Soon after its IPO, Zynga’s share price spiked above $15 in early 2012. Very little has gone right since then. Just last month, Zynga issued yet another warning and its share price now hovers just above $3. On Thursday, Zynga’s latest flagship game, Draw Something 2, dropped out of iPhone’s top-10 paid app chart after having spent only six days there. The original Draw Something spent nearly three months on the iPhone’s top-10 chart in early 2012. More →
Zynga (ZNGA), the Facebook (FB) app behemoth, still reigns supreme on its most important platform. But the erosion of its dominant position continues as smaller rivals keep chipping away at its market share. On December 26, Zynga-owned Facebook applications had 267 million Monthly Active Users, down 20 million in two weeks. Far behind it followed Microsoft (MSFT) with 70 million MAU, King.com with 65 million MAU and Instagram with 43 million MAU. More →
Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG) and six other tech companies have petitioned the courts to begin rejecting lawsuits that are based on patents for vague concepts rather than specific applications, TechCrunch reported. The agreement, which was cosigned by Zynga (ZNGA), Dell (DELL), Intuit (INTU), Homeaway (AWAY), Rackspace (RAX), and Red Hat (RHT), notes the only thing these abstract patents do is increase legal fees and slow innovation in the industry. The companies claim that “abstract patents are a plague in the high tech sector” and force innovators into litigation that results in huge settlements or steep licensing fees for technology they have already developed on their own, which then leads to higher prices for consumers. More →
As Zynga (ZNGA) continues its free fall into irrelevancy with layoffs and its one-hit social games, the gaming company has revised its contract with Facebook (FB) to free it from being “forced to launch games exclusively on the Facebook platform” and “obligated to use Facebook Credits for Zynga game pages,” according to AllThingsD. The change of terms filed with the SEC also includes a clause that states “Facebook will no longer be prohibited from developing its own games” on March 31, 2013. Could Facebook start developing its own social games? Theoretically, yes. But would Facebook really jeopardize its relationships with game developers who already make games for its social network? Probably not.
Hackers associated with the group Anonymous have threatened Zynga (ZNGA) for “the outrageous treatment of their employees and their actions against many developers.” The group is angry with the company’s latest round of layoffs, calling them “an insult to the population” and an “end of the U.S. game market.” The Anonymous members plan to release confidential documents it has obtained that suggest Zygna will be moving jobs to more “convenient financial countries.” The group has also said that it unless the company abondons these plans, it will release all the games it has stolen from its servers for free. The group has given Zynga until November 5th, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, to comply with its demands. Hackers inside of Anonymous have previously threatened to attack other companies such as Facebook (FB) although its attempts have been fairly unsuccessful so far.
It’s easy to badmouth the dumb moves Zynga (ZNGA) has made — the disastrous acquisition of OMGPOP, the strip-mining of the Ville franchises, the lack of skill-based games. On Wednesday night, Zynga shares finally rebounded a bit from the brutal swan dive that started right after the IPO. A share buyback program and UK gambling project offered a quantum of solace. Zynga has now sunk so low that even 3% annualized revenue growth comes as a positive surprise to traumatized investors reeling from a string of disappointments. More →
While most of the world was focused on Apple’s (AAPL) press event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Zynga (ZNGA) reportedly shut down its Boston offices and laid off more than 100 employees around the country. The story began circulating on Twitter earlier this afternoon and has since been confirmed by a number of news outlets such as TechCrunch and The Verge. More →
Zynga’s (ZNGA) $210 million purchase of Draw Something OMGPOP is officially a dud. In Zynga’s latest preliminary financial report, the company revealed that its third quarter revenue will be lower than expected, clocking in between $300 million to $305 million and it will report a net loss between $95 million and $105 million. In what can only be an indirect admission that the Draw Something craze is over, Zynga also said it plans to write off between $85 million to $95 million related to the OMGPOP purchase.
We all know that the feature phone market is dying and the mobile app market is hot. And that is what makes short-term investment decisions very tricky indeed. When everyone is widely aware of certain trends, everyone on Wall Street tends to scramble to the same side of the boat simultaneously. But sometimes, the boat tips. More →
OMGPOP launched Draw Something on February 6th and within seven weeks, the game soared to 35 million users while serving almost 1 billion ad impressions per day. The turn based Pictionary-style game soon became the most popular Facebook Connect game, beating out Zynga’s Words With Friends, and also the No.1 free app and No.1 paid app on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play marketplace for Android. Zynga noticed the success of Draw Something and quickly acquired OMGPOP and its team for more than $200 million. The sale may have been premature, however, as Draw Something’s user base is beginning to decline, The Atlantic Wire reports. The number of users who play the game on a daily basis has dropped from nearly 15 million users to 10 million, although the number of monthly users has stayed consistent, according to information from App Data. The crumbling daily user figures could spell trouble for Zynga, but it looks like the timing couldn’t have worked out better for OMGPOP, which seemingly managed to cash in at precisely the right time. More →
Zynga on Wednesday announced that it has acquired app developer OMGPOP for $180 million, plus another $30 million in employee-retention payments, AllThingsD reported. The company confirmed the acquisition during a conference call on Wednesday afternoon, however it did not disclose the terms of the deal. Even though the OMGPOP’s app is only six weeks old, the turn based Pictionary-style game “Draw Something” has already become the most popular Facebook Connect game, beating out Zynga’s own Words With Friends. OMGPOP’s app is also the No.1 free app and No.1 paid app on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play marketplace for Android. The addictive drawing game boasts 35 million registered users, 10 million active daily users and almost 1 billion ad impressions per day. More →
Zynga, the popular gaming company behind hits such as Farmville — and the owner of other smash titles such as Words with Friends on Android and iPhone — has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), The New York Times reported on Friday. It currently has a $20 billion valuation and has plans to offer 10% of its shares; Morgan Stanley will work on the deal. Mark Pincus, the company’s CEO, expects that Zynga can earn $1 billion through the IPO. Unlike some other recent tech IPOs, which have caused many to claim the industry is in the midst of a “tech bubble,” Zynga has had solid earnings through its business model, which typically relies on in-app purchases for in-game currency. The firm reportedly recorded a profit of $90.6 million in 2011 on revenues of nearly $600 million. Zynga currently remains the top-dog when it comes to gaming on Facebook — it has 272.5 million active users across its biggest titles such as Cityville and Farmville. More →
Electronic Arts is set to purchase PopCap Games for $1 billion, according to TechCrunch. PopCap Games is best known for titles such as Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, and Bejewled, all of which are available on a number of platforms, including the PC and mobile devices. It’s unclear what the motivation behind the purchase is. EA has a number of hits available in the iTunes App Store, including NBA Jam, The Sims, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, but perhaps it could use PopCap’s expertise in the casual market to create an entity capable of competing with the likes of Zynga — a firm that relies on in-game purchases to make money. Neither Electronic Arts nor PopCap Games has confirmed the purchase. More →