Zynga announced a Facebook version of Words With Friends that offers cross-platform play with iOS devices. This is the first time the developer has ported a game from mobile to Facebook instead of the other way around.
The core gameplay will remain in its current state (that is to say, a Scrabble clone) with some additional social features like a brag feed and Facebook Notifications for playable turns. Like EA’s Scrabble, the cross-platform gameplay will allow players to access individual games in order to play moves; however, Zynga did not announce any such cross-platform compatibility with the Android version of Words With Friends. At present, it is possible to play a Words With Friends game between iOS and Android devices. Incidentally, EA’s Scrabble was recently updated to allow cross-platform play between Android, iOS, and Facebook.
UPDATE: A Zynga spokesperson confirmed that Android Words With Friends players can also play cross-platform on Facebook.
Unlike Zynga’s newer mobile title, Hanging With Friends, Words With Friends does not monetize through the sale of gameplay boosts. Instead, players pay $1.99 for a one-time download of the full version, or may download a free version supported by intersticial ads. As of press time, Zynga did not clarify to ISG whether or not there are plans to introduce monetization features unique to the Facebook version of the game.
Words With Friends was originally created and run by Newtoy, an independent mobile developer, in July of 2009. Zynga acquired the developer in December 2010. Hanging With Friends was the studio’s first game developed and published completely under Zynga. An S-1 filing in Zynga’s impending initial public offering revealed that that the acquisition price was $53.3 million. Another revelation from subsequent addendum to the S-1 reveal that users Zynga gained from that acquisition don’t count toward the mobile growth targets agreed upon by Zynga and Facebook.
Words With Friends for Facebook is “coming soon,” according to Zynga.