Zynga games, champions of the “games people play in the background while they’re at work” market, has decided to launch its own platform in an attempt to create a richer casual gaming experience than they’ve managed to cultivate via Facebook. The project is called the Zynga Platform, and it goes into open beta on Zynga.com this month.
Zynga has invited third party developers to publish content via their platform, in the hopes that doing so “will allow developers to tap into a captive audience of players who love to play social games,” says Rob Dyer, head of platform partners at Zynga.
The initial beta will feature five of Zynga’s most popular games: Words With Friends, Hidden Chronicles, Cityville, Zynga Poker, and Castleville. The platform will include live chat as well as a social stream which will allow players to post requests for advancement items in real time, without navigating away from their game board.
Other social elements create a sort of fusion between Zynga’s Facebook background and the current console generation’s community features: players will have a profile viewable by those on their “zFriends” list, which will display a player’s recent activity, favorite games, and his or her helpfulness score in relation to others.
Zynga Platform services will be available in sixteen languages initially: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, German, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Indonesian, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Korean.
No third party titles have been mentioned as yet, but Zynga promises to open its doors to other developers later this year.