Zynga Falls as Facebook Changes Relationship From “Married” to “Open”

Facebook Inc. (FB) and Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) loosened terms of their longstanding alliance, making it easier for competing game developers to vie for users on the world’s largest social-networking service.

The new terms eased log-in, payment and advertising requirements for Zynga, which makes most of its money by selling virtual goods in games played on Facebook.

While the agreement gives Zynga greater latitude to pursue growth on other sites, including its own, it also removes the special status that the social-gaming leader has enjoyed since 2010, when Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and his Zynga counterpart, Mark Pincus, forged the five-year pact. Now, other game developers will have equal footing as they try to lure users of the social site, said Will Harbin, chief executive officer of game maker Kixeye Inc.

“Facebook is moving toward treating all developers as equal,” Harbin said. “They are doing their absolute best to be a fair and open platform. They don’t want to muddy the waters; they don’t want to play favorites.”

Zynga shares plunged 7.6 percent to $2.42 at 9:31 a.m. in New York. Facebook shares were little changed at $27.39.

Under the new contract terms, Zynga users will no longer have to use Facebook as the login for the Zynga.com gaming portal. Zynga can also elect not to use Facebook Payments as the way for users to make purchases on its site, and it can opt not to display ads served by Facebook. While the social network can now develop its own games, Facebook said that’s not planned.

Zuckerberg’s Meeting

As Facebook distances itself from Zynga, the social network has fostered closer ties with rival game makers. Zuckerberg and Sean Ryan, Facebook’s director of game partnerships, held a dinner meeting in recent weeks with executives from top makers of social games to discuss ways for them to increase usage and sales on the social network, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. No representatives of Zynga were present, the people said.

“The relationship between Facebook and Zynga has seemingly worsened,” said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. “Whether or not they decide to be in the gaming business, they certainly have the option to do that if they so choose.”

San Francisco-based Zynga is struggling with slowing growth as users spend more time on mobile devices. Shares have declined 74 percent since its December 2011 initial public offering. More than a half-dozen senior executives have left Zynga in recent months amid growing concern among investors about the company’s ability to accelerate growth.

Zynga Flexibility

Zynga said the new deal with Facebook will create more opportunities to market its games more widely.

“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,” Barry Cottle, Zynga’s chief revenue officer, said in a statement.

Facebook said the revisions give other developers more scope to write applications for Facebook’s 1 billion users.

“We have streamlined our terms with Zynga so that Zynga.com’s use of Facebook Platform is governed by the same policies as the rest of the ecosystem,” Facebook said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Zynga, just as we do with developers of all sizes, to build great experiences for people playing social games through Facebook.” {Businessweek}

Social Networks CEOs Homes

Facebook,Zynga,Twitter,Spotify & Google CEOs Homes :

The new tech titans are building the tools that influence our daily lives, giving us games like Words With Friends, and the ability to stream our favorite TV shows wherever we are, on whatever gadgets we choose.

But where do they rest their bleary eyes after their late-night hackathons? Some prefer a modest place to call home, belying their rock-star-nerd status. But others have splurged, showing it really pays to be a geek after all.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Cost: $7 million

Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 5 full, 2 half
Square footage: 5,617

The billionaire’s $7 million home is deemed modest by some Silicon Valley observers.

Mark Zuckerberg’s new digs are a long way from the Harvard dorm where he and his classmates founded the popular social networking site Facebook.

The baby-faced CEO plunked down a cool $7 million for the Palo Alto pad last year, which includes a salt water pool and spa. Still, to some, it’s considered modest, given that Facebook may be going public this year in what some say could make the social networking website worth more than $100 billion.

The best part for the well-known workaholic? It’s just a stone’s throw away from Facebook’s newMenlo Park headquarters.

Mark Pincus, Zynga
Location: San Francisco
Cost: $8.9 million

Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 7

Zynga’s leader is very active in San Francisco bay area real estate.

You may build your fantasy real estate empire in CityVille, the popular Facebook game, but Mark Pincus has one in real life.

Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga, maker of CityVille, FarmVille, Words With Friends and other popular online games, is selling not one, but two San Francisco mansions.

He and wife Alison Pincus, co-founder of One Kings Lane, a flash sales site for luxury home goods, have put their Presidio Heights home on the market for $8.9 million and a Cole Valley property for $1.97 million. Both are meticulously decorated.

The stately $8.9 million Presidio Heights mansion includes a penthouse level with a terrace, office and master bedroom and bathroom, as well as a media room and an au pair unit. The Cole Valley home boasts panoramic views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sean Parker, Spotify and Founder’s Fund
Location: New York
Cost: $20 million

Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 7 full, 1 half
Square footage: 7,500

Spotify’s Parker shuttles between the coasts and now calls NYC home.

Sean Parker disputes his bad boy portrayal by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 film “The Social Network.” But the former Facebook president and Napster co-founder is certainly living it up in his new home, a $20 million West Village townhouse known as the Bacchus House.

Formerly owned by Italian liquor heir Enrico Cinzano, it includes an indoor pool and gym, garage, theater, a chef’s kitchen and an elevator.

Parker, now a managing director at the Founders Fund, a San Francisco venture capital firm, and a director of Spotify, an online music service, purchased it last year, after renting it for some time and throwing his share of over-the-top parties.

Marissa Mayer, Google
Location: Palo Alto
Cost: $5 million
 (assessed value; it appears she purchased it for $1.8 million)

Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 6.5
Square footage: 5,200

Google’s Mayer proudly hosted an Obama campaign fundraiser in her Palo Alto home.

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg isn’t the only one who has hosted the president in her Silicon Valley home. In late 2010, Marissa Mayer, vice president at Google, and husband Zachary Bogue, co-founder of Founders Den, a shared office space and private club for tech entrepreneurs in San Francisco, also threw a $30,000-per-plate fundraiser for President Obama in their Palo Alto home.

That night, Mayer even tweeted about the event: “The President came to our house for dinner tonight. It was absolutely surreal!”

Mayer’s home is just a few blocks from the garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP, as Mayer pointed out during the fundraiser.

Dick Costolo, Twitter
Location: Corte Madera, Calif.
Cost: $3.2 million
 (sale price, 2009)

Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 5.5
Square footage: 5,066

Twitter’s Costolo lives in a roomy home in a San Francisco suburb.

Dick Costolo took over as CEO of Twitter last year, about a year after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area from Chicago. He said the weather factored into his decision to uproot from Chicago.

Costolo lives with his family in a roomy five bedroom, 5.5-bath house in Corte Madera, just across the bay from Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. Built in 1908, the house wraps around a courtyard with an outdoor fireplace.