Zynga

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Zynga, Inc. 
699 Eighth St 
San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone Number: (855) 449-9642
Fax Number: (302) 636-5454
Website: http://www.zynga.com 

Zynga, Inc. was founded with the mission of “connecting the world through games” It is a leading provider of social game services for the web and mobile worlds, and it boasts franchises such as FarmVille, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker. As of September 30, 2013, the company had 133 million monthly active users enjoying its games. Zynga games are available on Facebook, Zynga.com, Apple iOS, and Google Android. [1]

Zynga was founded in 2007 in San Francisco, California by Mark Pincus, Eric Schiermeyer, Michael Luxton, Justin Waldron, Kyle Stewart, Scott Dale, Steve Schoettler, and Andrew Trader. Mark Pincus’ American bulldog Zinga serves as the inspiration behind the name and logo of the company. [2]

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As of July 1, 2013, Don Mattrick is the current CEO as well as the member of its board of directors, after serving as President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. Also on the board of directors are L. John Doerr, who also serves on the board of Directors for Google, Inc.; William “Bing” Gordon, who has a background in venture capitalism; Reid Hoffman, who served as Chairman of the Board of LinkedIn Corporation; Jeffrey Katzenberg, who also serves as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc; Stanley J. Meresman, who has directed several private and public companies, Sunil Paul, who also has a background in venture capitalism; and Ellen Siminoff, President and CEO of Shmoop University, Inc. Board members contribute to the company with fresh and diverse experiences, having been appointed as recently as April of 2013. [2]

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Zynga also has an impressive leadership team that works on projects for social good. For example, since 2009, Zynga has raised over $15 million dollars for non-profits by connecting their over 1 million players with fifty different organizations. In 2013, Zynga partnered with NewSchools Venture Fund to improve the quality and radius of learning games and mobile applications by creating an education technology accelerator. [3]

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On October 24, 2013, Zynga announced its Third Quarter Financial Results for the quarter that ended on September 30. Zynga saw revenue of $203 million, which was down 36% year-over-year. It also saw bookings of $152 million, down 40% year-over-year. The company experienced a net loss of $68 thousand dollars, and, before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, saw earnings of $7 million. In response, CEO Don Mattrick seemed confident:

Our teams are working hard to compete more aggressively on the web, move to mobile and develop new hits, and I am happy with the early progress we have made…I am confident that Zynga is rewiring itself in a meaningful way that will strengthen the core of our business and put us back on track to achieve significant long term growth and profits.

Mattrick seemed confident, despite the fact that his companies “rewiring,” or restructuring, cost them $17 million dollars in office closures and acquisitions impairments. [4]

Zynga did take some hits this past year. Their results also showed a general decrease in usership from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter in 2013. Daily active users decreased 49% to 30 million users, monthly active users decreased 57% to 133 million, monthly unique users decreased 45% to 97 million, and monthly unique players decreased 46% to 1.6 million. On the bright side, average daily bookings per average daily active user increased 17% to $0.055. [4]

During the third quarter of 2013 alone, Zynga launched Fairy Tale Twist, Ninja Kingdom, and Hit it Rich on web platforms. [5]

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For mobile platforms, in the third quarter of 2013, it launched 1 Word (KiK Messenger App) and CastleVille Legends. New Scramble with Friends, Baseball Slam (3P), and CityVille KRE-O are also new hits that Zynga released. As of the end of the third quarter of 2013, Zynga had 3 of the top 10 games on Facebook, the ever-popular FarmVille 2, Zynga Poker, and Words With Friends. These results are based on the daily active user count reported by Facebook Application Programming Interface. [5]

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Zynga is a company publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange. As of November 20, the stocks are priced at $4.11 a share [6], and have been impressively strong lately, due to themes/events of the past month that drew momentum behind the company. Under Don Mattrick, the new CEO, Zynga has shifted its focus. Originally, the company wrestled with the idea of real money games to create a loyal and ever-growing user base, as well as a chunky revenue stream, but after licensing problems, they ditched the idea. Instead, Zynga is focusing its attention on the mobile gaming market in order to decrease their dependence on the social market [7]. For example, Zynga originally earned 90% of their bookings from Facebook, but that has decreased to 76%. This can be partially attributed to Facebook charging a 30% revenue share agreement.  Perhaps if online gambling becomes legal, Zynga may decide to reshift their focus once again.

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In November of 2013, Zynga won a high profile lawsuit against Mattel’s Scrabble. Scrabble sued Zynga for using the name “Scramble with Friends,” which they claimed was too similar to its own trademark. [8]

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High Court Justice Peter Smith dismissed the claim that the name was too similar, but motioned that Zynga change the way it displayed the name. More specifically, of one the “M”s in “Scramble” is displayed in a corkscrew style, which the judge ruled “gives the impression that the word is Scrabble when one looks at it quickly and has the propensity to confuse.” Once the logo is changed, Zynga is good to go, and will continue distributing the game in the United Kingdom. [8]

Zynga has caught the eyes of technology buffs, stock market observers, mobile app designers, and game players alike. Within the past year, the company has reported revenue losses and the loss of two top executives. However, with new CEO Don Mattrick, the company is exploring new and innovative ways to continue the success it has seen even in such infancy. Projected revenue for the final quarter of 2103 is between $175 million and $185 million, with net loss estimated between $21 billion and $31 million. The future of the company looks bright, but only time will tell.

Sources

[1] Zynga background information

[2] Zynga’s key players

[3] Zynga leadership team

[4] Zynga Third Quarter Financial Results

[5] New Zynga games

[6] Zynga stock information

[7] Zynga’s new mobile strategy

[8] Scramble with Friends vs. Scrabble

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