Facebook and FarmVille makers reach deal

By Al Mackin topicIcon Social Media

Zynga, the makers of the popular Facebook game FarmVille, have signed a five year deal with the social networking site. The two companies announced the agreement today, describing the news as a 'shared commitment to social gaming'.

FarmVille, which boasts 230 million players worldwide, sees Facebook users tend to a virtual farm. While the game is free to play, individuals can buy virtual currency in order to purchase items to aid their progress. It is reported that Zynga makes up to $100 million (£70m) through these transactions.

Mark Pincus, founder and chief executive of Zynga, said he was pleased about the new agreement.

"We are excited about Facebook's long-term commitment to social gaming and Zynga, and look forward to working with them and other platform providers to bring the best social gaming experience to users worldwide."

The news of the deal comes despite threats from Zynga to abandon the service; disagreements arose between the two groups after the social networking site announced it planned to integrate its own virtual money, Facebook Credits, into all of the games operating on the service. Facebook makes 30 per cent commission from all sales made using its official currency.

A recent investigation from the New York Times estimated that virtual transactions made through Zynga games, which include popular applications Mafia Wars, Treasure Isle and FishVille, accounts for 10-20 per cent of Facebook's overall revenue.