At the Zynga Unleashed event held in San Francisco today, the popular publisher/developer of such break out hits as FarmVille and CityVille (just to name a few) was set to unveil some big changes coming in the company’s future. What they had on display might not have been extremely revolutionary for hardcore gamers, but for the casual market this was some pretty big stuff.
The most exciting announcement came at the end of the event when Zynga announced FarmVille 2. Included with the announcement was a new trailer for the game, which showcased a new 3D look – a first for Zynga. No mention was made regarding a release date, but it seems pretty likely that the game would launch some time later this year.
Other notable announcements at Zynga Unleashed included a new ‘Ville’ experience called ChefVille. As the name suggests, ChefVille allows players to run their own mini-restaurant and includes the ability to “borrow” ingredients from Facebook friends. The game is more than just a restaurant sim, though, as players will also be able to unlock different types of cuisine, recipes, and even earn reviews.
Zynga also announced The Ville, their answer to The Sims. At a glance, The Ville appears to be a way for players to interact with each other by inviting them over to their customized house. It’s unabashedly The Sims, only with the trademark Zynga design sensibility.
And finally, Zynga unveiled Zynga with Friends, a new all-inclusive social experience that takes every Zynga game (like Draw Something) and tracks your progress and interactions in one central Hub. Zynga will be opening up this software to any third party developers that are interested, but Zynga with Friends will be available for the publisher’s current slate of games very soon.
While their games might not be for everyone there’s no denying that Zynga has built a quiet empire of social games through Facebook and mobile platforms, and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon. With the introduction of The Ville and FarmVille 2 alone they have probably sucked a million more casual gamers into hours and hours of pleading their friends for help.
Which of Zynga’s new games are you most excited to try out? Can The Ville provide an experience to rival The Sims?