Things have been tempestuous for gaming company Zynga in the last few months, but just yesterday, it made a new step forward in a life potentially post-Facebook (News - Alert); Zynga re-launched its website to allow its users to play Zynga titles without first signing in with Facebook. This is seen as a particularly big step for Zynga (News - Alert), as it shows a new side of the company: a side without a Facebook bolster.
The re-launch of Zynga's website illustrates something of a new future for the company, as it tries to assert itself independently of Facebook to call attention to its own products without the social media company's support. Though the two were once closely bound, Facebook is clearly making its own strides these days, so why not also Zynga? Indeed, the re-launch of Zynga shows one particularly clear point about the need for at least some independence for Zynga: now players can log in under uniquely chosen usernames, not under their Facebook accounts, which displayed their real names. New players will be able to immediately sign up under whatever name they wish, which was often a large part of many Zynga titles.
Zynga.com's general manager, Tim Catlin, described at least some of the motive behind the re-launched website to Reuters (News - Alert), expressing the belief that Zynga's players wanted to disconnect their real names from gaming, though the option to use Facebook accounts to log in would still be available.
While Facebook and Zynga were once deeply connected--at one point, 90 percent of Zynga's revenue was derived from its Facebook games, and 15 percent of Facebook's revenue came from fees paid by Zynga--the two companies have been working in different directions for some time now. Last year, the two companies amended a deal that had been around for some time and gave Zynga a particular set of privileges. Zynga built out its own feature set, like its "social stream" functions, and looked to take on an increasingly large number of social and mobile game providers. Meanwhile, Facebook divested into a large number of industries from ticket sales to mobile advertising.
It's also worth noting that Zynga was seen looking to move into the online gambling space as well, giving it another field in which to operate. Diversification is never a bad thing--indeed, Zynga's top brass was recently criticized for not making the move away from Facebook sooner--and giving both companies an ability to better succeed without the other will ultimately make them both better companies. That's not to say the two can't--or even shouldn't--do business together, it's just that a strategy that trends away from putting a lot of, or even all, of one's eggs in one basket is as bad a strategy as the maxim would imply.
Edited by Brooke Neuman