After unleashing a massive FarmVille partnership with Lady Gaga earlier this week, today Zynga announced another major entertainment collaboration, this time between CityVille and DreamWorks' "Kung Fu Panda 2." CityVille is not only Zynga's biggest game, it's also Facebook's, with 88 million monthly players, according to AppData. The movie opens May 26 and the "Kung Fu Panda 2" quest runs from today until May 31.
"Zynga and CityVille have a massive reach and their fan base is very attractive to us," said Jason Alex, head of online marketing at DreamWorks Animation. "Our fans and the movie-going audience cross over to the gaming space, so this integration makes a lot of sense. If we can reach a quarter of those 88 million CityVille players, that 's a great number."
Mr. Alex added that DreamWorks dedicated about 10% of the movie's marketing budget to online, but that includes all online, such as its pricey interactive YouTube trailer. Other promotions include off-line partners such as McDonald's, Airheads, Best Buy and -- seriously -- a first film/tofu promotion with its own microsite.
It's no surprise that Zynga and DreamWorks are continuing the integration of their brands -- movies and social games seem to go well together. Before Lady Gaga bedazzled the pigs and the cows of FarmVille, DreamWorks' "Megamind" was there, getting 9 million farmers to play in less than 24 hours. And Paramount Pictures' "Rango" hung out in FrontierVille earlier this year.
DreamWorks and Zynga have been so close that DreamWorks' co-founder and CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, joined Zynga's board last month. That move clarified Zynga's ambition to transform itself from a Silicon Valley startup to an established consumer brand and an entertainment empire. All indications point to continued partnerships between Zynga and film studios, musicians and celebrities.
So what does this mean to people who play Zynga games? With Lady Gaga, it meant that they could download her album before anyone not playing FarmVille -- pretty cool. With "Kung Fu Panda 2," the 88 million people who play CityVille can place a "Panda"-themed drive-in movie theater in their city. Players will receive collection items and a prize for completing the quest (virtual prizes, of course). Zynga said that about a third of the 3.6 million Facebook fans of "Kung Fu Panda" play CityVille.