FarmVille-maker Zynga is a real business with $300+ million revenues that is beginning to realise it depends too much Facebook for its users.But where can it go?
Facebook requires Zynga to use Facebook Credits and, in the process, charges Zynga 30% for every transaction.
Facebook also limits the ways in which Zynga can contact its users, and this forces Zynga to buy more Facebook ads.
There’s also rumours that Facebook wants Zynga to promise it won’t build games for other social networks.
Zynga – and the bankers who want to take it to an IPO someday – obviously hate all this. So it’s no surprise to hear Zynga VP Mark Skaggs telling IndustryGamers that “Facebook’s not always going to be the answer.”
Mark is optimistic that Zynga will soon have an alternative to Facebook.
He said, “There’s other folks that’ll come. Just like in the console business, there were more console makers that came up.”
But Mark doesn’t say who those alternatives to Facebook will be. We noodled it for a bit and came up with four possibilities:
Maybe Zynga will try launching some games on Twitter. Lead Twitter investor Fred Wilson wrote a post last month encouraging Twitter developers to get into social gaming. Fred is also a Zynga investor.
Another possibility is MySpace. Zynga-rival Playdom actually gets more users from MySpace than it does Facebook. MySpace is currently undergoing a redesign, with one goal being to become more game-friendly.
Zynga could build more games for the iPad and iPhone. Zynga has some games for the iPhone, but they aren’t a huge company focus. It doesn’t have any iPad games yet, but it was on stage at the announcement of Kleiner Perkin’s iPad Fund.
Zynga could try to launch its own destination site. rumour is Zynga plans to launch something called Zynga Live.com as its own gamers network.