Zynga to launch virtual farm with Lady Gaga


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Zynga Inc., whose Facebook game FarmVille is played by 12 million people a day, has joined up with pop diva Lady Gaga to promote the publicity-seeking singer’s next album, ‘Born This Way.’

The deal calls for Zynga to create GagaVille, a virtual version of ‘The Simple Life,’ a reality show that once featured socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie on a dairy farm.


Unlike Hilton and Richie, however, Gaga will not have to get her nails dirty. The GagaVille farm, which players of FarmVille will be able to visit starting May 17, will be run by Zynga’s developers.

The San Francisco company, whose social games are played by about 250 million people a day, promised that GagaVille will be decked out in the quirky singer’s signature regalia. ‘Think crystals, unicorns and sheep on motorcycles,’ Zynga said in a press release Tuesday.

Fans also will be able to stream songs from ‘Born This Way,’ set to debut May 23, after they complete certain tasks in the game. In addition, those who buy a $25 gift card at Best Buy stores to play Zynga’s games will be able to download the album for free.

The Gaga campaign is the latest in a string of promotions Zynga has done with musicians and movie studios in an effort to expand its reach and drive additional revenue for the company, which is valued at $10 billion based on its last round of venture financing.

Earlier this year, Zynga helped promote Paramount Pictures’ animated movie ‘Rango’ and build buzz for Sony Pictures’ ‘The Green Hornet.’ Last year, Zynga worked with DreamWorks Animation to advertise ‘Megamind’ and with Dr. Dre to promote his album ‘Detox.’

Terms of the promotional deals, including the agreement with Lady Gaga, were not disclosed.


-- Alex Pham