On the heels of Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s big announcement, “privacy is dead,” a battle for billions has been going on behind the scenes. Mark Pincus, wants Zynga wants to move out of daddy Facebook’s house and branch out on its own. Can Zynga survive without Facebook? Mark Pincus seems to think so and he wants to take his 250 million users with him.
According to the TechCrunch article, talks between Zynga and Facebook took a turn for the worse when they began negotiating the use of Facebook credits. The new virtual currency is a way for Facebook to finally monetize their powerful distribution system. Zynga spoiled from not having to pay a penny to Facebook for helping build its billion dollar empire has decided to become a free agent. What?
The bold move by Marc Pincus could either catapult Zynga to even more success or send it spiraling downwards. It will leave the door open for Mark Zuckerberg to either produce his own games, establish a preferred relationships with powerhouse studios like EA and THQ, or even give a leg up to RockYou and Crowdstar.
Sources say, Facebook has been in beta testing with RockYou, Playfish, Crowdstar and a few other major players with their new Facebook credits platform. Most studios are eager to work with Facebook, while Zynga seems to feel they are big enough to leave the nest. Will this open the door for potential acquisition by Microsoft or Google? My bet would be on Google, who is looking for new ways to compete against Facebook.
Facebook and Zynga may share the same investment firm, but when it comes to money they are all business. The billion dollar question is will users still want to play Farmville two years from now? Personally, I think the novelty will wear off and users will go back to tried and true franchises they love. Which will position EA and THQ to become numero uno.
The big winner in all of this? Facebook users who are sick and tired of friends posting about planting corn and feeding their chickens.