Zynga has launched a new website, giving players access to their games outside of Facebook and app stores, as the firm aims to become a standalone gaming platform.
The firm is tesing the ‘Zynga Platform’, which will initially allow customers to play five of its popular titles, such as CityVille, Hidden Chronicles, Zynga Poker, CastleVille and Words With Friends, from its website.
Zynga said more of its games will become available on the website over time.
Zynga’s effort to offer games directly will also allow the company to interact with customers without relying on Facebook’s messaging and notification systems, which include notices from competitors’ games and friends’ status updates.
Additionally, the new service will also allow gamers to interact with one another without becoming “friends” on Facebook.
“We built Zynga.com to give our players more ways to connect with each other and play great social games whether built by Zynga or other talented developers,” Mark Pincus, Zynga’s chief executive, said in a statement.
Zynga said that aside from offering access to its games on its website, the company will also be creating its own social network for gaming, called “zFriends,” which it describes as connecting gamers “with more people, beyond your Facebook friends.”
Aside from connecting gamers, Zynga said it will offer other services, such as profiles highlighting gamers’ achievements and favorite titles, as well as a live chat system that will allow people to swap strategies and send gifts.
Zynga’s new approach, which comes as interest in Facebook’s initial public offering intensifies, presents a way to differentiate Zynga’s products from the popular social network and other games.
The move could also threaten some of Facebook’s revenue stream. The social network said in its S-1 filing that Zynga accounted for about 12% of its $3.7 billion in revenue last year. Zynga said its platform would rely on Facebook’s login and payment systems at launch.
View the official launch video for the site below: