While I had nothing more to work on than new domain registrations, an anonymous reader sent me a tip that a Facebook page was online, further solidifying my belief that a game was in the works and near launch day.
Shortly after my story ran, accompanied by screen shots and a web address, the page was taken offline.
Zynga, even with all the proof, made no announcement despite Games.com, AllFacebook, and other sites covering my story, so there was still some lingering doubt about the game.
Though Zynga does not officially comment on speculation or rumor, this week it has officially gone on record indirectly, by filing a trademark application (Serial Number: 85487695) for “Forestville” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Here’s a look at the trademark filing.
Expect to see a press release from the social gaming giant on “Forestville” soon.
Today, an anonymous reader has tipped me to the fact there is a Facebook page that has been online almost a week, which offers more clues about the game.
The page appears to be legit.
A description of the game published on Facebook reads: “Help Daisy the fox and her furry friends build a fabulous forest habitat! Establish farms and fishing spots for food, decorate with natural wonders, and expand your forest to unlock new species. Play ForestVille from Zynga and create the forest of your dreams!”
While there is no game yet available to download and play, there is a photo album that includes pictures of Daisy the fox.
All of the names were registered through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor that Zynga regularly uses to acquire domain names.
And as I usually point out, though each domain registration is hidden behind MarkMonitor’s WHOIS privacy service ‘DNStinations’, MarkMonitor is in the business of helping Fortune 100 companies protect their brands online. Zynga’s own Zynga.com is registered with MarkMonitor, as are hundreds of its other domains.
So, there’s no doubt whatsoever that Zynga is behind these names.
Interestingly enough, Zynga doesn’t own the prime internet real estate: Forestville.com. The domain is currently home to the Forestville Central School District website out of New York. But that hasn’t stopped Zynga from registering typos of Forestville.com like wwwforestville.com (minus a ‘.’) or forestvile.com (minus an ‘l’).
Zynga did manage to get several country domains like Forestville.de, Forestville.jp and Forestville.co.uk. A message on the home page of Forestville.de reads, “This domain is registered and protected by MarkMonitor”.
Below is a list of many of the names registered earlier this week.
At the time of this story going online today at 5am EST, Zynga has not made any announcement about the game. So Forestville becoming a full-fledged game is just speculation until more news emerges from Zynga.
I’ve reached out to the Forestville.com webmaster to see whether they had been contacted about the domain and will update this story if I hear back.
Here’s a look at the WHOIS record for ForestvilleZynga.com.
[Update 3 on Dec. 14, 2011: Zynga finally announced the game on it’s blog.]
[Update 2 on Dec. 9, 2011: Zynga filed a trademark application (Serial Number: 85487695) for “Forestville” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.]
[Update 1 on Dec. 5, 2011 at 4:10pm EST:It’s official. There is a Facebook page for Forestville. The game is headed to iOS, but hasn’t launched as of yet.]
On the day Zynga announced a “gaggle of new social games“, it registered well over 150 domain names as part of its intellectual property strategy.
The defensive domain registrations center around Project Z, Castleville, Zynga Bingo, Zynga Casino, Hidden Chronicles, Dream Zoo and Mafia Wars 2.
The domains include typical defensive registrations like Dreamzoosucks.com and wwwzyngabingo.com, but among the list of names are hints of other games for its newly created Zynga Casino franchise such as zyngacraps.com, zyngadice.com, zyngakeno.com, zyngapaigowpoker.com and zyngaroulette.com.
The names also point to which devices and platforms the new games may be available on such as ZyngaBingoGoogleplus and Dreamzooipad.com.
It’s unknown whether Zynga owns the matching names to each new game like Castleville.com, which The Domains wrote about yesterday. As Mike Berkens noted in the article, the domain was registered to someone in Shangha China using Tucows.com until August 8th, when it went under privacy at Godaddy.com. The name has now transferred name servers from domaincontrol.com to cotdns.net as of today, signalling a website may be unveiled shortly, as well as the owner.
Over the last year Zynga has improved its domain buying methods in order to keep its unreleased games a secret, including using a generic Yahoo! email address when registering names.
Here’s the full list of domains Zynga registered through the brand protection company MarkMonitor.