Yahoo Aims To Be Chic, Teams Up With Gaming Startup

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo Inc. is leaning on one of the Internet's cool kids in an effort to be more chic. This time, Yahoo is teaming with Zynga, a rapidly growing startup that makes several popular online games, including "Farmville," "Mafia Wars" and "Fishville," that have been primarily distributed through Facebook.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo Inc. is leaning on one of the Internet's cool kids in an effort to be more chic.

This time, Yahoo is teaming with Zynga, a rapidly growing startup that makes several popular online games, including "Farmville," "Mafia Wars" and "Fishville," that have been primarily distributed through Facebook. All those pastimes will be coming to Yahoo within the next few months, the companies said Wednesday.

The Zynga alliance is the latest example of Yahoo piggybacking on other online services that have been stealing its thunder in the past few years.

Although Yahoo still boasts one of the Internet's largest audiences, people increasingly are spending more of their time on social and communications services such as Facebook, Twitter and Zynga.

In response, Yahoo has tied some of its services to those sites in hopes of giving people more reason to stick around. Keeping people engaged on its site would make it easier for Yahoo to sell advertising and snap out of a prolonged financial funk that has caused its stock to lose more than half its value during the past four years.

Yahoo will get a cut of the revenue that Zynga gets from people who play the games while they're on Yahoo. Terms of the split weren't disclosed.

More than 35 million people play Zynga's games each day. The company is hoping Yahoo will help it attract millions of new game players. Privately held Zynga makes its money from ads and virtual goods sold for its games.

Founded in 2007, Zynga is being touted as one of the Internet's top prospects for an initial public offering of stock, along with Facebook and Twitter. Like his Facebook and Twitter counterparts, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has indicated he isn't in any hurry to go public because his company still has ample financing. Zynga has raised a total of $219 million from investors.

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