On Tuesday Zynga hosted its “Unleashed” event where they announced Project Z. Project Z will be a social network for discussions and sharing of games. Its purpose is to give Zynga some independence from Facebook, even though moving from Facebook to Project Z will remain nearly seamless and Facebook still provides Zynga with most of its income and user base. As part of that independence Zynga has recently launched CityVille on Google+ to help create some diversity.
It is unknown if Project Zynga will offer advertising. The games use the freemium model and so far they have been working for Zynga as an income stream. Those games, however, required the social networks so Project Z might very well offer some advertising to help subsidize income as it gains a user base. This is a potentially lucrative location for digital ads, especially given how sticky the pages might be as users play games within the page.
Project Z will host existing Zynga games as well as some new games announced at the event: CastleVille, Zynga Bingo, Hidden Chronicles, and Mafia Wars 2. One concern for the digital marketing firm is the sustainability of Project Z. This move seems to be about the upcoming Zynga IPO to demonstrate some independence from Facebook. After the IPO when that independence is no longer a driving concern, will it then make sense for project Z to remain a keystone of Zynga games? It remains to be seen. Until then it should be a place worth some investigation as an advertising platform.