Zynga just filed a document with the SEC outlining new terms in its agreement with Facebook. Overall, it seems that Zynga and Facebook establishing a little more distance and flexibility in their relationship, with Zynga being treated more like any other Facebook developer.
According to the filing, any “standard Zynga game page” that uses Facebook data will now be governed Facebook’s standard terms of service. That means games on Zynga’s new-ish Zynga.com platform are no longer obligated to use Facebook ad units and Facebook credits. In exchange, Zynga’s right to cross-promote its non-Facebook games using Facebook data and email addresses is now limited by the standard terms.
The filing also states that Facebook no longer has the exclusive rights to Zynga’s social game launches. Of course, Zynga still plans to have a big presence on Facebook, saying its games “will generally be available through the Facebook web site concurrent with, or shortly following, the time such game is made available on another social platform or a Zynga property.”
Zynga and Facebook made a five-year deal back in 2010, after a standoff for several months. (You can read more details about the old deal here.) However, Zynga has been trying to decrease its dependence on Facebook through efforts like Zynga.com, while in Facebook’s most recent earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook’s payments to Zynga have dropped 20 percent year-over-year.
As pointed out by AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac, the amendment also states that as of March 31 of next year, “Facebook will no longer be prohibited from developing its own games,” although Facebook denies that it has any intention to actually build its own games. Sources close to Facebook-Zynga negotiations tell us Facebook didn’t even want the clause in the filing.
Here’s a statement from Zynga Chief Revenue Officer Barry Cottle:
Zynga’s mission is to connect the world through games. In order to do this, Zynga is focused on building enduring relationships with consumers across all platforms from Facebook and Zynga.com on the web to tablets and mobile. Our amended agreement with Facebook continues our long and successful partnership while also allowing us the flexibility to ensure the universal availability of our products and services.
And you can see the Facebook filing here, which basically covers the same ground.
Update: As of 6:35pm Eastern, Zynga’s stock price is down 12.98 percent in after-hours trading.