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Zynga continues to try to lessen its dependence on Facebook as a platform for its social games, despite having recently reached a deal that ensures its titles will stay on the social network for the next five years. The company just announced an agreement with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) to put its games on Yahoo sites, including the homepage, Yahoo mail, Yahoo Games, and Yahoo Messenger. The deal follows a similar one Zynga announced in February with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to put its titles on Microsoft properties and comes as Zynga has also been launching its own standalone gaming sites.
Zynga has thrived in large part because of its presence on Facebook; the company is the top app developer on the site and Facebook is responsible for the bulk of the more than $355 million it is expected to bring in this year. However, the relationship has also made Zynga overly dependent on just one partner. Earlier this year, the company was reportedly preparing to exit the social network after negotiations with Facebook over the use of its virtual currency system fell apart — something that could have led to its demise. Zynga and Facebook ultimately announced a five-year detente under which Facebook agreed to a “long-term commitment” to Zynga.
The Yahoo deal will now give Zynga a way to balance its dependence on Facebook in the future; Yahoo claims 600 million visitors across its sites, while Facebook is nearing 500 million. Yahoo, meanwhile, gets a third major partner in its efforts to “socialize” its properties. It has already announced deals to integrate Facebook and Twitter.