Zynga announces its own games portal

Social gaming giant chasing independence from Facebook?

Social gaming colossus Zynga has announced plans to launch its own online portal, meaning its customers will no longer have to play its games through Facebook.

As detailed by VentureBeat, Zynga.com goes into beta later this month.

The developer hopes to host third party titles alongside its own games, such as FarmVille, Words with Friends and Mafia Wars.

US studios Mobscience and Row Sham Bow are the first two developers to sign up. All third party partners will be offered access to "the technology and game development services that Zynga has built specifically for building and scaling social games," explained Zynga exec John Schappert.

In return, Zynga will take a cut of all virtual items sold through the site.

It could turn out to be a very significant move for both the developer and Facebook. Zynga currently makes 90 per cent of its income via Facebook, whereas Facebook makes 12 per cent of its income from Zynga.

However, for the time being at least, it seems Zynga wants to keep the social network on side. Zynga.com's underlying payment system will be Facebook Credits - from which Zuckerberg and co. cream 30 per cent per transaction.

"We've been a web/game company delivering content to our players and developing our own internal infrastructure and technology. And now we're transforming into a gaming and platform company," said Schappert.

"We've listened to our players, to what they want from social gaming. They want a place where they can play together, they want a place that curates and delivers the best new social games for them, where they'll always have a friend to play with."

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