They’ve got on in the works. It’s called CastleVille, and it was just one of a pile of new games revealed at a big Zynga event today in San Francisco.
Let’s get the non MMORPGs out of the way first…
Zynga Casino is actually a franchise that will house the already extant Zynga Poker and the all-new Zynga Bingo. You’ll be able too use chips from one game in the other, giving the classic games of chance a social twist when they launch on Facebook.
A whole new genre gets added to the company’s portfolio with Hidden Chronicles, a hidden-object game where Zynga leaves aside its trademark cartoony look for photorealism. Players will wander through a mysterious mansion and talk to odd characters who are guarding some sort of family secret. Call it a Zynga-fied Myst for Facebook.
Dream Zoo marks a foray into the mobile space with games that aren’t tethered to Facebook. The animal-collecting game features wacky varietals like rainbow giraffes and green elephants. It’s scheduled to launch on Apple’s App Store, followed by an Android version.
To tie into Facebook’s newly launched mobile apps and mobile site, Zynga’s also debuting a new service codenamed “Project Z” that will feature games to take advantage of HTML5, with Zynga Poker Mobile Web, Words With Friends HTML5 and Farmville Express as the announced titles.
Yesterday saw the birth of Mafia Wars 2 on Facebook, with news that it’s coming to Google+ as well. You can see what our own Stephen Totilo thought of the criminal enterprise game here.
And, about that MMORPG….
For hardcore gamers that scoff at Zynga’s Offerings, it’s CastleVille that might hold the most intrigue. Helmed by Bill Jackson, who worked on the iconic Age of Empires franchise while he was at Ensemble Studios (they also made Halo Wars), CastleVille will feature role-playing game staples like crafting, exploration and more. In a Venture Beat write-up about the new game, Jackson sounded confident that CastleVille will represent a new level of socially connected role-playing gameplay to the web: “Zynga is bringing massively multiplayer role-playing games to the mass market,” Jackson said of the game. Of course, it remains to be seen just how much depth CastleVille will have when compared to other massive RPGs like World of Warcraft. But, it’s significant that they’re entering a space where Blizzard’s generally been seen as unstoppable.