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The Giant Stirs: Zynga Shows Social Network, Farmville 2

If ever today gets turned into a television special, it will be called A Very Zynga News Day. The social Godzilla with the real social skills of an actual Godzilla went announcement mad during its Zynga Unleashed briefing – which sounds like it was named for a Godzilla movie. So, let’s see, blah blah blah Sims Social clone blah blah blah ChefVille for some reason blah blah blah… oh! Here’s something: Zynga’s very own social network, called Zynga With Friends. Also they announced Farmville 2 or whatever.

Polygon reports that Zynga With Friends is set to function as a centralized “portal” for all Zynga-related interactions – whether they happen on Facebook, mobile devices, or ZWF (pronounced “zwiff”) itself. “One network, one unified experience, one social lobby that will for the first time connect all our players no matter where they’re playing” is the central philosophy of the service, which will allow chatting, profiles, and synchronous multiplayer. That’s right: no more notification tag – well, at least for some games. I really, really hope other social devs follow suit.

Farmville 2, meanwhile, got more of a quick-and-dirty throwaway mention – though a few details did manage to sneak out. Chief technology officer Cadir Lee told BBC:

“One of the things that people will notice right away is that it’s our first 3D game. All the buildings, crops and animals are shown in 3D. You can see them from multiple directions, they can rotate, you can see them more richly – so it provides a certain pop in the game itself. The game also has more social elements and a lot more crafting: the crops that you harvest are what you use in the game to make things which you then use to make other things, like on a natural farm.”

So that, at least, is sort of interesting. After all, even social gaming’s most prominent figures have no problem admitting that it’s a giant copycat race, and Zynga’s at the head of the pack in more ways than one. That in mind, I’d honestly like to see everybody copy 3D graphics and synchronous multiplayer, so this might not be such a bad thing. Or maybe they’ll all miss the point and just make more farm games. Time will tell, I suppose.

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Nathan Grayson

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