30% Facebook Cash Grab Forces Popular Game Rethink

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Social game maker Zynga is trying to cut its ties to Facebook’s social network, as it moves to distribute its games directly to users online or via mobile phones.

 Social game maker Zynga is trying to cut its ties to Facebook’s social network, as it moves to distribute its games directly to users online or via mobile phones.

The company, which in July filed for an initial public offering that values the company at US$20 billion, has until now relied on Facebook’s platform.

Zynga games such as FarmVille and CityVille are played on Facebook by 230 million users every month. But in July, Facebook instituted a virtual payment system dubbed Facebook Credits, under which the social network takes a 30 percent cut of all game-developer revenue – which may have left Zynga less than deliriously happy..

During an event on Tuesday, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said the company’s new strategy, called Zynga Direct, will allows it to have “a direct relationship with consumers where we can give you a whole sandbox and create ‘socialness’ around the games.”

In other news mobile phone and online game vendors have been given a reprieve following a mooted national classification regime.

Legislation introduced to Parliament by Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor yesterday will allow classification of games online or on mobile phones.

The bill is an interim measure to deal with the increasing number of these games while the Australian Law Reform Commission conducts a comprehensive review of the National Classification Scheme.

Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor said, if the bill is passed, most online games would not be subject to classification for the next two years.

Current classification laws don’t apply to games played on mobile operating systems and online because the laws were established in 1996, long before the rise of online gaming and smartphones.

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