Look, Zynga, Here’s Another Game Network That’s Not Facebook

Last week, one thing that was clear after Zynga filed for an IPO was its dependence on Facebook as the primary way for distributing games.

But what do we have here?

WildTangent, which often ranks as one of the top five online gaming destinations, said it has added social games to its platform. While the games are hosted on its platform, the service uses Facebook Connect, so players can still connect with friends.

WildTangent is best known for its consumer-facing game platform, which comes preloaded on 85 percent of PCs sold today. The platform, which is also accessible online, attracts roughly 20 million monthly active users and is monetized through a combination of players paying for credits, subscriptions and ads.

Admittedly, that’s a lot fewer users than the 200 million people who play Facebook games, so it will have to work really hard to get the attention of big name publishers, like Zynga. So far, the social games that are live today include It Girl by Crowdstar, three titles from HitPoint, Odd Manor by KingX Studios; two games from Bitrhymes and its own game called Polar Bowler Strike!

Without a lot of other social networks out there having Facebook’s scale, game companies may find it necessary to work with a number of emerging platforms.

There are definitely a few to choose from, but no clear leader. Google is probably going to build a game network on top of its social network; mobile is often considered a way to diversify, and then there’s international social networks and platforms. Hi5, the old social network, is now claiming to be a game network as well.

We knew that WildTangent was starting to add social games to its network earlier this year, but it sounds like with this announcement it is getting more serious about recruiting developers and advertisers to the platform.

With Zynga’s financial performance now out in the open, who wouldn’t get more serious?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik