Thursday, February 09, 2012

Zynga Board Games May Be In The Works, But Will You Buy Them?

Popular online game developer Zynga has announced an agreement with toy manufacture Hasbro to license and sell "wide ranging product lines" based on Zynga's most popular social games, including FarmVille, CityVille and Words With Friends. The big question now is will you buy them?

Beginning later this year Hasbro will be making a variety of toys and board games using Zynga's brands, with the first products expected to be released in the coming Fall. There will also be co-branded merchandise (we are thinking shirts, game cards, and possibly dolls similar to what we see with Angry Birds).

The questions for me is how well will these real-world offline games transfer over and will people actually want to buy and play them?

Hasbro in the past has shown great success transferring some of our offline favorites like Monopoly to online games. However, most of those games are built around a typical gaming board. With the exception of Words With Friends none of Zynga's other games are conducive to offline board style play. Even then Words With Friends is essentially a cloned version of Hasbro's own Scrabble game which seemingly gained much if its success due to its social aspects.

Actual games aside we are likely to see many other possibilities such as Lego-esque FarmVille playsets, Zynga Poker card game sets, CastleVille the RPG from the Dungeons and Dragons creators, and even items like MafiaWars action figures.

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