Zynga has launched Mafia Wars and FishVille on Yahoo services including Yahoo Messenger, My Yahoo, Yahoo Toolbar, Yahoo Pulse, and Yahoo Games. These game integrations are the beginning of a much larger Zynga-Yahoo integration announced about six months ago. Yahoo users can play Zynga’s games without being forced to use Facebook Connect. Instead, users will have the option to use Yahoo services for their social graph. Mafia Wars serves over 23 million monthly active users on other platforms, while FishVille serves over 6 million.
Zynga has launched its flagship game, FarmVille, on its own freestanding Website, iPhone, and iPad. Zynga is also beginning to try and localize its games for foreign markets, including China and Japan. Zynga’s desire to move beyond Facebook goes back to last spring, when Facebook shut down certain viral channels in the name of reducing spam. Since then social games from top publishers including Zynga have been hemorrhaging users, with only a handful of exceptions.
Mafia Wars and FishVille on Yahoo are possible through the Yahoo Application Platform, which allows sharing of social information throughout Yahoo’s network. Yahoo has a similar deal with OMGPOP, developer of the social game Cupcake Corner. Zynga’s first Yahoo integrations come only a day after Zynga competitor CrowdStar revealed a similar deal involving Microsoft’s Web services. At one point Zynga published FarmVille for MSN Games, but abruptly removed the game early in August.
[via Worlds in Motion]
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