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Zynga Debuts Cross-Platform Social Network

Mark Pincus - Zynga - H 2012
Mark Pincus

Zynga With Friends will allow gamers from multiple screens to access the social giant's growing library of games from any device.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Zynga is delving further into the multi-screen, cross-platform future with Zynga With Friends.

The new network, which will launch this summer, will enable gamers to access Zynga social and mobile games from a central hub from smartphones, tablets, Facebook, laptops or PCs. Founder and CEO Mark Pincus unveiled that along with several other new games and initiatives at the social gaming company’s San Francisco headquarters during its annual “Zynga Unleashed” global press event.

“The next chapter for Zynga and social gaming is a pipeline of new games that represent more genres of play, more mobile ways to play and more dimensions of play,” Pincus said.

Zynga showcased its newest "Ville" games: ChefVille, a social game aimed at baking up virtual foods that unlock real recipes for home, and The Ville, a spiritual sequel to YoVille that focuses on building virtual homes and real relationships. Zynga also debuted a trailer for a new 3D FarmVille 2 game.

Matching With Friends is the fifth game in that popular franchise. Words With Friends is the No. 3 app of all time and Zynga continues to expand that category with this new puzzle game.

Pincus shared the public company’s vision and strategy for the future of its social gaming network and outlined how the company will unify its technology and its player experience across web and mobile.

"We founded Zynga with a simple premise that we could help people put play back in their lives,”  Pincus said. “We believe that play can become one of the most important ways we make new friends and enhance relationships. Today's 'Unleashed' shows the products and technology that represent the next generation of Zynga. We've made some great progress on the Zynga Platform, and our pipeline of new games represents more genres of play that expand our audience, more mobile ways to play and more dimensions of play that will deliver the next generation of fun and social."

Pincus gave an early look at the Zynga With Friends network, a unified experience that will connect all players on any platform from Facebook to iOS and Android to Zynga.com. Zynga With Friends will take new, social inventions built on Zynga.com and make them available to players across the entire network. Zynga With Friends will roll out a social lobby that will include features and services such as zFriends, live Social Stream and chat, as well as Zynga's newly launched multiplayer feature on Zynga.com. Multiplayer allows players to challenge friends in head-to-head competition on Zynga.com.

While Zynga is continuing to develop new social games like Bubble Safari, Ruby Blast and Zynga Elite Slots, the company is expanding its Zynga Platform partner program. The company unveiled three new partners developing games for Zynga.com: 50 Cubes, Majesco and Portalarium. They join a strong lineup of diverse and talented developers, including Sava Transmedia, Konami, Playdemic, Mob Science, Row Sham Bow and Rebellion. On stage at "Unleashed," Sava Transmedia previewed the first third-party developed game for Zynga.com: Rubber Tacos, which will be available soon on Zynga.com and Facebook.

Zynga Mobile unveiled its dedicated partner program for mobile, giving mobile developers and partners access to one of the world's largest audiences of active mobile game players to drive discovery and reach for their games. The program will let partners of all sizes benefit from Zynga's success with monetization, distribution and player engagement. Early Zynga Partners for Mobile include, Atari, Crash Lab, Fat Pebble, Phosphor Games Studio and Sava Transmedia. Partner games will be available on the Zynga With Friends Network this summer. Phosphor Games Studios showed off the third-person action game, Horn, after the press conference.