Zynga wants to Dog-Activate the Social Game World

Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga, proclaimed at Web 2.0 that he wants to dog-activate the world.

No, he is not talking about placing a Zynga microchip to tag every dog in the world. But what he is saying is no less ambitious. The plan next year is that whenever someone sees the cute Zynga dog logo, people will know that users are playing a social game.

This, of course, is Zynga Live, and is going to Zynga’s social gaming network, competitive with the social gaming offerings of Facebook, Google, DeNA, and the like. Zynga has hired 1300 people, 500 less than Facebook, and 400 are working on new games IP. A lot of the rest are working on Zynga Live infrastructure.

Details are scant, but based on Mark’s hints today and my predictions from the past, Zynga Live will include the following:

  • A global, cross-device platform for gaming (so you can play a social game on your iPhone with someone on your PC with or without a Facebook Connect account)
  • A series of API’s (some of which will probably be open-source) to enable anyone to add their game to Zynga’s network.
  • A widget to enable any web site or app (e.g., Gamezebo even) to add Zynga Live games to their web site.

Again, their goal is to make the Zynga dog the symbol to connect and play social games everywhere, so it has to be an open, device-agnostic, global platform.

When they launch this new dog-enabled service, they will offer zillions in free Zynga dog credits to try the service out. And mark my words, they’ll launch the new service with a Super Bowl adand huge TV and promotion campaign within a big store like Best Buy or fast food or quick service market like McDonalds or 7-11.They’ve been working on this service for a long time so I expect it to launch with a bang.

Why did Mark Pincus hint at it at Web 2.0? Either they plan on talking to partners soon about it so they figure word will leak out. Or, Mark wanted to have something to steal a little of Facebook’s thunder with their announcement of new Facebook social messaging. Another reason that someone would hint at something big before its ready is to drum up support for another round of financing (this type of service is not cheap though I think they have enough money already) or to continue to plant the seeds for an eventual IPO.

In other Zynga-related news, Mark announced that there have been over 650,000 same-sex marriages in the game FrontierVille, making FrontierVille the biggest same-sex marriage space in the world. That statistic fascinates me. If anyone knows the total number of marriages in the game, post it in the comments.

More information: Mashable

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