Zynga recruits Yahoo to distribute social games

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Making good on its earlier allusions to finding additional outlets for its social games, Zynga on Wednesday said it would distribute games on Yahoo.

The deal gives Zynga a new outlet for its games, which reach 230 million players a month, mostly on Facebook. For Yahoo, Zynga’s hyper-popular social games are part of a broader strategy to add more content to its sites, including news, Web shows and games.


The deal comes on the heels of a truce between Zynga and Facebook over the social network’s proposal to split revenue that application developers such as Zynga generate from Facebook’s 400 million users. Zynga had balked at the proposal and threatened to take its games elsewhere.

At the time, Zynga Chief Executive Mark Pincus alluded to “other platforms” where the company could take its games, which include Mafia Wars, Farmville, Zynga Poker and Treasure Isle.

Zynga did not say which of those games would be ported to Yahoo, or when they would launch. The titles would be integrated on Yahoo’s home page, Yahoo Games, Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Mail.
The Zynga games are the latest in a string of deals by Yahoo to beef up its content in a bid to maintain and grow its user base. It recently snapped up Associated Content.

Earlier this year, Yahoo signed a deal to host articles from Appolicious, a site that reviews applications. And in January, Yahoo teamed up with Ben Silverman’s Electus production house to create original webisodes for Yahoo.

-- Alex Pham