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Remember that cousin who you hadn't seen in a few years who kept sending you Facebook invitations to join him on Farmville? Remember when that happened for, like, the fourth time in a row, so you sent him a Facebook message politely requesting that he cut that shit out, for the love of all things sacred and holy? And remember when he sent you a furious message back asking why you had to be so rude all the time, and that you hadn't changed a bit since you cheated when you guys played Don't Wake Daddy in your aunt's basement when you were eight, and the next time you saw each other at Thanksgiving it was super awkward and you had to drink yourself into a coma to avoid being alone with him in a room all weekend?
Well, you don't have to worry about that happening anymore, because Zynga — the company behind Farmville, Cityville, Mafia Wars and a bunch of other shit that you try to ignore on Facebook — just announced the release of a new platform that is independent of Facebook, as well as several new games. The platform will launch a gaming website, code-named Project Z, later this year.
Although Zynga CEO and founder Mark Pincus Tweeted earlier today that the break from Facebook will facilitate a more "direct relationship with consumers," the company will nonetheless remain in Mark Zuckerberg's vise-like grip for at least a little while longer, as Farmville users will still have to use Facebook Connect to access the new website. Insiders postulate that the divorce from Facebook may have been prompted by Zynga's recent financial troubles; in August, the company delayed its long-awaited IPO, and disclosed that its profits fell by 90 percent in the past year (which certainly couldn't have been helped by Facebook's 30 percent tax on its revenue).
So basically, the next time your cousin sends you an invitation to the new social gaming sensation BDSM Sex DungeonVille 2, you can inform him that if Zynga's new platform fails, his favorite company could end up buying the farm. ZYNG.