Zynga Expands Beyond Facebook, Launches Games on Yahoo

Zynga, makers of the wildly popular FarmVille and other addictive games on Facebook, have found a way to bring in even more users: Expand outside of the social network. While Facebook is a huge property, with hundreds of millions of users, there's bound to be a handful of people out there who don't -- or refuse to -- use the site. Zynga is hoping to capture them by launching FishVille and Mafia Wars on Yahoo, where they now appear on Messenger and other areas of the site.

The previously announced move is part of Zynga's plan to generate more revenue from its popular social games by taking them beyond Facebook to web sites where it can find new audiences. The expansion is the first major move by Zynga in some time.

For Yahoo, the new games -- Mafia Wars and FishVille -- could generate new interest and social activity on its various properties. Those games will appear on Yahoo Messenger, My Yahoo, Yahoo Toolbar, Yahoo Pulse and Yahoo Games. The launch of the two games is just the first phase of a larger Zynga-Yahoo integration. Mafia Wars has more than 23 million monthly active users, and FishVille has 6 million.

Zynga has also diversified by creating the FarmVille.com web site, and it took FarmVille to MSN Games only to withdraw the offering for no stated reason. Zynga also launched its poker game in Taiwan, pledged to create social mobile games in Japan, and debuted FarmVille on the iPhone.

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