The company at the forefront of ‘alternative’ video games has revealed a new potential platform for their social experiences, as San Francisco (USA)-based developer Zynga have announced their plans to launch their titles as part of ‘entertainment bundles’ to cable and smart TV providers.
The development sees Zynga team up with Synacor (a ‘digital platform provider’ that distributes games to pay-TV providers such as Dish, Verizon, and Charter, amongst others), where if their proposal is taken up by providers, will see users as part of their contract be able to ‘recieve’ a fixed amount of free in-game currency for Zynga’s range of browser games, including FarmVille, ChefVille, CityVille, Ruby Blast, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker, amongst others.
Those ‘in-game credits’ will then be able to be used cross-platform (via Facebook, Google+, and the Zynga website) to spend on bonuses such as power-ups, ‘energy’, and ‘decorative items’.
While Synacor did not have any details on how the deal would work or what platforms they would negotiate with for a planned Q1-Q2 2013 rollout, the company’s CEO Ron Frankel said of the partnership with Zynga: “Games are an important extension [to digital TV], and Zynga’s leadership in social games makes it an ideal partner. Partnerships such as these, where pay-TV subscribers get even more benefits and entertainment from their subscriptions, are redefining the bundle. And we are confident the foremost programmers and content providers will see value in their subscriber-friendly approach.”
With the companies aiming to create more exposure for lightweight games on TV sets, will the inclusion of gaming packages to telecommunications subscriptions only serve to heighten the borderline-obsessive interest that many people have with their FarmVille ‘progress’?