Zynga loosens Facebook ties with site relaunch

Zynga loosens Facebook ties with site relaunch
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

March 25th 2013 at 1:35PM

New users can log in to Zynga.com and play games without a Facebook account

Zynga relaunched its website last week, and now allows new users to sign in and play without first logging into Facebook.

The move demonstrates another step towards the FarmVille maker pursing autonomy from the social networking giant, and a symbiosis that helped social games grow to exponential levels.

Existing players with still be able to log in to Zynga.com using their Facebook accounts. However, new players will be able to sign up without using Facebook log in details – a process which Zynga games have long required.

In addition to a more streamlined the signup process, users can now create a unique player name that can be used in games such as Draw Something and Word with Friends. Zynga hopes that this will enable it to build a larger community around its games and give users the means to engage with more people.

Since being founded in 2007, Zynga saw huge growth by harvesting Facebook’s network to gain new users while offering its games directly within Facebook’s pages. For a number of years the companies enjoyed a profitable relationship, and one that was symbolic of the rise of social gaming. Zynga derived nearly 90 per cent of its revenues from Facebook games, while Facebook received roughly 15 per cent of its income in the form of fees from the social games company.

But in recent times, Zynga’s fortunes have faltered, and a rift has formed between the two companies. Last year, Facebook and Zynga agreed to amend a longstanding deal that had given Zynga special privileges on the Facebook platform.

Instead of relying on Facebook’s communication features, Zynga has focused on enhancing features of its own, such as its ‘social stream’, a bar that is displayed within games to connect players to each other.