Wildly popular social game-maker Zynga announced today that it is expanding beyond the walled garden of Facebook to offer games at Zynga.com. Through this site, users will be able to partake in Zynga’s variety of games without having to go through Facebook first. (Well, kinda.)
“On Zynga.com, players can meet and connect with others who share a love for social games and help players progress faster in their games by tapping the entire community to instantly get what they need to complete quests, obtain virtual items, and advance to the next level,” says the company on its blog. “Zynga.com will feature five of our most popular games at launch – Words With Friends, CityVille, CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles and Zynga Poker. We’re also teaming up with third party game developers in an effort to make Zynga.com the best destination for play.”
In addition, Zynga has announced the Zynga Platform, which allows third-party developers to create non-Zynga games, and make them accessible through Zynga.com. The first Zynga Platform partners to jump on board are MobScience, Row Sham Bow, and Sava.
But don’t think for a second that Zynga and Facebook are any less intertwined. Zynga.com users will still have to connect to the site via Facebook Connect. And Zynga will use Facebook Credits as its gaming currency.
According to VentureBeat, Zynga.com will officially go live sometime early this month. (At present, it’s simply a company website, with no playable games available.)
So far, the change has been well received on Wall Street, where Zynga’s stock price rose more than 10 percent, after the news of Zynga.com and Zynga Platform broke, to over $15 — its highest stock price to date. The price has since dropped slightly, in after-hours trading.
So, readers, what do you think? Was this a good move by Zynga? Are you more inclined to play its games if you don’t have to access them directly through Facebook first?