Zynga Launches Its Own Game Platform Off Of Facebook

By David Cohen Comment

For Facebook game developer Zynga, the launch of social game platform Zynga.com later this month can be seen as a way to reduce its dependence on the social network.

For game players, it can be seen as the road to speedier game play, while investors would view this as healthy diversification of revenues.

Sister blog Inside Social Games has the details announced today on Zynga.com.

The platform will launch with five of the developer’s top games:

  • CastleVille;
  • CityVille;
  • Words with Friends;
  • Hidden Chronicles; and
  • Zynga Poker.

Game players logging into Zynga.com will find their games in the exact condition they were left in on Facebook, and whatever actions they take while playing on Zynga.com will be reflected the next time they access the games via Facebook.

The only Facebook features that can be accessed via games on Zynga.com are chat, social discovery of new friend connections, and the live app ticker. Players on Zynga.com will not be able to post pictures or create events.

So why is game play faster via Zynga.com? The developer touted its active social network technology, saying that requests via Zynga.com will not be mistaken for spam as other players will already be logged into the platform, and adding that Zynga.com enables easier and quicker access to friends, eliminating the waiting period that often accompanies game play via Facebook.

Zynga also announced that it will incorporate third-party games in the near future, from developers including MobScience, Row Sham Bow, and Sava Transmedia.

Inside Social Games did point out a few issues with Zynga.com at launch, which may or may not be addressed in the future. They include:

  • Facebook Credits is currently the only accepted payment platform;
  • There are no game-balancing measures to level the playing field between, for example, Facebook CityVille players and Zynga.com CityVille players;
  • There was no announcement on whether Zynga.com can or will offer mobile support, which would be easy for Words with Friends but more complex for its other titles;
  • There are currently no display ads, but Zynga will likely add them; and
  • Players must have access to Facebook in order to access Zynga.com, presenting a problem for places like mainland China, where the government blocks the social network.

The latter also keeps kids under 13, who aren’t allowed on Facebook, from being able to play any of the games on Zynga.com.

Readers: Will you try out Zynga.com for your favorite games, or stick with playing them via Facebook?