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5/27/2010
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Yahoo, Zynga Partner On Games Distribution

The pact makes Farmville accessible across the Yahoo network and allows product integration of Zynga games with the Yahoo Application Platform.

Yahoo said Wednesday it will distribute Zynga's popular online games -- such as Mafia Wars, Farmville, Zynga Poker, and Treasure Isle -- through its Yahoo games service, in a move designed to help broaden its appeal and audience.

Under terms of the agreement, in the months ahead users will be able to play Zynga games and access game updates across Yahoo properties such as the homepage, Yahoo Games, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Messenger, and share updates while simultaneously playing games on Yahoo. In addition, the pact allows product integration of Zynga games with the Yahoo Application Platform, Yahoo's OpenSocial container for third-party development of applications on Yahoo, as well as Yahoo Query Language and Connect program.

"Because of our continued efforts to expose our social plumbing, the new offering works in conjunction with our aggregation play with Facebook and Twitter: users of Zynga games (whether on Yahoo's or Zynga's sites) will be able to share their updates not just to Yahoo (the norm for the past two years), but now also to multiple networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and more," explained a post on the Yahoo Developer blog.

More than 35 million users play Zynga games each day, said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga. Yahoo has about 600 million users around the world, according to Yahoo. Zynga's games will reportedly roll-out first in the United States, followed by an international deployment.

"Zynga will bring top notch social game experiences to Yahoo, including through our open platforms such as Yahoo Application Platform and Yahoo Updates. Yahoo! will also continue to work with other partners, developers and publishers to bring compelling innovations and experiences from across the web to our users," said Hilary Schneider, executive vice president, Yahoo Americas.

Last week, Zynga and Facebook inked a five-year "strategic relationship." For its part, Yahoo beefed-up through its May 19 acquisition of start-up Associated Content and a May 24 mapping deal with Nokia. On April 21, Yahoo signed-on to host stories from applications review site Appolicious and on Jan. 8 Yahoo became the first distributor for production house Electus.

With an eye on rival Facebook's success with Zynga's games, MySpace recently kicked off a labs program for game developers.

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