Angry Birds has merch. Cut the Rope has merch. Now social gaming giant, Zynga has merch. Your strawberry milk delivering cow in Farmville and your favourite character in Cityville might be your favourite desk decor. Zynga and Hasbro have tied up to bring toys to you this fall. According to reports, the deal is a follow up to the success of the Angry Birds and Mattel partnership to bring an Angry Birds board game. The deal between Hasbro and Zynga will allow Hasbro to make toys based on Zynga's social games, which will include Cityville and Mafia Wars. The amount that Hasbro has paid for the license is unknown. The merchandise will feature both Hasbro and Zynga brands.
Will the farmer make it to your desk?
Zynga has more than 227 million monthly active players and while some games like Farmville and Cityville have characters that could certainly be turned into plush toys or action figures, other games like Words with Friends might make for some boring merchandise. That is, unless, of course, Zynga goes the Angry Birds route completely and builds a board game for Words With Friends. As much as the point of that game would be questioned, Zynga could have an interest in building a board game. Sean McGowan, an analyst at Needham & Company said, “Zynga's games reach a lot of people, and as Mattel saw with its Angry Birds game, some of the games translate well into the physical world. Building a farm or a city, for example, could be a good board game.“
Given that Zynga's online games are inherently social, it makes sense to develop toys that will also be inherently social. That's another place where a board game fits in. However, action figures would only work to become social, if you and your friends decide you're going to build an actual “Zynga farm” with all your merchandise combined.
Angry Birds merchandise is virtually ubiquitous. Everywhere you go, you'll find a store selling a plush toy or a t-shirt, whether Rovio sanctioned or not. Do you think Zynga will have such success? Let us know in the comments section below.