Hasbro and online social game star Zynga have created a brand partnership to mesh the internet firm’s Facebook hits with real-world products.
The agreement lets Hasbro develop toys and games based on the Zynga brand and will contain joint branding which will enable the wealthy Zynga to “share a common vision for play and a mission to connect the world through games,” …and make even more money by exploiting Facebook played games in the offline world.
Zynga games are free to play but the company makes money by selling virtual in-game goods to players and serving up advertising. Zynga rose to global popularity tailoring games for friends to play at leading online social network, Facebook, and is building its own online community for players.
Zynga bills itself as the world’s largest developer of social games and boasts more than 227 million monthly active users of its titles, which include FarmVille, CityVille, Mafia Wars, and Words With Friends. They have the top five games on Facebook of which they give 30% of all related sales to the social media giant – an ever increasing revenue stream for Facebook.
Hasbro clearly wants a piece of this action as they are so far behind in the in the online world, as they have missed various opportunities to create online gaming with their brand as dominant player.
The strategic alliance plays off both Hasbro’s and Zynga’s brand values, online meets offline, with Hasbro needing Zynga more. However, recent financial results from Zynga pointed to a slowing down of revenues coming from Facebook and with minimal mobile revenues, they clearly need to leverage their brand offline as well as online, and through mobile, to keep up with financial expectations.
Hasbro are a million miles away from realizing their social media and mobile potential compared to electronic gaming brands like EA Sports. Brand partnerships could definitely give them the lift they clearly need while giving Zynga offline credibility in the process.