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PopCap Connects Zuma To Facebook For Social Elements

PopCap's strides into adding social elements to its casual games through Facebook is well underway with the launch of a version of Zuma that leverages the popular social networking platform's Connect technology.
PopCap's strides into adding social elements to its casual games through Facebook is well underway with the launch of a version of Zuma that leverages the popular social networking platform's Connect technology. In beta as of today, Zuma Web Connect lets players of the casual game on PopCap's website publish leadership stats, medals and other play statistics back to Facebook. PopCap's newest foray into using the existing, prolific Facebook platform to add social features to its games follows a six-month beta for Bejeweled Blitz, a one-minute version of the popular match-three title on Facebook. Bejeweled Blitz accumulated 5 million monthly users during the beta phase, says PopCap. As part of a recent Gamasutra feature interview, Facebook platform manager Gareth Davis discussed PopCap's work with the Facebook Connect capability, and how game developers now have the opportunity to use Facebook to enhance gaming experiences that don't exist directly on the Facebook platform itself. "We're seeing the use of [social features like leaderboards], the Facebook social graph, and the ability to publish stories really driving usage of that traditional casual game," Davis said. While Bejeweled is PopCap's top title, and traditional gamers are more familiar with Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma is the company's second most-popular title overall, selling 17 million units across various platforms since its 2003 launch. And although Zuma has been around for about six years, Davis told Gamasutra, "now lots of people here are playing it when they weren't playing it before because it's now a social game."

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