It’s not yet “Facebook official”, but it looks like game maker Zynga and the social media website Facebook have talked about changing their relationship with each other. The two have been together for years, and I never expected them to consider revising their partnership. However, it seems that they have had “a talk”.
The two companies have reached a new agreement that amends the one they created together in 2010. They aren’t going to do a complete and total “we are never, ever, getting back together” breakup. It’s more like they have each become interested in a more open relationship than what they previously had with each other. Each appears to want have less inter-dependence with the other.
It seems that at least some of the changes will become effective on March 31, 2013. Facebook is going to stop giving what has been seen as a “privileged status” or as “preferential treatment” to Zynga. The 2010 agreement provided Zynga with guaranteed promotions of certain Zynga games on Facebook. Instead, Zynga will be governed by the same rules and policies as the rest of the game companies that are on Facebook.
Facebook will be allowed to develop its own games. Word has it that the company feels it “was not in the business of building games” and doesn’t have plans to start creating them.
Zynga is going to have more freedom to operate its own, standalone, gaming website. They can choose not to display Faecbook’s ads on Zynga.com. They can also choose to not to collect revenue for games on Zynga.com in favor of using Facebook’s payment system. If it goes that route, Facebook will take a 30% cut of that revenue.
Those of you who are playing Zynga games on Facebook need not worry. Games like “Farmville” and “Mafia Wars” are staying put. The difference is that the games will stop featuring cross-promotions that direct you to Zynga.com. At the same time, you won’t be able to play at Zynga.com and tap into your friends who are connected to the games through Facebook.
Personally, I think this is good news. The changes could, potentially, make it possible for people like me, who play games but do not want a Facebook account, to be able to check out some of Zynga’s games.
Image: Stock Photo Broken Heart by BigStock