12 thoughts on “A look inside Zynga’s numbers

  1. Hi Lloyd, thanks for putting some perspective around this issue. I agree Zynga is imploding or failing miserably. But I do feel they could grow quicker by diversifying their content. For example I really liked Empires and Allies and I hoped this was the first in a more mid-core strategy, but nothing new has launched that continued my interest in Zygna’s games. Now, some could say I’m not Zynga’s main target audience, by not being female and over 40, but I still manage to enjoy mass market casual titles on iOS such as Ski Safari (which is totally awesome) and Fruit Ninja etc. I just think Mr Pincus has focused his sights on gambling and missed a whole chunk of players like myself that use Facebook frequently but rarely find quality games content there. Anyway, just my two cents worth.

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  2. The best view I’ve seen on Zynga’s current troubles. The points about furniture burning and fast-following being problematic are especially well-taken. I’ve seen both of the above at game companies in the past.

    I found Gartenberg’s comment hilarious. Perhaps it will frighten away the ignorant so that everyone who knows better enjoys a slightly clearer playing field.

    Sooner or later Zynga will stumble onto a “successful 25%” title that becomes a big hit. Its stock will rise. Journalists and analysts will scream about some important new direction in the game industry. That crowd prefers to portray “news” as dramatic and surprising change-event. They gain little by saying, “Oh, it’s not that earth-shaking. This latest information fits into a larger pattern…”

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  3. sam walters says:

    Much appreciated article on the Zynga story. Could you comment on the US and International
    gambling opportunity? The competition in that space appears to be fierce, with many competitors
    just waiting to enter. Thank you.

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    • I do not have direct experience in the gambling space but expect it will not be the panacea some on Wall Street think it will be. First, as you said, it is extremely competitive. You have all the British and Continental gaming companies who really understand the space and consumer behavior. In addition, you have the gambling giants like Caesars who are willing to make huge investments, have brand recognition with target players and also have very advanced analytics for this type of gaming. Given the stakes (pardon the pun), I think it will be a more competitive, not less, competitive space. Second, it will take awhile before it is legalized broadly in the US. Nothing happens quickly anymore politically and it is still a very charged issue. My guess is 2-4 years before any significant liberalization.

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  4. Jeff Wells says:

    I have been involved in a number of industries and I agree that the ramp up to going public is a locker room hype mentality. Also though, once you are public, the quarterly objectives change business objectives that are better made with long term objectives that will really build a business.

    I think all companies need to focuse now on more retentive games and finding better ways to monetize them. Check out “Family Village” on Facebook. Its a game that has a long-term socially meaningful game play expectation and monetizes in a non-traditional way by helping the game player collect and store family documents from the web having to do with their family tree.

    Again, a good article in content and well written.

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