Zynga, which has become one of the shining social gaming companies on internet, is trying to makeover its image and build digital gaming hub as investors worry about its future growth. So far, Zynga has been highly dependent on Facebook. In fact, it accounts for nearly 15 percent of Facebook’s first-quarter revenue, which sounds quite promising. However, what caused problem here is that its investors are quite worried about its growth due to this excessive dependence, and the increasing market competition. This is the reason that stock has been well below its December 2011 $10 IPO price. AppData has also reported that Zynga’s monthly active user growth has slightly gone down.
Attempting resurgence from the current situation, the social gaming company is making several efforts, one named as “Zynga Unleased” Event, which was organized at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco. Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus made several announcements in an attempt to change perceptions about Zynga’s future.
“We have a lot further to go in connecting people through games,” Pincus said. “We think that if we can deliver on the promise of real social value through play, we can make it a treasured activity that people could not imagine living without.”
Here’s the list of some important announcements made by Pincus and other top Zynga executives at “Zynga Unleashed”:
• Zynga is updating its classic title FarmVille. FarmVille 2 is coming soon, Pincus announced at the close of the event.
• Other new titles include ChefVille, a cooking game; TheVille, a social title that bears a strong resemblance to The Sims franchise from archrival Electronic Arts; Zynga Elite Slots, a casino title; and Matching With Friends, a mobile game in the same family as Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends.
• A new network, named “Zynga With Friends” for third-party developers to get access to its infrastructure and network of 290 million users.
Zynga has had a bit of a cultural upheaval. They’ve been dinged repeatedly for not being the best place to work for, not a good neighbor in the social gaming market, and given us in the tech industry a roller-coaster ride of offerings, valuation, and inflated number of players. Even their IPO could not keep up with the expectations. We heard that the Zynga employees became fed up with their ill treatment at their master’s hands for long hours, relentless micromanaging management, and poor compensation for stressful work. The bad reputation lead to blasting down their bid for PopCap, which turned down Zynga’s advanced to the tune of $950 million in cash. Instead, PopCap went with Electronic Arts.
Now, they’ve seen a huge drop in stock prices alongside a loss of players. Just a few days back, Zynga’s shares fell with a suddenness falling as much as 13 percent—triggering “a short-sale circuit breaker.” A report by AppData published in The Telegraph revealed June’s numbers showing a drop of almost six million daily players for Cityville and three million for Farmville. It seems that the widely reproduced “ville” formula, based on players making improvements to a virtual town or home and inviting their friends to help via the social network, has lost its charm.
So, this “Zynga Unleashed” event is showing them once again trying to diversify and grab the attention of investors. With several new game launches to announcement of a new network platform, we hope all this will help the social gaming company revive its soul and regain the investors’ trust.