By Mike Isaac at AllThingsD:
Zynga’s game playing network is massive — more than 290 million people play the company’s games each month. The problem is, Zynga says, those players are scattered across multiple devices and platforms and can’t always sync up to play the same games.
Zynga aims to change this. At the company’s second annual Zynga Unleashed event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Zynga unveiled a unified platform to bring players together across portals such as the Web, Android and iOS, Facebook and Google+.
“The social engagement across our network is industry leading, but it’s also fragmented,” said Manuel Bronstein, Zynga general manager.
The idea is centered around the Zynga message center — the hub found on Facebook and Zynga.com that contains a player’s friends list, an activity feed of friends’ gaming statuses and a list of gaming suggestions based on what games you and your friends are already playing.
Also, with the newly launched Zynga API, third-party developers can beef up their games with widgets previously available only on Zynga.com, like group chat, a live social activity stream, and a zFriends list. More social, the philosophy goes, means increased engagement — exactly what Zynga and partner developers want.
Players can also connect using the newly launched real-time multiplayer feature which, just like it sounds, allows multiple players across separate devices to play with — or against — one another simultaneously. That’s a far cry from the typical turn-based gaming that Zynga offers, like those games in the “With Friends” franchise.
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