Zynga is pleasing investors with its latest numbers, but social gaming alone won’t keep it from doing better than breaking even.
Tango has already built up a surprisingly large following of social gamers within its communications app. Now it plans to export its video, voice and messaging platform to other game makers.
Yahoo, in effect, is becoming an infrastructure company, providing tools and publishing platforms for other content creators to build their businesses on while Yahoo claims a share of the value created.
Zynga is in turmoil. Since its IPO, Zynga stock has cratered, and it lost its COO. Its emerging mobile strategy has failed to impress. With increasing competition, it’s worth understanding whether Zynga’s troubles are unique to the company, or whether it is social gaming itself that is struggling.
Amazon enters the social gaming market with its key incumbent in Nasdaq free-fall. Does it really want to compete in a business with unproven monetization, or does it just want to make some games for Kindle owners to play? The unit’s first game launched Monday.
Golly, according to all these studies from Facebook marketing companies, and from Facebook itself, mobile Facebook users are totally awesome! Users who click on a mobile sponsored story are more likely to Like or comment than users who click on a Facebook web ad (including those undistinguished units that run on the right rail), according to AdParlor. Yeah, all 15 of them. Okay, that’s not fair, but it’s mighty early to bet on this kind of result. Better, perhaps, to be skeptical before we hear some commentary on Thursday’s earnings call. And the big question remains: is mobile usage still incremental, or is it starting to replace desktop time spent with the site?
I’ll be traveling Wednesday, so link posting will be light. On Tuesday, Zynga held its Unleashed event in San Francisco where it unveiled a new cross-platform platform called Zynga With Friends that will allow players to meet and play games across all social networks, Zynga’s first major foray beyond the Facebook platform. It also announced a new API for third-party developers to let them create games that can link into Zynga With Friends, along with a lineup of new and updated Villes of its own. Wall Street wasn’t impressed however. Zynga’s already-beleaguered shares dropped 5 percent after the announcement.
Zynga has acquired OMGPOP, adding Draw Something to its list of popular social and mobile gaming titles. Zynga reportedly paid OMGPOP for some $180 million, plus another $30 million in employee retention.
About two weeks ago, I sat down with Zygna founder and CEO Mark Pincus to discuss the importance of mobile gaming to his company and evolution from Mark the entrepreneur to Pincus the CEO of a company that is valued at billions by Wall Street.
Zynga has been trying its very best to diversify its business away from Facebook and it doesn’t have much of a choice. Ben Schachter, Internet analyst with Macquarie Securities went through the Facebook S-1. His take: Zynga’s fourth quarter 2011 isn’t going to be pretty.