Zynga to Lend Talent to “Half the Sky” Game Team

Posted on July 15, 2012, by Half the Sky Movement

Media contacts: Eric Green / Keri Dizney
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November 13 Set as Debut Date for Social Action Game based on the book by Pulitzer-Prize Winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Production has begun on a Facebook social action game based on Half the Sky, the bestselling book by Pulitzer Prize-winner writers Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and is expected to debut November 13.  Social games leader Zynga announced that it will contribute “significant staff time” to the production team working on the game, which is part of an ambitious transmedia project that includes a four-hour PBS miniseries. 

Developed by Frima Studio, the Half the Sky Facebook game is executive produced by Games for Change, the leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social good, which had a sneak-peak of Half the Sky for attendees of its recent Games for Change Festival (June 18-20). Also serving as executive producer is Maro Chermayeff, president of Show of Force, the award-winning production company producing the PBS miniseries.

Half the Sky, the bestselling 2009 book by Kristof and WuDunn, sparked a global movement (www.halftheskymovement.org) to address “the central moral challenge of our time” – ending the oppression of women and girls worldwide.  A multimillion-dollar transmedia project involving over 30 NGO partners is currently underway to raise awareness and promote real-world action.  Projects in the pipeline include a primetime, four-hour miniseries to air on PBS on October 1-2, a Facebook social action game, mobile games in India and Africa, websites, educational materials and more.  The Facebook game has major support from the Ford Foundation, along with support from the UN Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The mission of Zynga.org is to help make the world a better place through games,” said Ken Weber, Zynga.org’s Executive Director.” Zynga’s employees are eager to leverage social games for good, and we are honored to be collaborating with Games for Change and Frima on this important initiative.”

“Zynga’s role in bringing this game to life is particularly special to us,” said Half the Sky authors Kristof and WuDunn.  “Using a game to potentially reach great numbers of people helps send a message not only that there are challenges women face around the world, but also that they bring great spirit and joy to their communities when they can live safe, normal lives.”


About Frima Studio

Frima is Canada’s leading independent game developer. Since 2003, the company has been developing world-class media including virtual worlds, social and web based games, console titles and mobile apps. Their services also include the animation and special effects expertise of Frima FX as well as the concept art development of Volta. In addition to working with world-renowned clients, Frima develops successful, original IP titles such as A Space Shooter for Free! and Zombie Tycoon. With over 350 artists and programmers to develop its products, Frima produces high-caliber products that are as remarkably outstanding artistically as they are technically.  Visit www.frimastudio.com.

About Zynga.org

Zynga.org’s mission is to facilitate and promote the use of social games for positive social impact on global scale.  To date, Zynga.org has inspired players of Zynga games to contribute over $12 million to leading national and international NGOs working to meet basic human needs and improve lives.  Zynga.org works closely with Zynga, the world’s leader in social games, and with various nonprofit partners, including Save the Children, Direct Relief International, World Food Programme, and Games for Change.  Visit Zynga.org at www.facebook.com/zynga.org

About Games for Change

Games for Change (G4C) is the leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social impact.  Founded in 2004, G4C facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts.  The organization aims to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good.  To further grow the field, G4C convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects.  Visit www.gamesforchange.org.