Zynga to roll out unified gaming platform, multiplayer gaming

The platform will deliver activity feeds, analytics and multiplayer functionality

Zynga announced Tuesday that it would build a social gaming network that provides a more unified gaming experience, whether players are on Facebook, iOS or Android devices.

Called Zynga with Friends, the network will allow people to play games against each other across the different platforms, even if one is on the Facebook website and the other on an iPhone, for instance.

They'll also have access to the same set of social features. They include group chat and the ability to find new friends -- or zFriends, as Zynga calls them -- and challenge them to play.

Outside developers will also be able to use the features with a new, streamlined set of APIs (application programming interfaces), Zynga's chief engineer Kostadis Roussos said, during Zynga's Unleashed event in San Francisco.

The company also announced a new crop of games, including two additions to its "ville" franchise that are coming soon: "The Ville," where players can build a home and host social activities, and "ChefVille," in which users set up and run their own restaurant.

It also launched "Matching With Friends," which is available for iOS devices Tuesday, and "Zynga Elite Slots," a casino game that's coming soon.

Zynga is also introducing multiplayer gaming, starting with the game Bubble Safari. It will extend the multiplayer feature to other games, including those outside developers host on the platform.

The Zynga With Friends network builds on early success of the gaming experience it has offered on Zynga.com since March, the company said. The features available to players on the Zynga.com website will now be expanded to players on Facebook or Android or iOS mobile apps. Developers will be able to access the features through the new Zynga API, the company said.

Zynga.com customized social streams for gaming, proposing new "zFriends," for example, based on similar gaming activity rather than shared social connections. The company says 70 percent of visitors to Zynga.com access the social stream it offers, which documents a user's gaming interactions. The stream will "soon" be available as part of Zynga With Friends, to game players on any device or platform, according to Manuel Bronstein, Zynga's general manager.

Zynga executive Rob Dyer, head of platform publishing, referred to a "separation of church and state" to assure developers that their ideas won't be poached. He also said Zynga is adopting a "very curated" approach for the platform, initially pursuing games that don't compete with its own offerings.

Roussos emphasized how technically difficult it is to deliver multiplayer gaming. At the busiest time of the day, Zynga games have as many active players as the city of Paris has residents, generating a million activities a second, Roussos said. Latency between server and client also presents a technical hurdle.

The company generates 8 terabytes of data a day, said Reed Shaffner, Zynga's director of product.

Zynga touts the value of its analytics to developers who use its platform. Analytics data and analysis show developers which features users like, so that they can continue to launch new experiences within the game, the company said.

The platform will launch with new developer partners 50 Cubes, Majesco and Portalarium as well as existing partners including Sava Transmedia, Mob Science and Row Sham Bow.

Asked for more details about when the platform would go live, Bronstein said, "You're going to see more like a progression than like this is the day that the platform became available."

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Scott

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?