Zynga abandons Facebook for Zynga City launch in China

first_imgZynga has been forced to cut the cord with Facebook in China so as to start releasing its games in the region. The reason? Facebook is blocked in China meaning Zynga really had no choice but to look for another partner or pass on the billion-strong audience there.Choosing to find a new partner has landed the social gaming company one of the biggest fish in the world of online services. Tencent Holdings Limited runs some of the most popular services in China including the Tencent QQ IM service, web portals, multiplayer online games, and social networks. To get an idea of its size, consider the company placed third behind Google and Amazon last year with a worth of around $38 billion. Its Tencent QQ IM service has 647 million active accounts alone.The tie-up with Tencent will see Zynga’s CityVille social game rolled out under the new name of Zynga City. Initially it will appear on the Pengyou platform, but then will transition to QZone which is China’s largest social network. Although not as big as Facebook, it had 480 million users in March and is growing fast.Zynga relies on users spending money in-game on virtual goods, and uses some pretty sly tactics to entice you to purchase virtual cash. For the release of Zynga City some tweaks have been made to add content better suited to the Chinese market. That includes new items and in-game events linked to key Chinese holidays and celebrations.To ensure they got the content right, Zynga setup a studio in China that has been working on the updated game. With a full launch seeing the game appear on QZone, Zynga potentially has a new batch of 480 million players to tap.Read more at the Zynga Blog and Penn Olsonlast_img