Zynga unleashes itself – focus is on multiple platforms, reducing Facebook dependence

27 Jun 2012

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus

Online gaming giant Zynga, which is responsible for at least 15pc of social networking player Facebook’s revenues, is hurtling itself towards a multi-platform future and in a bid to appease investors’ concerns it is over-dependent on Facebook has unveiled the ‘Zynga Unleashed’ strategy.

While Silicon Valley-headquartered Zynga, which employs close to 100 people in Dublin, has an impressive global community with more than 292m users, including 65m daily players and 22m mobile users, its stock price has fallen well below its US$10 IPO price in 2011.

Unveiling the strategy yesterday, CEO Mark Pincus said future growth will come through game genres, an increased focus on mobile and more and more multiplayer games.

New games launched include some new ‘Ville’ games, as well as Zynga Elite Slots, where friends can share their winnings, and a new colour-matching colour game called Match with Friends.

New Zynga API

Zynga also launched a new platform based around a new API layer called Zynga API, which the company describes as a central and more efficient way for Zynga Studios to tap into game services. Zynga says it will open the Zynga API to third-party developers in the near future.

“We founded Zynga with a simple premise that we could help people put play back in their lives. We believe that play can become one of the most important ways we make new friends and enhance relationships,” Pincus said.

“Today’s Unleashed shows the products and technology that represent the next generation of Zynga.

“We’ve made some great progress on the Zynga Platform, and our pipeline of new games represents more genres of play that expand our audience, more mobile ways to play and more dimensions of play that will deliver the next generation of fun and social,” Pincus said.

In revealing a more multi-player, multi-platform focus, Zynga clearly has its eye on the future but, as the recent Facebook IPO has shown, investors are a fickle lot.

But Zynga can take heart. It has a massive community that keeps coming back for more. Apparently every minute within the Zynga universe some 64,000 words are played, 43,000 pictures are drawn, 38,000 hands of poker are dealt and 250,000 gifts from friends are opened.

There are more than 2.8bn social interactions a day and there has been more than 1.8trn minutes of play.

The Draw Something app that Zynga acquired recently is about to reach the 10-billionth drawing milestone.

Yep. I think there’s something for investors to draw from here.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years