The company behind Farmville is sealing a deal with Google and has been embraced by Apple and Facebook. That such companies would associate themselves with the exploitation of children and financially depleted addicts is alarming, even in hyper-aggressive Silicon Valley.
There's no question Zynga is on a roll. Despite a scandal over the scammy commercial "offers" it once inflicted on users of its online games, the company has been embraced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who in June called Zynga's Farmville a "remarkable phenomenon" and unveiled an iPhone version of the virtual agriculture competition. Zynga sealed a five-year deal with Facebook, the social network that generates most of its traffic. And now, according to TechCrunch, Google has put in $100 million for first rights to Zynga's new games, a partnership that it plans to make a big part of a new social network to compete with Facebook.