Zynga.com marks major step for social gaming

Summary:Does the launch of Zynga.com marks the next step in the gaming company's road towards independence from Facebook?

Zynga has launched a new platform on its own domain in what could be considered a significant milestone for the social gaming industry.

Zynga.com will debut in beta mode later this month as the San Francisco-based company’s new destination for social games.

To entice visitors to the platform, the site is launching with some of Zynga's greatest hits thus far such as Words with Friends and Zynga Poker.

Beyond just Zynga-produced titles, online gamers can also use the platform to search for and play social games created by third-party game developers.

To ramp up the amount of content quickly, Zynga is supporting third-party developers -- for the first time ever -- to create and publish games on Zynga's platform.

In return, these developers and partners will have the opportunity to reach out to roughly 240 million monthly active users with promotion across the Zynga network.

The outreach to third-party partners has been made possible by Zynga's zCloud private cloud infrastructure.

Zynga's chief technology officer Cadir Lee explained in prepared remarks that the "goal for the Zynga Platform is to make it easier for game developers to build the best social games without having to deal with technology challenges."

Before now, Zynga has been heavily reliant on its social networking partners (especially Facebook) for getting its games and products to gamers as well as connecting them with other online players.

The launch of a separate domain represents Zynga's continuing emergence as a social media giant of its own.

However, Zynga executives are smart enough not to discount out their greatest supporter just yet.

Zynga.com is actually being touted as "one of the first sites to be totally integrated with Facebook as an extension of the companies’ strong and collaborative partnership."

Like many other websites using Facebook Connect, visitors to Zynga.com could login with their Facebook IDs and play with existing Facebook friends, among other people using the platform.

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Topics: Start-Ups

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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