Lately, there have been speculations that because of the spat between Facebook and Zynga, the latter is secretly contemplating on leaving the leading social networking site and putting up its own social gaming site, Zynga Live!
This came about when Facebook started to require all 3rd-party applications to use its own payment system (Facebook Credits is the native virtual currency). As such, all transactions that go thru their system, Facebook gets a 30% cut.
That 30% is a huge cut. Zynga is said to be making about $300 million a year and only 1/3 of it is thru lead generation. That means Facebook could be getting 30% of the other 2/3 (or $200 million) which is $60 million.
That’s 60 million reasons for Zynga to re-think its Facebook partnership. In one end, Zynga relies a lot on the Facebook network to acquire traffic but at the same time Zynga is the top advertiser on FB. The two clearly needed each other. It’s interesting to note that the owner of Zynga, Mark Pincus, is also an early investor in Facebook.
If the breakup does happen, users will have to choose between Facebook and Farmville (not really, actually, since users can still go to both but that would mean less time spent on FB). In any case, gamers can also go to FarmVille.com and log in using the FB accounts to continue to play.