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Zynga launches gaming network, brings multiplayer to games

Zynga, a social game developer, is launching its own gaming network: Zynga with Friends.
Zynga, a social game developer, is launching its own gaming network: Zynga with Friends.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zynga, a social network game developer, announced its plans for the future this week
  • Plans include expansion of Zynga with Friends, a way to interact with other players
  • Zynga also plans to roll out Zynga Multiplayer, starting with Bubble Safari
  • Zynga is the maker of hit social games "FarmVille" and "Words with Friends"

(Mashable) -- At a special dog-friendly press conference at its headquarters in San Francisco, Zynga announced some of its plans for the future, including an API for both Zynga developers and third parties.

The company is also launching its own gaming network: Zynga with Friends. Already available on Zynga.com, zFriends helps gamers find players who have the same gaming interests and play styles as they do. It will also connect all of the games on the network.

Zynga is also rolling out a new chat experience, and profiles that allow you to keep track of records for a game. Zynga Multiplayer is also on the way. It will first launch with Bubble Safari and then come to other titles in the Zynga With Friends network in the future.

A new Zynga With Friends lobby will give you all the information you need to know about the games you play in one place. For instance, you can see the challenges you currently have, gifts you've received, and what zFriends you currently have online to play with.

A Social stream will give you a list of things your friends need—like a sheep -- so you can help friends progress in games. The Social Stream might also suggest players like you that you should challenge to a game.

Zynga has come a long way since launching its first game, Zynga Poker, a Facebook-only game and one of the first social games ever on July 1, 2007. The company followed that game in November 2008 with Zynga Poker for iPhone.

In June 2009, the company launched "FarmVille." This year the company has seen mobile social gaming grow. "Words with Friends" is now a household name, and is currently the No. 3 game on online.

"We founded Zynga with the simple premise that people could put play back in their lives, " Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said at the event.

"We started with some pretty simple ideas, that today seem even more simple. We started with a poker table where you could send your friends drinks and dancing gnomes." Games have grown considerably more complex since then, and Zynga games into some of the most popular in the world.

In the past minute 64,000 words have been played in the game. Zynga game players have drawn 43,000 pictures, played 38,000 hands of poker, opened 250,000 gifts from friends, played 140,000 turns of games together, and have sent more than 5,000 chats. Zynga releases 100 updates across its games each day, adding up to over 1,000 updates per week.

What do you think about Zynga With Friends? Let us know what you think about the new gaming network in the comments.

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