For the longest time, Zynga and Facebook were like two peas in a pod. That all started to unwind last year as Zynga moved to its own platform - Zynga.com. The two were still connected, however, as Zynga required players to use Facebook login on its own site. Now that last connection holding them together has been severed.
In an update on the company blog, Zynga says that it will no longer require users to have a Facebook account to play games on Zynga.com:
Starting next week, when you visit Zynga.com you will see a new streamlined signup that lets you create your own account just for playing games. We also wanted to make sure that existing Zynga.com players continue to have the best experience possible so you don’t have to start from scratch. All players will have the option to connect with Facebook and keep your game friends and game progress, while deciding what you share with your gaming community.
Zynga will retain all the social features on Zynga.com that were brought over from Facebook. Social Stream, Fast Load and Online Presence will now work within the confines of Zynga.com for those who don't want to share their Facebook information with the site.
The social games maker is also putting out a new call for developers to join Zynga.com as a partner. Doing so will allow the developer to bring their games to Zynga's guaranteed gamer audience instead of the hit-or-miss audience present on Facebook.
Now, all of this doesn't mean that Zynga is completely severing ties with Facebook. To do so would be incredibly foolish, but Facebook as a games platform is starting to show signs of weakness. Most casual players are moving to mobile, and Zynga is betting on those who still play games on the Web want the kind of dedicated experience that can't be found on Facebook.
It's going to be interesting to see what role Zynga.com plays as the company attempts to make a profit this year. The move to mobile has definitely reduced its reliance on the Web, but a Web presence dedicated to just games could be immensely profitable for Zynga if its plays its cards right.[h/t: TechCrunch]