iPhone social games could be big, says Zynga

But Apple needs to put more work into community features

iPhone social games could be big, says Zynga
| Live Poker 40K

iPhone could see an explosion in social games this year, if Apple launches the kind of features that have underpinned the growth of Facebook games, says Zynga CEO Mark Pincus (that's him on the right, if you're wondering).

"The iPhone has most of the components to be one of the most important social gaming platforms," he tells

"It has ease of access through the App Store, where games are even more accessible than on a social network. It's social, and it connects online easily. And, of course, it's always with you, so the games are always available for you to play. We believe social games will penetrate the iPhone more than any other platform."

Zynga is one of the biggest social games firms on Facebook and other social networks, and has so far released one iPhone game - Live Poker - albeit in several editions.

It was the first iPhone game to use the Facebook Connect technology to allow people to use their Facebook logins to play online. However, Pincus would like to see Apple take a few more leaves out of Facebook's, er, book.

"They could have a Home section on the iPhone springboard that creates a social network of all of your friends with iPhones," he says.

"You'd register your Facebook or MySpace login with Apple, and they would poll all the interesting information from your friends and give you a Home Centre that gave you feeds from your friends, showed you various messages – including emails and in-network messages – and then on top of that would identify people in your address book, to unlock iPhone-to-iPhone applications for developers."

For more on Pincus's thoughts on social gaming for the iPhone, and Zynga's plans to update Live Poker and release other iPhone games, read the full interview.

Stuart Dredge
Stuart Dredge
Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)