Zynga turns away from Facebook
Top online gaming platform Zynga has recently redesigned its website making it possible for players to enter games without Facebook access. The gaming network has been greatly dependent on on Facebook since its launch in 2007, and this development is its first serious step towards independence. (Okay, perhaps it is not as dramatic as the below illustration suggests :)
Famous Zynga games
Zynga’s most well-known creation is probably the FarmVille game which hit the world in 2009 and made thousands of decent individuals spend long hours planting crops and raising livestock on their virtual patches of land. Once the most popular Facebook game, FarmVille was even mentioned among "The 50 Worst Inventions" of the recent decades by Time.
FarmVille and half a dozen of other -Ville games developed by Zynga all build upon the possibilities of social gaming: during the course of the game you compete with your friends instead of unknown anonymous players. Making it possible for players to play games bypassing Facebook identification will mean that it’s easier to join the game for new users, but it will also mean less transparency: after all, if players sign in to the game with their Facebook account it means that their REAL name is being displayed.
On the other hand, I can imagine that this move will bring Zynga a lot more players, especially among those who wouldn’t want their Facebook friends, colleagues and family members see that they are playing online games instead of engaging in some useful activities like studying or working. ;)
Online gaming vs. apps
The popularity of Flash-based online games seems to have surpassed its peak with the increasing usage of mobile devices, many of which do not have the plugins necessary for Flash applications to run. The future of online games is on portable devices which are much better suited to dedicated apps than to browser games.
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