Zynga Shares Plunge After New Deal With Facebook Announced

Gaming company Zynga saw it’s shares take a nosedive by more than 14 percent in after-hours trading Thursday, after Facebook released a statement announcing a revised agreement between the two companies.

Under the new agreement, Zynga will no longer be required to display Facebook ads or use Facebook’s payment system on its own Web site and will be free to offer its games on other social platforms. Likewise, Zynga.com users will no longer have to use the Facebook portal to log in.

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,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “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.

Sounds like a good deal for the Farmville developer, so why the falling stock? Under the new agreement, Facebook will also be allowed to develop its own games, although the company released a statement saying it has no plans to do so. Plus, since Zynga will no longer be given preferential treatment by Facebook—a status it has enjoyed since a 2010 deal between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Zynga CEO Mark Pincas—it increases the odds of competitor game developers to step to the plate and scoop business from Facebook users.

Facebook is moving toward treating all developers as equal,” Kixeye Inc. CEO Will Harbin told Bloomberg. “There 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.

Still, Zynga, which has seen its shares fall 74 percent since its December 2011 IPO, is optimistic about the new deal’s possibilities.

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