Everyone would be familiar with Farmville and if you are a Facebook user, one out of your four friends would have played the game or invited you to do the same. Zynga, a company which just wanted you to enjoy gaming with your favorite buddies has now initiated the ultimate in gaming experience. Initiating the first of its kind social network based on the concept of gaming together, Zynga developers have announced the launch of Zynga with Friends. zFriends, as the popular network is known as will help gamers to search for players with similar interests and play styles. Preparing gaming as the basis for forming a connect with other individuals, the platform will also help them to collate all the games that they play on the network. Through this, they can ‘connect’ with fellow gamers on the network through any interface such as Facebook, smartphone or the World Wide Web.
The company has taken on the stronghold of popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, even adopting a service called Social Stream, which will update users about the games being played by others using Zynga and their particular requirements regarding the various games. It would even suggest a list of possible competition which can battle it with you in a game of your choice. There would also be a new chat interface along with a record of status of an individual regarding various games on his own personal profile – a trick similar to Google+. zFriends will also have a ‘lobby’ which would provide all the updates regarding the various games available on Zynga. At one point, the participant would be able to see the challenges put forth to him by other users along with any gifts forwarded by other players and a list of gamers present online. Knowing all these aspects does make one aware that Zynga do take their games seriously and this time around they are ready to get the world involved – a fact well acknowledged by their staff.
Manuel Bronstein, general manager of Zynga asserted this by saying, “Some days you play on Facebook, others on smartphone, but we want to ensure that all your friends, your scores, your achievements follow you wherever you are. You are one player across the entire network.” This does make one sound like the king of ‘his gaming world’. Besides their own games, Zynga would also be connecting to third-party developers through its Zynga API system which would make them a route to access games by other studios such as Konami, 50 Cubes, etc. This may be the tip of the iceberg as Zynga plans to move into more intense formats with ‘sports, first-person shooters, hardcore strategy games, role-playing games’, to mention a few.
For a website which began with the Zynga poker, the enterprise now stands to challenge the popular social networking sites with its unique concept. Even as Facebook notches up an impressible 901 million users on its site, 250 million of them try out Zynga games and as it plans to develop a deeper relationship between the gamers, one can imagine the power of social gaming develop in the coming years.