Facebook And Zynga In 5-year Non-Exclusive Deal – Really?

In a surprise move following a previous fallout, Facebook and Zynga announced they have clinched a “five-year strategic relationship” deal with no strings attached – almost.

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No Exclusivity. Really?
While they did not provide any details on the terms of the actual deal, Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founder and CEO confirmed that his company will continue to be carried by other platforms as well as Facebook. So no exclusivity there – at least not yet.

“We are excited about Facebook’s long-term commitment to social gaming and Zynga, and look forward to working with them and other platform providers to bring the best social gaming experience to users worldwide,” he said.

At the moment, the game developer is also carried on platforms like the iPhone, MSN, My Yahoo and MySpace.

The same non-exclusivity goes on Facebook’s side, with COO Sheryl Sandberg, stating “We look forward to continuing our work with Zynga and all of our developers to increase the opportunities on our platform.”

Are they scaring each other somehow into making such statements?

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Something’s Got To Give
So what’s the deal? It seems the two companies have finally settled their dispute on virtual currency: the strategic partnership “expands use of Facebook Credits in Zynga’s games,” the statement said. In other terms, either the 30% levy off Facebook credits is no longer an issue for Zynga, or they have changed the terms of that particular deal.
“Zynga is currently testing Facebook Credits in select games and will expand to more titles over the coming months,” Zynga said in a statement.

Brands now can rest assured that their playground remains open and they can bring to market virtual gifts. Remember, the virtual economy is valued at $10 billion this year.

It’s worth knowing that Zynga players have raised over $3 million for world social causes and that, according to PaidContent.org, it is expected to post over $355 million in revenue this year.

So how did those two end up in a hand shake and holding hands when they were said to split just a few days ago? Beyond the obvious revenue and user drive loss consequences, speculations are rife. PaidContent.org gives a possible hint: the two giants share a common major investor: Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies.

What do you think?

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