Who has the balls to release a new product on the same day as WWDC, the Christmas for Apple developers? Zynga. That’s who.
Just a week after releasing Empires & Allies on Facebook, Zynga announced Monday that it is starting to push out Hanging With Friends, the company’s latest game for iOS devices.
Hanging With Friends is a “new take” on Hangman, the classic game of creating a word and having your friend guess the word. Replacing the neck-bound man on the gallows are cute little kid characters hanging from balloons, making the game a little more family-friendly (if not a little wimpy).
Each player selects their avatar and, at the beginning of the game, hangs from five balloons. With each wrong guess, the avatar loses a balloon.
As with every other Zynga game, social gameplay is encouraged. You can either connect to friends through your With Friends account, Facebook Connect or by searching for a random challenger. And as with Words With Friends, you can play up to 20 games and at any pace.
The new game was developed by Zynga With Friends, the studio formerly known as Newtoy, which was acquired by Zynga back in December. That had been the gaming giant’s seventh acquisition in seven months, though they’ve by now purchased over ten gaming companies for extra talent.
This is a pretty swift follow-up launch to Empires & Allies, which Zynga just released last week on Facebook. We have yet to hear any word from Zynga about how well Empires is doing, though that’s pretty normal: it took about two weeks for us to see any launch stats for CityVille, which ended up stomping all over FarmVille’s multi-year dominance and seeing over 100 million active users at its height.
While Zynga’s likely hoping for similar success with Empires & Allies, its expectations must necessarily be lower for Hanging With Friends, which has a lot more competition from other games in Apple’s App Store. And Zynga’s leverage is far less significant in the mobile space.