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Filed under: ditches mandatory Facebook logins as it struggles to create its own identity

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Last year gaming company Zynga launched a beta version of its own standalone gaming portal that allowed users to play both in-house and third-party games without being on Facebook. The portal still required Facebook credentials to log in, however — but today the company has announced a new version of that ditches that requirement entirely. As described in a blog post, the updated portal, which launches next week, will use its own login accounts, although existing users will be able to integrate their Facebook accounts if they'd like to carry over achievements and game progress they've already attained.

Zynga is framing the move as a response to user-requested features: giving players the option to create custom user names and providing a simplified login process in one location devoted strictly to gaming. The tweaks join a healthy array of internal social sharing and gamer discovery features the portal already has in place. However, despite the touted benefits, it's hard to not see the move as Zynga finally cutting ties with Facebook in an effort to stand on its own two feet. The two companies were so inextricably linked that in 2011 Zynga generated 19 percent of all of Facebook's revenue. That number slipped to 14 percent in the first half of 2012 — but Zynga was still dependent on the social network for virtually all of its own income at the time. Whether the Facebook-free game portal will help address some of Zynga's recent woes, however, still remains to be seen.