Zynga, Google+ Double Up Game Deals with CityVille Launch

Once upon a time life’s essentials were just food, water, air, clothing and shelter.  But these days a connected device and an internet connection are also deemed essential.   This is why more companies are investing in the web, especially in high profit sectors like online games.  Zynga’s been a huge driver in the industry’s direction, striking an interesting balance between investors and partners–social networking and virtual goods.  Today marks a second major team-up between Zynga and Google, this time bringing Zynga’s CityVille to Google+.  The deal follows recent partnerships with Best Buy, encouraging gamers to build Best Buy stores in CityVille on their Facebook account.

Zynga introduced us to addictive games like FarmVille and CityVille on Facebook, but with Google determined to outstretch its Google+ network, the team-up has the weight to attract a demographic that’s becoming more integrated with various web services, from e-payments to social media.

Then again, the partnership is quite critical for Zynga, as the game publisher suffered a 90% profit decline in their second quarter net income, and Google+ needs to retain users.   Zynga’s profit fell to $1.4 million in the quarter ending June 30, from $14 million a year earlier.  The drop can be associated with their recently released games, Empires & Allies and Adventure World, which were both costly to build.  Last month, Zynga launched Zynga Poker on Google+ and the addition of CityVille only signifies that more can be expected with their partnership.

As for Google+, they recently updated their iOS version following the Android update, with the addition of Hangouts and Messenger, formerly known as Huddle.  This enables users to attach photos to chat threads, as well as +1 recommendations within comments, enhanced +mention support, Profile map views depicting places where users have lived, and a host of reliability boosts.

The availability of CityVille on Google+ won’t be enough to keep its users around, but it is another way Google+ is hastening its horizontal expansion.  To be a true contendor Google+ has to offer as many social networking perks as possible, and that requires integration at both the internal level (other Google Apps) and the external level (compatibility with outside publishers and platforms).

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