Zynga plans to blow up truck in Vegas on Thursday, launches Chinese version of its Poker game

Great news for Mafia War fans, pyromaniacs, and the Las Vegas Tourist Board. Zynga has announced that they have reached 10 million users in Mafia Wars: Vegas at 12 PM US-PST and you know what that means.

That’s right, they are going to blow up a truck and stream it online. The official T-minus explosion time will be Thursday, August 19, 6 PM US-PST. You can watch it live in Mafia Wars.

Though the actual thrill of watching a van blow up is exciting, it’ll be interesting to see if they throw us for a loop and add a twist to the explosion.

I know I have been critical about this marketing gimmick and think that money could have been spent in other ways. But hey, I’m a dude who grew up watching the A-Team, and I like trucks that blow up so I’ll be online to see what happens.

In other news, Techcrunch reports that Zynga has launched its first localized game in Asia, a Chinese version of Zynga Poker. The game is available in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, though it can’t be played on Facebook in China since Facebook is still illegal in China.

Editorial tangent: I can’t believe China is now officially the world’s 2nd largest economy and they still ban online services like Facebook. Adam Smith would be so proud. The Chinese government claims that this is about free speech, but I think its mercantilism.

Back to Zynga and China. Techcrunch makes the astute observation that this probably the first of many localized Zynga games we’ll see in the Asian market. Given that Zynga has bought both a Chinese and a Japanese game developer this year, it does not take a rocket scientist or a crystal ball to make this amazing prediction.

I think a more interesting prediction is the one I am about to make. Expect all of Zynga’s games to be localized for over 10 different languages within 12 months. And expect Zynga to employ the exact same type of crowdsourcing techniques Facebook did to localize and expand their service globally once they launch Zynga Live.

I guess I also just predicted Zynga will be launching Zynga Live within 12 months as well. If you thought the 5 year deal with Facebook put an end to Zynga Live, you don’t know Pincus!

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