Zynga's Titles Invading Android Platform Soon

Zynga will launch its popular Facebook game Mafia Wars for Android later this month, opening it up to the smartphone platform that is now activating 300,000 new customers a day.

It’s unclear if Mafia Wars or a Poker game, which was announced last month, will be the first Zynga title to hit the Android Market since both are roughly expected by the end of the year. So far, Zynga has launched mobile game titles only for the iPhone, including Mafia Wars, Poker and other popular virtual-world titles like FarmVille.

The company’s Android plans were revealed by David Ko, Zynga’s new head of mobile, who appeared at the LeWeb conference in France yesterday.

Earlier this month, Zynga acquired Newtoy, which will help it expand to more mobile platforms. At the time, Ko said FarmVille had been downloaded seven million times in five months, and in general, Zynga has more than 10 million people accessing Zynga games on a mobile phone. “Our goal is to have Zynga games available to anyone anywhere, on any device,” he said.

Does that include other platforms, like Windows Phone 7 or BlackBerry? “As we start to think across international territories, we’re going to have to think about some of the other platforms out there,” Ko reportedly said.

It’s unclear how Zynga will monetize its games on Android, which doesn’t support buying virtual goods from within the app as seamlessly as the iPhone.

For example, Rovio, the developer of the very popular Angry Birds, has had to come up with its own workaround. Today, it announced that it is launching a new mobile payment system called Bad Piggy Bank, which charges purchases to a customer’s monthly cellphone bill. The system will initially launch on Elisa, the largest network operator in Finland. Rovio has intentions of rolling out with more carriers worldwide, and will potentially make it available to other developers as a payment platform, CNET reports.


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