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Zynga opens up its own platform to third parties

Zynga opens up its own platform to third parties
In a move designed to reduce its reliance on Facebook, Zynga has announced it is to host games from other developers on Zynga.com. 

The refreshed Zynga Platform will push both the firm's own line-up, as well as titles from the three developers welcomed as inaugural parters: Mob Science, Row Sham Bow and Sava Transmedia.

It's claimed the drive to link up with third parties will enable smaller studios to reach a wider audience more quickly – Zynga's network boasting 240 million monthly active users (MAUs) - with the firm itself benefiting from a library to rival more established social platforms on the market.

Aiding the ecosystem

Zynga.com is fully integrated with Facebook, allowing players to log in with their Facebook ID and play games with their existing Facebook friends, as well as Zynga-only players (should any of them not be on Facebook).

The deal will also allow studios to tap into the platform's analytics, providing cross promotions, social features and live chat.

The service will be available in 16 languages, and be made more widely available to all third party game developers through an API later this year.

"Publishing on the Zynga Platform will allow developers to tap into a captive audience of players who love to play social games," said head of platform partners Rob Dyer.

"What's more, we're committed to creating an environment that's a win, win for everyone involved. We know the challenges of being a game developer, and want to build the best destination for play - not just for players - but for the entire ecosystem as well."

Control your own fate

The news comes after commentators criticised Zynga's reliance on Facebook in the lead up to the studio's IPO, with 96 percent of the firm's revenue coming from the purchase of virtual goods on the social network.

IHS iSuppli published a report at the end of February showing a slump in MAUs on Zynga's Facebook games throughout the course of 2011. Its own platform now set to serve as a handy backup should games on the social network continue to decline.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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