Live from Zynga Unleashed

We’re live at the Zynga Unleashed event at Zynga headquarters in San Francisco. We’ll be liveblogging the event, so refresh the page for updates as they happen.

10:15: Still setting up for the event as the press filters in. LeVar Burton is here wearing a “friend” badge.

10:3o: The event starts right on time. Watching a promo video of real-life user testimonials showing why people like to play Zynga games.

10:32: Pincus takes the stage.

10:33: The entire San Francisco office is watching from the rafters.

10:34: He’s taking us through a retrospective of Zynga’s history. Zynga’s first game launched July 1, 2007. It was Zynga Poker. On March 7, 2008 it was the first time a consumer in the Western world bought a virtual good — a poker chip. In November 2008, Zynga launched the mobile version of Zynga Poker. When Steve Jobs saw the game he didn’t think it was working code.

10:36: Social gaming grows through 2010. In 2011, Zynga passes a billion in revenues. In 2012 social gaming becomes a mass market phenomenon.

10:37: 72 percent of Americans play games. In the last minute 64,000 words played in Words with Friends, and 38,000 hands of Poker were played. Over 5,700 chats were sent over Zynga’s network.

10:40: Pincus grew up in a game-playing household. He loved games, but stopped playing them as he grew older. He set out to make gaming free an accessible in 2007 — something his friends and family could play. Building games around the premise that friends could become virtual neighbours. Making play so small and snackable you can fit in in your life and pocket. They’re competing with email and text messaging.

10:44: We’re going to show you where we’re going. First up, our platform.

10:45: There’s two aspects to our platform. First up is Kostadis Roussos, Zynga’s chief engineer to talk about the technology behind the Zynga platform, specifically the infrastructure and the APIs.

10:47: Roussos is talking about the engineering, scale and analytics behind the casual games Zynga makes.

10:48: Zynga’s daily highs of concurrent players is equivalent to everyone in the city of Paris playing together at the same time. That happens every day. The games are always changing and the devices they’re played on change constantly. Zynga releases over 100 updates across all its games every day. The company once released more than 1000 updates in one week. Zynga players make a million actions per second.

10:50: Infrastructure consists of hardware and services. Hardware is zCloud. It’s the world’s largest hybrid cloud. Its how the company can launch a game and grow it to 10 million players in a week. CastleVille had 2.8 million player join on the first day. The zCloud is three times more efficient than public cloud servers.

10:52: Onto analytics. Zynga runs about 130 experiments in its games every day. After releasing a new feature Zynga can find out within minutes if players enjoyed them. Beyond fun is social — what matter is that friends and family continue to play. This is a player’s Active Social Network (ASN). It’s a true barometer of how social a game is.

10:56: The Zynga API means games no longer need backend servers to integrate Zynga services. Zynga Slots was the first game to use it and they’re rolling it out to other companies.

10:59: Now Manuel Bronstein, the general manager, is on the stage. He’s announced a consumer facing social network called Zynga With Friends.

11:00: This network will deliver better social engagement for players. All players on the network will have one thing in common — they’ll want to play together. This network will be a single platform and social lobby that provides a single cross-device experience.