Details of the partnership have not yet been revealed, but the concept of "co-branded merchandise" is being thrown around, with the whole thing kicking off a little later this year.
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus explains:
This partnership is so special because it represents an exciting leap forward in enabling people to connect their virtual and real worlds.
Hasbro has inspired play through their famous toys, games and action figures and we look forward to working with a company that continually creates meaningful and fun brands.
It's an interesting - though unsurprising - move for Hasbro, which also has a video game partnership with Electronic Arts. Company CEO and president Brian Goldner claims the deal has been created to largely benefit Zynga - who obviously need the help, as its video game franchises reach a meagre 227 million players each month.
Goldner explains the company's position:
Zynga is bringing more games to mainstream culture and is redefining how people play. At Hasbro, we're proud to help bring their games to even more people around the world.
This strategic alliance plays off of both Hasbro's and Zynga's proven strengths and is emblematic of the new innovations and new platforms we are creating across our entire gaming portfolio.
...but wait a moment and think about this. "Co-branded merchandise" doesn't state which direction things are traveling in. While FarmVille toys are very probably in our futures (they already appeared last year as collectible Christmas items), there's nothing which says the deal can't go the other way, too. Hasbro owns a number of particularly lovely franchises, so it also wouldn't surprise us if some of them started popping up on Zynga's home turf, Facebook. The deal with EA primarily covers board games, but there are still plenty more "games, toys and action figures" for Zynga to play with.
Jimmy the Geek