Maybe the game should be renamed "Words With More Friends." Words With Friends is scheduled to be playable on Facebook, and you can bet the game will add to its 20 million-plus list of friends.
This is the first game from Zynga (maker of FarmVille, CityVille) to migrate from mobile Relevant Products/Services devices to Facebook. "It really opens the game up to a massive audience that I don't think has played the game yet," said Paul Bettner, general manager for Zynga With Friends. "This is an opportunity to broaden the audience that can play the game by an order of magnitude."
The new Facebook version of Words With Friends will be interoperable with current versions of the game for Apple and Android devices. "We want to have as much as possible a seamless experience," said Zynga With Friends studio director David Bettner. "So whether I am standing in line at the grocery store or whatever and playing a game, and I go home, and I can get on my laptop Relevant Products/Services and pick up that exact same game where I left off."
The Facebook version of the Scrabble-like word game also gains a "Brag List" feature that lets players post high scores and significant win notices on their Facebook walls. "We've had our audience doing this between themselves all the time, saying, 'Oh, look at this word I just played for 100 points,'" said Paul Bettner. "It is a little bit of a tedious process. You have to take a screenshot of the board or manually go to your Twitter account."
With the new feature, "It will post directly into your social Relevant Products/Services feed for your friends to see on your wall," he says. "It feels like it is really something people are going to love."
Released in 2009, Words With Friends still is No. 6 on AppData's Top Paid App list. The studio's Hanging With Friends (a take on the classic Hangman game) is No. 2 behind list-topping Angry Birds. The Bettner brothers' goal with the new Facebook version is to "see if we can get that Pandora (music service) experience," says David Bettner. "You have the same experience (and) don't care if you're getting Pandora from some other device, you just want Pandora. We want that same thing with gaming." (continued...)