Zynga debuts ‘Hornet’ themed ‘Mafia Wars’

Game available until pic bows Jan. 14

Social vidgames are becoming an increasingly important part of the promotional plan for films.

Zynga, the leading developer of social games, launched a limited-edition of “Mafia Wars” Thursday to coincide with the Jan. 14 bow of Columbia Pictures’ “The Green Hornet.”

The promotion allows “Mafia Wars” players to uncover “loot” items associated with the movie such as a mask, motorcycle and Hornet crest. Once players have acquired all eight items, they are rewarded with the Green Hornet’s indestructible Black Beauty. “The Green Hornet” promotion will end Jan. 14.

Zynga also paired with rapper Dr. Dre and TNT’s cop skein “Southland” for “Mafia Wars” tie-ins. Zynga’s other popular game “FarmVille” saw its first feature film integration in November with DreamWorks Animation’s “Megamind.”

“Mafia Wars,” which can be played on Facebook, MySpace, iPhone and Yahoo, averages about 5 million players per day.

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