook’s existing non-discrimination obligations will continue with respect to Zynga’s games on Facebook’s web site
- Any social game launched by Zynga will generally be available through the Facebook web site approximately around the same time its made available on another social platform or a Zynga property. This doesn’t apply to any Zynga mobile games, social games owned and operated by a third party, any social games that cannot be launched on the Facebook web site due to technical limitations, any downloadable social games or any Zynga games launched in China or Japan
- If Facebook allows real money gambling games on the Facebook web site in countries where Zynga has real money gambling games, Zynga will subsequently launch such games on the Facebook web site, if certain conditions are met by Facebook
- If Zynga acquires any social game that was made available on a Zynga property but not on the Facebook web site prior to the acquisition, Zynga will enable and generally make available such game through the Facebook web site after the close of such acquisition
With Zynga’s less than stellar stock what it is now, perhaps this new site will help jumpstart the company as it seeks not only to rebuild its stock, but also cut down on costs and rebuild its reputation. In Q4 2012, the company announced that it had profits and sales that exceeded and surprised market analysts. However, right after it released its earnings, Zynga shared that it had closed several offices and consolidated others.
CEO Mark Pincus said at the time that the closures were a part of the company’s efforts to save money, especially as “users spend less on Web-based games such as ‘FarmVille 2′ and more on mobile titles.” As Facebook is still working on its mobile presence, the new Zynga.com could be part of Pincus’s master plan to capitalize on the mobile space and leverage other authentication protocols such as Google+, Twitter, and others.
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