Zynga’s fourth quarter earnings call has brought along with it a bunch of important developments that will play a huge part in shaping the future of the social gaming company. The quarter showed losses, flat revenue and declining bookings for Zynga, but the company seems to have had some success with the online FarmVille series, with the original game hitting $1 billion through in-game revenue.
Zynga’s revenue came in at $311 million with a net loss of $48.6 million in Q4 with. Bookings for the company, which went public in 2011, were down 15 percent from $305.7 million to $261.3 million.
Making money in a Zynga recession
What is actually working for the gaming company, which many say has fallen out of touch with consumers, is the success of the Ville series, more specifically FarmVille and its sequel FarmVille 2. “The biggest highlight of the quarter was seeing our team deliver a successful sequel in FarmVille2, a next generation social game that offers cutting edge 3-D experiences loved by millions of FarmVille fans,” said Founder and CEO Mark Pincus. “In 2013 we’re excited to bring this new class of social games to mobile phones and tablets and build a network that offers an easier, better way for people to play together.”
Pincus also announced that despite the roaring success of FarmVille 2, its predecessor crossed a major milestone by reaching $1 billion in total player bookings. Zynga games, like most other online games, work on in-games sales. You can buy Zynga currency using real money to purchase assorted items within the game, which can be used to enhance your experience.
FarmVille has reached unprecedented heights by reaching the billion dollar sales landmark for a social game. Pincus said FarmVille bookings exceeded Zynga’s prediction by a hundred percent. He also said that FarmVille 2 was coming to the growing mobile platform this year. The sequel already has 40 million monthly active users and eight million daily active users, according to Zynga’s announcements last year.
Sadly, it seems Zynga can't replicate FarmVille’s success story with its other games yet. The company announced during the earnings call that it was pulling the plug on three of its games – CityVille 2, Party Friends and The Friend Game.
CityVille 2’s closure comes as a shock since it was supposed to be the equally successful sequel to the much-loved CityVille. However, the traffic to CityVille 2 plummeted drastically after its launch. COO David Ko has blamed the game’s failure on a lack of lead time to have properly tested it.
The three games will be joining a list of 11 more games, including Mafia Wars 2, PetVille and Indiana Jones Adventure World that Zynga began to shut down in December last year.
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