Zynga Unveils New Games, Own Social Gaming Platform Dubbed Project Z

The social gaming giant, which has filed for an IPO, unveiled CastleVille, Zynga Bingo, Dream Zoo and Hidden Chronicles, among others, and a social game service that would make it less dependent on Facebook, while allowing users to connect with their Facebook friends.

NEW YORK - Social gaming giant Zynga, which earlier this year filed for an initial public offering, on Tuesday unveiled a slew of new games and the addition of new platforms with the goal of attracting new casual players and busy, on-the-go gamers, as well as making itself less dependent on social network Facebook.

CEO Mark Pincus unveiled 10 new products during an event, entitled "Unleashed," at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, saying that Zynga wants to be the biggest bet on the social gaming space.

"Games for everyone, everywhere" was one of the taglines used in Zynga tweets and a blog post about the event.

The firm at the event touted Project Z, a Facebook Connect-enabled platform providing an environment for games designed to reduce its dependence on Facebook, while allowing users to connect with their Facebook friends. Zynga called the planned gaming service, which will launch later on its Web site, "a new “playground” to leverage your friend network on Facebook in an entirely new way."

"What we’ve found from talking to our players is that they want to play online with friends who love the same games, and they want to connect with others who are playing at that very moment," Zynga explained in a blog post. "We call that the promise of instant socýial, and today we’re taking a bigyúg step towards it with the announcement of Project Z, a new social games service from Zynga, enabled by Facebook Connect."

In its regulatory filings tied to its planned IPO, the company has also highlighted its reliance on the Facebook platform.

Zynga executives Tuesday also unveiled new games, including CastleVille, Zynga Bingo, which will be packaged with Zynga Poker under the moniker Zynga Casino, and Dream Zoo.

Zynga also touted its previously announced first-ever sequel, Mafia Wars 2, and unveiled Hidden Chronicles, a game in a new genre for Zynga that combines memory and skill challenges.   

"This hidden object game is a combination of memory and skill; essentially a social scavenger hunt including hidden object play, engaging puzzles and some friendly competition," Zynga said about Hidden Chronicles.

It also introduced HTML5 mobile versions of three of its existing games that will soon launch on Facebook's mobile apps sites - Zynga Poker, Words With Friends and FarmVille Express.

Zynga, also known for such Facebook games as CityVille, has been striking integration deals with films, TV shows and music stars, such as Lady Gaga and Enrique Iglesias.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai


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