Zynga Builds Out Its Social Mobile Game Plan With ‘Hanging With Friends’

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Zynga may be next in line for the IPO rollercoaster, but for now it’s continuing methodically to build out valuable real estate in the mobile space. Today, the gaming company is releasing a new game for the iPhone, iPad and iPod: Hanging With Friends, based on the traditional word-guessing game of Hangman and leveraging some of the huge popularity and audience that Zynga has amassed through other games on its With Friends platform.

The most popular of these was the first title, Words With Friends, a social gaming variation on Scrabble that has picked up some 10 million users on Apple’s iOS devices to date.

While 10 million is nothing to sniff at, it does also underscore how Zynga needs to step up the pace if it hopes to compete against other big players in mobile gaming: last month, Rovio noted that its hugely popular Angry Birds mobile game had reached more than 200 million downloads worldwide across multiple platforms.

Games like Hanging With Friends give Zynga a way of getting even more mileage out of the success it has seen, especially as the earlier games mature: users who have already played other games on the With Friends platform can sign in with the same credentials, or they can use Facebook Connect or Twitter to loop new users into the network.

With games running at whatever pace one chooses, up to 20 Hanging games can be played simultaneously by a single user. And as with other Zynga games, if your opponent drops out, he can get replaced with someone else in the With Friends network looking for a pick-up game. Other features include in-game chatting and the option for clues or extra lifelines.

The game, which today is launching in Canada but will eventually be available elsewhere, is only available for iOS devices for now. No word on whether it will be extended to other platforms in the future — although Zynga has in the past re-developed other With Friends games for Android.

The game is available for $0.99 or for free as an ad-supported version.

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