Zynga has been making an active effort in recent months to grow its FarmVille audience outside of Facebook, starting last fall when Zynga launched FarmVille.com, a Web portal that allowed users to play directly in their browser instead of visiting Facebook. Now Zynga has partnered with MSN Games.Effective today, FarmVille fans can enjoy ploughing their fields and sheering their sheep on Microsoft’s popular games domain.
Like its FarmVille.com counterpart, MSN Games access to FarmVille still requires you to have a Facebook account if you want to play. In fact, the MSN Games release of FarmVille shares a great deal in common with FarmVille.com. Both have identical navigation bars and a handy game feed to keep you apprised of your friend’s experiences in FarmVille. The only real difference between FarmVille.com and FarmVille on MSN Games is the lack of a sidebar that features news, information, and links to other Zynga games.
The only real hiccup so far seems to be a browser issue first reported by TechCrunch.com. Users can access the game through Firefox and Internet Explorer, but not Chrome or Safari.
“Social gaming has gone mainstream,” said Mike Verdu, senior vice president of games at Zynga, in a prepared statement released by the company earlier today. “People love to connect with their friends through our games, which are broadly accessible and have universal themes. Bringing FarmVille to a major site like MSN Games is a great way to expand the reach of social games and is a logical next step in how we deliver them to consumers.”
FarmVille is only the first of several titles that Zynga will be bringing to Microsoft gaming platforms. While no other titles have been confirmed, we’ve been told to expect to see additional Zynga titles make their way to MSN Games and Windows Live Messenger in the coming months.
With more than 76 million players on Facebook alone, one can’t help but wonder just how much larger the FarmVille phenomenon can grow. If Zynga can continue to get their games on other partner sites, who knows how big this farm can get?