Zynga.com is the social gaming company best known for its Facebook game versions such as: CityVille, FarmVille or Mafia Wars. The site features versions of classic games such as Attack! (A Risk clone), Texas Hold’em Poker and Battleship. Zynga develops some of these games, while others are developed by third parties via the Zynga network. The company has also been known to purchase games that are already successful from willing developers.
Zynga boasts users totals in the millions, with some of the most popular social games ever made.
Zynga.com was launched in January 2008 and has seen phenomenal growth. The site has over 50 million registered users and tens of millions of daily visitors. It is closely tied to Facebook as its number one game provider. Zynga was founded by Mark Pincus, the creator of Tribe.net (one of the first social networking sites on the web) and Support.com (later SupportSoft). Michael Luxton is CTO and also a member of the founding team. Mark Vranesh, a SupportSoft co-founder is CFO, and Scott Dale, co-founder of Houseglue is VP of Engineering. The company is located in San Francisco. Zynga launched a network for third-party developers in February 2008, and received $29 million in funding from venture capitalists in July 2008. In June 2011, Zynga initiated a lawsuit against Votsu, accusing them of stealing game ideas. Zynga went through an IPO in late 2011.
Zynga’s competition includes Mytopia.com, Playfish.com and Social Gaming Network (Socialgn.com). None of these sites features as many games as Zynga, but Mytopia has support for several different mobile smartphone platforms besides the Iphone, as well as social networking support. Playfish.com is primarily built around Facebook applications. Social Gaming Network has support for Faceboook, MySpace, HI5, and Iphone. The true strength of the Zynga platform is its incredible built-in user base.
Zynga's home page is as simple as could be. Games rotate through a slider centered on the screen. The only downside is that in order to play a game on Zynga's site, you must log in through your Facebook account. Each app is different, but Zynga works hard to ensure user interfaces are simple and games are easy to learn.
Simply click on a game, then log into your Facebook account. The installation takes only seconds and you are ready to play. The game application will show you which of your friends are currently online, and allow you to join a game or start your own. You can also join general games that include everyone who is playing, not just your friends. The site also features a blog with the latest news and information about new games as well as general news about the site.
Membership is not necessary at Zynga and no registration is required. You must be a Facebook user to access titles, however. There are no fees involved, as revenue comes from third-party advertising on the application pages at the social networking site. The ads are shown separately from the game window and are relatively unobtrusive.
Zynga is recommended for anyone who has an interest in playing games with their friends who belong to the same social network. It has the largest selection of networks of any of the social gaming sites, and also has an excellent selection of games. For users wish to do their social gaming on a mobile smartphone other than the Iphone, Mytopia is a better choice.