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Google Puts $100M+ into Zynga; Google Games?

Google's rumored gaming platform may finally see the light of day in 2010, as reports are indicating that the company quietly dumped between $100 million to $200 million USD into social gaming developer, Zynga. For the uninitiated, this is the team behind the unusually popular FarmVille, Mafia Wars, YoVille, and many other social-type games littering FaceBook and the Apple App Store.

Sources behind the report indicated that Google itself made the investment, not Google Ventures. Zynga will supposedly serve as the cornerstone for the Google Games platform slated to launch later this year. If that is indeed the case, Google may incorporate Google Checkout rather than force users to remain with PayPal payments. FarmVille, Mafia Wars and other social games may even finally bring a social atmosphere to Google that wasn't' quite achieved with the launch of Buzz.

But looking back to reports made late last week, the Zynga investment may be just one component in Google's overall "Facebook Killer" application called Google Me, an unconfirmed social website. The company is noticeably attempting to make Google your one-stop destination, whether it's to locate a particular destination, purchase music, socialize in limited characters, check email--it only seems logical that Google would launch a social networking site.

But unlike Google Me, Google Games is more than a rumor. A Google-based job opening in the Mountain View, California area is looking for a product management leader in the "games" department. Responsibilities include identifying market opportunities and defining product vision and strategy, developing and launching new products and enhance existing products, leading and mentoring a team of Product Managers and more.

We're certain more information will be revealed within the next few months.

  • shovenose
    zomg im the 1st commenter.
    i hate zynga.
  • shloader
    "Could Google's investment in Zynga be one small step in its overall picture to launch a social networking website?"

    Could be... but yet another Facebook is hardly what we need. Facebook essentially became the new myspace by way of inheriting much of their user base. Unfortunately former myspace users never cut it out with the emo "my-life-is-so-horrible" posts when they migrated. We need a social network for the rest of us; something just a touch less immature. If it doesn't differentiate then it likely won't cut out its own space in the market.
  • bustapr
    Strategic move for world domination.
  • JasonAkkerman
    Noooo Google.... WHY?
    Zynga is the privacy devil. They openly admit to it.
  • joz
    But MafiaWars is SO MUCH AWSOME!
  • mrmotion
    Facebook is the down fall of civilization. Sad to see google entertaining the idea. As for Zynga? Why waste your money. Create a gaming powerhouse of your own and make a game that actual PC gamers would like.
  • Computerrock1
    Google, commited to taking over, one buy off at a time!
  • Computerrock1
    Google really out to make a hardcore gaming company, even a console... Just imagine how many jobs that would create and it probably would be a quality console and game.
  • hellwig
    Farmville and the like are popular because they are integrated into Facebook. The fact that you can play the games "within" facebook is why they're so appealing, to facebookers.

    Zynga is profitable as a company due to their less than honest billing policy. Didn't they get into big trouble for the scams they were running: "sign up for free* video games!! *with $19.95/month subscription to our worthless product catalog". They get you hooked on the games, then slowly make more and more content pay-only. It's like adding more and more nicotine to cigarettes.

    Anyway, with so many other, and better, online game networks out there, why would Google put money into Zynga and not Pop-Cap (a publisher) or Shockwave (a hoster)? Yahoo has hosted their Games section for years, and I don't hear them complaining. Pop-Cap has been publishing online games for years, and I don't see them faltering either. Zynga? Seriously?
  • sublifer
    ShloaderWe need a social network for the rest of us; something just a touch less immature.
    what about