Microsoft and CrowdStar attempt to revive MSN Games

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MSN GamesMicrosoft takes another stab at integrating social games on MSN, after a false start with FarmVille-maker Zynga several months ago. MSN Games has been redesigned with some more social elements and now includes games from Happy Pets-creator CrowdStar.

The new and improved MSN Games features a games feed, Facebook integration, leaderboards and friend lists. However, Microsoft is still hosting offers on Bing Games, a channel on its search engine, so things still a little fragmented at the moment. It's unknown whether the two will merge and which will be the dominant games portal for the network. Currently, Bing Games serves as a place to play games on the search page while linking to the new MSN Games.

MSN is just the first place that CrowdStar will be expanding, says Inside Social Games, which has turned to Sibblingz to help them migrate other platforms. It seems CrowdStar agrees with Playdom's CEO, who recently said that Facebook isn't the only party around. It still remains to be seen, however, MSN Games (or any other traditional gaming portal for that matter) will be able to compete with Facebook.

Take a look at the new MSN Games
, which is in "Preview" right now.

Update: According to Microsoft, MSN Games and Bing Games are part of a larger initiative to unify its casual game content. Windows Live Messenger will also serve as a place to play these games and players will be able to play and socialize with users of all three platforms as well.

Would you play your social games somewhere other than Facebook? If so, would Microsoft's MSN Games be that place? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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