Zynga Wants to Cut Out Social Network Middleman

Social gaming company announces new stand-alone community

At its "Zynga Unleashed" event Tuesday, social game maker Zynga hinted at plans to create a closer relationship with its players through a new initiative code-named Project Z. It's part of an effort that CEO Mark Pincus said has been in the works for two years, which he's calling Zynga Direct and billing as the first time the social gaming giant has offered "a platform for direct relationships with consumers."