Words With Friends Goes Back to School

SAN FRANCISCO, July 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To celebrate the kickoff of the 2016 school year, Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), a leading social game developer, announced today the launch of Words With Friends EDU. The free educational game, based on the beloved gameplay of Words With Friends, is now available for students, teachers and parents on the App Store for iPad, Google Play for Android tablet and on the Web.

Words With Friends EDU reimagines the Words With Friends experience for a game that’s as entertaining as it’s effective for students, whether they have an advanced vocabulary or are learning English as their second language,” said Vaibhav Sahgal, General Manager, Words With Friends. “Working collaboratively with teachers and education experts enabled us to create a fun and engaging experience that also increases students’ vocabulary and educational outcomes. With students showing significant gains in the use of academic words in their first six sessions of Words With Friends EDU, we are proud to deliver this new learning tool to students, teachers and parents as they start the school year.”

Launched in 2009, and named one of the App Store’s Top 10 free games of all time, Words With Friends continues to be the world’s most popular mobile word game with an estimated 55 million matches being played at any given moment. Words With Friends EDU builds off of the Words With Friends heritage by pairing engaging wordplay with new educational features to help students in grades 4th through 8th learn high-value academic words for success in the classroom and beyond.

Innovative, new features of Words With Friends EDU include:

  • Power Words: The ability for students to earn bonus points through the use of high-value academic words, including those frequently used in required reading, textbooks and educational assessments.
  • Definition Hints: Students can use hints to access the definition of the highest-scoring Power Words to meaningfully connect them to academic words and their meanings.
  • Badges and Avatars: Students earn badges for reaching educational milestones as they play, and each badge unlocks items to let them customize their avatars.
  • Interactive Dashboard: Teachers and parents can track students’ gameplay and learning through a dynamic dashboard measuring individual achievements and signs that students need help, as well as progress against Common Core Standards.
  • Lesson Plans: Words With Friends EDU features a curriculum-based suite of lesson plans for teachers to supplement the game in their classrooms.

Words With Friends EDU was developed in partnership with teachers and education experts to ensure gameplay and accompanying curriculum and lesson plans drive deeper learning and alignment with Common Core Standards. In addition to engaging teachers at every step in the game’s development, Words With Friends EDU was beta-tested in over 20 classrooms with more than 1,500 students.

Words With Friends EDU is not only highly engaging for students, it also provides teachers and parents with meaningful insights into the vocabulary and language skills of individual children,” said Jeff Brain, teacher, Del Mar Middle School. “In working with the Words With Friends team on the development of Words With Friends EDU, it was important that teachers and parents, regardless of their level of technology proficiency, could maximize the benefits of the game. Through easy-to-understand dashboards and lesson plans, Words With Friends EDU delivers a truly unique learning experience for students, teachers and parents.”

Words With Friends EDU is available to download and play for free on the App Store for iPad, Google Play for Android tablet and on the Web. For more information about Words With Friends EDU, visit the game’s community channels on Facebook and Twitter.

Game logo and images can be found here: https://zynga.box.com/s/vak1xuveub7zxzxnqpza1d00ly9du6u2

About Zynga Inc.
Since its founding in 2007, Zynga’s mission has been to connect the world through games. To-date, more than 1 billion people have played Zynga’s games across Web and mobile, including FarmVille, Zynga Poker, Words With Friends, Hit it Rich! Slots and CSR Racing. Zynga’s games are available on a number of global platforms including Apple iOS, Google Android, Facebook and Zynga.com. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., and has additional offices in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland and India. Learn more about Zynga at http://blog.zynga.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Zynga Contact:
Erin Smith-Cheng
(650) 224-2462