Facebook and Zynga have ended a partnership which allowed the games developer strong access to the social network’s one billion users.
The move means that a deal revealed by the Drum last month - in which Zynga is to partner with the British bwin.party and Digital Entertainment PLC - becomes even more vital to Zynga's future.
bwin is said to be world's leading name in online betting and real money gaming. The new partnership will offer real-money poker and hundreds of casino-style games in the U.K. during the first half of next year. These games, banned in the United States, are said to be highly profitable.
A British spokesman for bwin, asked if customers would be gambling oh how much milk Zynga's Farmville cows would produce, answered dryly, "I will leave it to you to speculate."
Under the terms of the new Facebook agreement, from 31 March 2013 Zynga will no longer be able to promote its Zynga.com platform on Facebook and as such will not be required to display Facebook advertising on its own site.
For users, they will not be able to share their progress on Facebook which will affect games such as the popular Farmville, which at its peak attracted 82 million players a month via the social media platform.
A Facebook spokesperson commented: "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,"
"We will continue to work with Zynga, just as we do with developers of all sizes."
This came as a worry for Zynga investors as 80 per cent of Zynga revenue comes from Facebook users. This was reflected by a fall in share price by 13 per cent in the hours following the news.
The company has already announced job cuts and studio closures, with Zynga founder Mark Pincus saying it would close its Boston studio and consider closing studios in the UK and Japan as part of an "overall cost reduction plan".