Zynga wants to help you cook dinner. Coming this week, ChefVille, the newest game from the company incorporates a new "Game to Table" model, allowing you to earn real-world recipes while you play.
Somewhat similar to the company’s current cooking game CafeWorld, the “next-generation cooking game,” has players create their own restaurants.
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Ingredients are key in game play, and each item you learn to cook in the game is made from scratch using the same things you might use if you were making the dish in the real world. Just like you might ask to borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor in real life, ChefVille encourages you to ask your neighbors for help with ingredients you don’t have.
The game is launching with over 200 in-game recipes, with 50 of those recipes also available as real-world meals you can also create at home. Roughly every 5 recipes you unlock in the game itself will also send a recipe via email to your inbox you can use to whip up the same meal in your own kitchen.
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Recipes built into the game include Confit de Canard with Potatoes au Gratin, Miso Soup, Bruschetta and Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise.
One in-game recipe, for Spaghetti Bolognese, was actually written by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and his wife. The company is also currently running a "Table to Game" contest where fans can submit their own recipes for possible inclusion in the game.
In addition to the real-world recipe component, the game also expands on ChefVille by allowing you to extend gameplay outside the walls of your restaurant, gaining access to different features ingredients along the way. ChefVille also offers much more involved customer reactions than CafeWorld, allowing you to do things such as send a flower salesman or a violinist over to a table.
Will Gamers Engage With ChefVille?
While the hook of real world recipes is interesting -- is it enough to get players to give the game a chance? One thing's for sure, Zynga needs a hit. Badly.
Once the darling of the social gaming space, Zynga has struggled as a public company. Last month, the company saw its stock drop 40% after dismal earnings. Even more distressingly, the company saw engagement numbers for Draw Something -- the game it paid $200 million for earlier this year -- drop off significantly.
Moreover, Electronic Arts is suing Zynga over what it calls "blatant mimicry" between The Sims Social and Zynga's The Ville.
Of course, as with any game company, Zynga can turn it all around with a monster hit. Does ChefVille have the right ingredients? Time will tell.
ChefVille will be available this week on Facebook, and will launching soon on Zynga.com.
Can you see yourself cooking a recipe you earned while playing a game on Facebook? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.