Late last week saw number two social network MySpace launch its MySpace Games Lab pilot program, which will bring third-party social game developers into MySpace's offices to collaborate. Partners who tested the program early on were virtual world Meez and social developer TheBroth. Now MySpace is opening the program so any MySpace developer can participate.
In addition to Meez and TheBroth, MySpace is working with Playdom to refine and develop its platform roadmap. Top social developer Zynga is also backing the Games Lab initiative and introducing the Bangkok location to the MySpace version of its Mafia Wars game. It's worth noting, though, that Zynga's top game FarmVille is still unavailable on the MySpace platform.
MySpace has also implemented the Open Social 1.0 API, which means that social developers will be able to use Open Social features in their games. MySpace worked with Google to develop its implementation of the Open Social interface. Supporting the Open Social community will make it easier for Open Social developers to port their games to MySpace.
Emphasizing social gaming was part of MySpace's development roadmap as early as July 2009, when more game-friendly Facebook began decisively overtaking MySpace in terms of traffic and stickiness. MySpace has traditionally emphasized music as its main sideline business, as part of its appeal to teenage users.
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