Last week we unveiled the Zynga Platform for play, which is built with two very simple goals in mind: bring players more people to play with (say that ten times fast), and give them more ways to play. A major step towards those goals is Zynga.com, our new destination for social games. What I’d like to cover in this post is how third party developers fit into the mix.
I joined Zynga from Sony Computer Entertainment where I led publisher relations for PlayStation and PlayStation Network. I’ll be honest. When I was at Sony, I initially thought social gaming was a fad. I would tell anyone willing to listen that social games weren’t going to catch on. I’d debate whether social games should even be considered games. Well, after taking the leap and coming over to Zynga, I’m happy to admit I was wrong.
Why did I make the move in the first place? Because with each new game I saw Zynga launch, and subsequently the engagement levels and scale they’re building with players throughout the world, I began to realize that Zynga is in on the ground floor of something big. Nate Bosia, my partner from PlayStation, joined me at Zynga and also works on the Platform partner team. We’re both here because we see a huge opportunity. I’m not talking about an opportunity for Zynga. I’m talking about the opportunity for all game developers. We, the industry, have a chance to bring games to the most people ever in the history of our medium.
To do this, we need to come together to resolve a few problems. It’s easier than ever to make social games, and a ton of great games are being created by a ton of different studios. The challenge is that once your game is made, it’s often really, really hard to capture and retain an audience.
If you’re lucky enough to catch lightning in a bottle and capture an audience, you hit that technical challenge of scaling your game in a way that the sheer weight of your players doesn’t cause it to collapse. But let’s say you overcome all those challenges and gain an audience at scale, which a lot of developers have, well then you’re faced with solving the riddle of keeping players engaged over the long haul.
We know these challenges, because we’ve been there. Zynga’s DNA is social game development. We’ve learned how to scale games from zero to millions of daily players within days. Over time Zynga was able to build back end infrastructure so front end game designers could unlock their potential.
We want to help third party game developers unlock the same potential by doing a few things. We want to give developers access to the 240 million monthly active players that currently play Zynga games by publishing and promoting their games across the Zynga network. In addition, we’ll soon enable partners to tap into channels and features that increase social engagement, analytics that measure and drive social action, and provide access to back end technology that ensures scalability and availability.
Most importantly, we’re working with developers now to make the Zynga Platform something they want to tap into, and something they can help evolve. We’re humbled to see early interest from some great developers. Last week, we welcomed Row Sham Bow, Mobscience, Sava Transmedia as inaugural Zynga Platform partners.
Today, we’re proud to announce the addition of three more friends: Konami, Playdemic and Rebellion. All six of our partners are great examples of the sheer talent in the games industry today, and we can’t wait to show you what they’re cooking up.
If you’re a developer and interested in the Zynga Platform, we want to hear from you. Head over to our developer page to drop us a line.