Zynga founder Aims High: Wants to be Gaming's Google

You may not have heard of Zynga, but you have probably heard of one of its creations, Farmville. The founder of Zynga, Marc Pincus, 44, has high expectations for his firm, aiming, the New York Times says, to become the Google of gaming.

Notice that Pincus didn't say the Google of social gaming, although that's what the Zynga Game Network specializes in. Instead, he's aiming for games, period. Based on recent history, it's not out of the question. For example, Facebook needed 4 1/2 years to reach 100 million users, but Zynga required only 2 1/2 years.

Money seems to be a non-issue. Recently, it was reported that Google invested a sum of money in Zynga, and the NYT comfirmed that.

Zynga recently received $520 million in financing, which included the funds from Google. According to anonymous sources, some of that cash was $300 million via two roughly equal investments from Softbank and Google.

The NYT also notes that Zynga's employee base has risen from 375 a year ago to 1,000 now, with 400 openings. Inside Network, which tracks Facebook apps, says Zynga is on track to make as much as $500 million in revenue this year.

Given all that, and considering Zynga's Internet presence (it's not going to build a game for a PC in the lines of Starcraft 2, after all), perhaps Google should acquire the company rather than investing in it.

What do you readers think? After all, Google wants to be all things Internet. It would, however, derail Pincus' goal of becoming the Google of gaming, and it would cost a pretty penny, too: Zynga's value has been estimated to be $4.5 billion.

Tags:  Google, Facebook, Zynga
inspector 4 years ago

Get the company going... then take it over! :D. But i don't play much games over the internet browser. I have played their games once or twice then got bored :(.

acarzt 4 years ago

Yea Inspector.... I was playing these games like crazy when I first discovered them... Then i got bored and I haven't touched them in quite some time.

I just don't enjoy playing a game that has no ending, it starts to feel like there is no point.

sackyhack 4 years ago

I never played any of their stuff, but I've noticed a drastic drop in how much my Facebook wall was getting spammed by my friends' "so-and-so found a sad cow" or "some dude needs help finishing his chop shop". Did facebook implement some anti-zynga spam feature or are people just getting bored?

acarzt 4 years ago

lol I think people are just getting bored

ClemSnide 4 years ago

I play these sorts of games, but I don't do Facebook. Several are available for the iDevices. Thing is, Zynga's games are lackluster and repetitive; the ones I still look into from time to time are Mafia Wars and Vampires Bloodlust.

These are ostensibly text-based duelling games, though the "text-based" is hidden behind graphics. Essentially, you push buttons a whole lot. They also have a racing game which is extremely bad, and a version of Farmville that I deleted shortly after downloading.

All their games (and those of their competitors) are free to play, but you can buy extra resources with real money. The "jobs" you do have certain requirements, one of which is a large number of people in your clan/mob/team/whatever; but there's not many people actively playing, so you're limited to buying virtual crew members with these bonus points. And inevitably, you hit a wall and can progress no further.

My mobsters and vampires have an income in the godzillions (you can invest in property that pays off every hour or so), but I prefer some of their competitors' games. Storm8 has several, some better than others, all obviously with some common roots; their iMobster update had you buying hings from the "President" (since changed to "Godfather" so it would look less like their World War game). For world-building and crop-harvesting games, I like We Rule, despite frequent crashing, network problems, and the fact that you have to twist their arms to get the promised "mojo" points for trying their other apps (bribes for trying new apps is a common practice with all these games).

I suspect the Facebook-addon games appeal to people who started out doing social networking almost exclusively and have not played much in the way of computer games, or people who are allowed to Facebook at work but not play (say) World of Warcraft.

slugbug 4 years ago

I play one of their games on Facebook but lately have been growing tired of all their advertising and popup ads.

acarzt 4 years ago

Yea after a while it stops being fun and starts to feel more like work lol

"Ugh, how many more of these things do I have to click?"

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