Classic Hasbro games have become popular on Facebook, and now that could move in the other direction thanks to an exclusive partnership with Zynga.
Zynga‘s games already reach an estmated 227 million players on Facebook, but an enormous potential audience could come from the partnership with Hasbro: Players 12 and younger.
Many of Zynga’s games are already suitable for younger players, but they largely haven’t been able to play any of them because Facebook’s minimum age requirement is 13, among other reasons.
The deal with Hasbro enables each company to create licensed versions of the other’s products, along with co-branded applications, toys and souvenir-type merchandise (imagine Zynga characters getting the same kind of plushie treatment that Rovio’s angry birds have gotten).
The two companies expect to release their first product together this fall, and haven’t specified which title comes first — other than listing three of Zynga’s titles as possible examples in the release: FarmVille, CityVille and Words With Friends.
Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see whether any kind of title merger occurs between Zynga’s category-leading Words With Friends and Hasbro’s Scrabble, which has had a difficult existence on the social network.
Hasbro’s Scrbble emerged on Facebook through a partnership with Electronic Arts, and after a copyright battle with the defunct Scrabulous, has never captured the kind of popularity enjoyed by Zynga’s Words With Friends.
Zynga Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus said in a prepared statement:
It’s exciting to partner with Hasbro as we share a common vision for play and a mission to connect the world through games. This partnership is so special because it represents an exciting leap forward in enabling people to connect their virtual and real worlds. Hasbro has inspired play through their famous toys, games and action figures and we look forward to working with a company that continually creates meaningful and fun brands.
Hasbro’s President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner said in a prepared statement:
Hasbro is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Zynga’s immensely popular social games to life in a variety of creative and new expressions that reflect consumers’ growing desire to surround themselves with gaming brands they love anytime, anywhere together with their friends and family.
Zynga is bringing more games to mainstream culture and is redefining how people play. At Hasbro, we’re proud to help bring their games to even more people around the world. This strategic alliance plays off of both Hasbro’s and Zynga’s proven strengths and is emblematic of the new innovations and new platforms we are creating across our entire gaming portfolio.