For the first time, customers of Zynga's popular browser-based games can play without using a Facebook account at all.
Starting next week, players entering Zynga.com will sign in with a Zynga-specific account, which has the option of hooking up with a Facebook account via Facebook Connect. Previously, Facebook Connect was the only way to sign into the site.
On the surface, this would appear to be Zynga's next logical step toward what may be an eventual divorce from Facebook, the platform that its success was built on. Back in November, the two companies amended a previous agreement to give Zynga an easier path toward independence, in exchange for giving up some undisclosed perks that Facebook had been providing.
The original five-year agreement came at a time when a still-growing (and still privately-owned) Zynga was threatening to take its business elsewhere if Facebook didn't cave in to certain demands.