Zynga has been trying to broaden its gaming strategy over the past year, trying to bring as many of its Facebook-oriented social games over to mobile technology as possible. Now it’s taking a step in the other direction: for the first time, Zynga is bringing a mobile game over to Facebook with a new version of Words With Friends.
The addictive iPhone and Android game is a take on Scrabble with more trash-talking and spread out over as long a period as needed to complete the game. Macworld named its one of the best iPhone games of 2010, and the free Android version is currently the 8th most installed game on that platform. But Facebook is Zynga’s bread-and-butter (or lifeline, depending on your perspective), with huge audiences for Zynga games like CityVille and FarmVille that are willing to spend real money for virtual goods and position Zynga for an initial public offering that could raise as much as $20 billion.
Players will be able to shift between the Facebook and the mobile versions of the game, meaning they can start a game on their regular PC and pick it up later on their iPhone or Android device. The Facebook version also employs some features unique to the social-networking site, such as being able to brag on a friend’s wall about the score you just posted as well as submit requests for a new game through Facebook messages.
Zynga has built 12 of its games for mobile platforms, but has far more users on Facebook than mobile devices. It has only ported one of its games, Mafia Wars Atlantic City, to the mobile Web, according to its site.