Facebook has just filed an amendment to its S-1 that exhibits the agreements between it and Zynga. These 2 developer agreement documents are the same as those filed in Zynga’s own S-1 amendment from last year and don’t include significant new information.
The exhibits do spell out how Facebook has promised to help Zynga with advertising on Zynga sites such as FarmVille.com, and share revenue from such a partnership. This should not be confused to mean sharing ad revenue from Zynga’s games on Facebook.com. Facebook also included its 2005 stock plan, and employment letters to key executives.
The developer agreement documents appear to have the same redactions as when Zynga filed them. Last year, TechCrunch writer Eric Eldon reported on these docs explaining how they show that:
Facebook also appears to have guaranteed Zynga certain growth targets in exchange for continuing to invest in games on the platform, whether web or mobile. Facebook has given Zynga permission to create some sort of “Zynga Platform”. It also has given the developer access to new features, including a proposed “Game Friends Protocol” API, apparently offering a new way for social gamers to find and play together.
Regarding ad revenue sharing:
At first glance, the terms read as if Zynga had a special deal with Facebook, where it gets a portion of the ad revenue from Facebook ad units that run alongside its games in canvas apps. However, the terms specified that it is not canvas app ad revenue — instead, it’s referring to Zynga web sites [also known as Zynga Game Pages, which do not include Canvas Pages or any other pages on www.faceboook.com.].
We asked Facebook about the matter and got this response: “We don’t have agreements with any developers, including Zynga, to share revenue from ads next to their Facebook canvas apps. We did agree with Zynga to work together in the future on providing ads on their properties beyond Facebook, but we have no current timeline for when we might start working on that.”
This could be the first sign of a future Facebook off-site ad network, in which sites could host ads that employ Facebook’s own targeting system to present relevant ads to visitors that are currently logged in to Facebook. This could become a huge revenue stream for Facebook if it ever rolls the system out to sites beyond Zynga’s.
Some specific points from the agreement: the Facebook Platform will be integrated into the Zynga Mobile Games and Zynga Properties and FB will be the sole and exclusive Social Platform
- For Zynga’s own websites, “the Facebook Platform will be integrated into the Zynga Mobile Games and Zynga Properties and FB will be the sole and exclusive Social Platform”. This permits Zynga to build games on other social networks such as Google+, but not to use other identity providers to power games on its own sites.
- “FB shall not offer or otherwise make available on the Facebook Site or the Facebook Platform any Facebook Game”, meaning Facebook can’t create its own first-party games that could compete with Zynga.
- Zynga will exclusively use Facebook Credits as its in-game purchase processing method on all its “Covered Zynga Services”, including Mafia Wars, FarmVille, and any other games that utilize Facebook data.
- Zynga is responsible for “all content and materials, maintenance and operation” of its own gaming websites, except for the Facebook ads it hosts
- Zynga will not “remove, minimize, frame, or otherwise inhibit the full and complete display of any Page” such that it could obscure Facebook ads hosted on its sites or overlays that pop up when these ads are clicked.