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Zynga announced today that it will launch a “match 3” puzzle game based on its FarmVille franchise. This represents the social game company’s continued strategy of using its top brands to break into the upper ranks of mobile gaming, and it represents a direct attack on King’s Candy Crush Saga as well as EA’s Bejeweled.

Zynga made the announcement in its fourth quarter earnings release today.

Match 3, where you solve a puzzle by swiping your finger across three matching items on a grid, is the most popular casual game genre on mobile, and King has been able to make hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter from half a billion fans of its Candy Crush Saga.

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Zynga aims to launch six to 10 “mobile first” games this year as part of the turnaround strategy headed by chief executive Don Mattrick. Zynga was once the social gaming leader on Facebook, but other companies executed better in the transition to mobile games.

Zynga is now testing the game in Canada, Australia, and the Philippines, and it will launch it on mobile and Web in 2015.


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