A couple of interesting developments have occurred in the world of social games this week. First and foremost, Zynga has decided to call it quits with MSN, pulling FarmVille from the site, while in other news, Google has purchased virtual item payment company Jambool.
Zynga Splits from MSN
Much noise was made when Zynga announced that it would be offering FarmVille on MSN last February. However, it seems that noise is all that the announcement really amounted to, as Inside Social Games has reported that Zynga has pulled the title from MSN.
Let’s keep in mind the feelings in the air last February, when Zynga was battling a semi-private, mostly public battle with Facebook over the integration of Facebook Credits and third party notifications. When MSN Games was announced as a new home for FarmVille, it added fuel to the “Zynga is leaving Facebook” fire. Now, though, Zynga is entrenched in Facebook even more after signing a five-year contract with the company.
Ultimately, one could assume that it’s this new partnership between the two companies that makes FarmVille on MSN Games fairly fruitless. Users are used to being able to navigate to Facebook to play the game, so why would they change if the game itself isn’t really leaving?
The most interesting part of this story is found when thinking of what this means for another Zynga partnership – that with Yahoo! Could Zynga be planning on removing their presence there as well? Only time will tell, but we’ll be sure to keep you informed with this growing story.
Google Buys Jambool
Thanks to TechCrunch, we’ve learned that Google has expanded its efforts to create a social gaming world that can compete with Facebook by purchasing Jambool, and their Social Gold payment product.
Jambool will allow Google’s eventual social gaming network to provide in-game purchases, with payments built directly within the games. The purchase price is being reported as $55 million, with another $15-20 million in an earn-out, according to sources.
Through this technology, Google will be able to allow said payments through both traditional web-based social games and through the Android platform via flash, which is currently unavailable on Apple’s devices (that is, unless you are comfortable jailbreaking your device).
We’ll be sure to bring you continued coverage concerning Google’s bid for social gaming dominance as more information becomes available.