Zynga Pulls FarmVille from MSN Games
About ten days ago FarmVille was quietly pulled from MSN Games, as reported by Inside Social Games.
In a partnership between Zynga and MSN dating back to February, FarmVille was made available to play via MSN Games. The idea was that having FarmVille accessible through other portals besides FaceBook, would drive hits for both MSN and increase exposure for Zynga. It is unsure how successful this partnership was and whether or not it was worth it for Zynga’s investment.
So why did Zynga leave? While Zynga has failed to make an official statement concerning the end of farming on MSN, it is no secret that Zynga recently entered into a partnership with MSN competitor Google, who has invested millions in the social gaming company. Could this partnership have something to do with it? According to Inside Social Gaming, ” Zynga didn’t find the traffic MSN produced meaningful enough to continue running FarmVille on the Microsoft platform”.
As access portals other than FaceBook seem to be of particular interest to social gaming companies like Zynga, “Zynga’s departure suggests the traffic other social developers are hoping to find off of Facebook may be more difficult to find than expected”. Despite FarmVille’s “lackluster performance” on MSN, Zynga continues to seek other avenues of social expansion, including investments in mobile apps, like FarmVille for iPhone as well as seeking access for its games in international markets such as Japan and China. With investments like Google’s in Zynga, rumored to be of up to $200 million, the future of Zynga games in the US market seems to be more than hopeful especially with the launch of the much anticipated Google Games. For now, the big question remains unanswered. . . do social gaming companies like Zynga need FaceBook or does FaceBook need them?
What do you think? What does the future of Zynga’s games like FarmVille outside the realm of FaceBook?