Items tagged with Zynga

It has not been a great year for casual game maker Zynga. The company axed a pile of games that weren’t bringing in enough cash, broke up with Facebook, saw its stock price plummet, dealt with a lawsuit from Electronic Arts, and lost a top employee or two. However, Zynga’s fortunes looked as though they might turn around if it could convince the Nevada Gaming Board to approve it for online gambling. Alas, that cash cow is not to be. In a statement, Zynga said, “Zynga is making the focused choice not to pursue a license for real money gaming in the United States. Zynga will continue... Read more...
Cha-ching! That's the sound that best describes Don Mattrick's transition from President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zynga. The social game maker apparently wanted Mattrick in a big way, and putting its money where its mouth is as, Zynga could end up paying its new CEO nearly $60 million in cash and stock options. Right off the bat, Mattrick receives a $5 million signing bonus, followed by a comparatively modest $1 million salary. He also receives $25 million in restricted stock vesting over three years and additional restricted shares... Read more...
There are certain headlines you don't expect to see on a regular basis. "BMW Executives Prefer Driving Kia." "Ryan Gosling Weds Dowdy, Middle-Aged Housewife." "Game Industry Leaders Agree:  Industry Peaked With Colecovision." Or, in this case: "Microsoft Entertainment Head Don Mattrick Leaves For Zynga." This is clearly fallout from the disastrous debut of the Xbone at Microsoft's unveil in May, the used game lockout, throwing military gamers under a bus at E3, and the $100 price premium compared to the PS4. Toss in the terrible way Microsoft communicated on virtually all these points and... Read more...
The heady days of FarmVille are a distant memory for Zynga, and it’s still smarting from its ill-fated OMGPOP acquisition (as in, Draw Something, the game you played for a few weeks and then forgot). Today, Zynga released 520 workers, which is about 18 percent of its staff. The workforce reductions aren’t entirely a surprise. Zynga has said publicly that cuts would be coming. In a press release, the company estimated it would save $70 to $80 million with the workforce reductions. It also announced the closure of “various office locations.” Those locations appear to be studios... Read more...
Dan Porter, former CEO of OMGPOP, never has to work another day in his life if he doesn't want to. Nor is obligated to work at Zynga, the casual game company that purchased OMGPOP last year for $183 million after "Draw Something" became a virtual overnight sensation. Unlike Midas, not everything Zynga touches turns to gold, and shortly after acquiring OMGPOP, Draw Something's popularity plummeted. Maybe the game ran its course or perhaps Zynga, following the crazy success it saw with Farmville, is simply cursed these days. Either way, Porter isn't sticking around to find out. The so-called "golden... Read more...
Zynga's wildly popular Farmville franchise is headed to your TV. Well, maybe not your television, unless you're a parent of young children, in which case the animated series will inevitably find a way into your home and make you yearn for the days of Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes. Ah, memories. In any event, The Wall Street Journal reports that director Brett Ratner will produce a half-hour animated series based on Farmville, while also serving as executive producer alongside Kirk Schenck and Charles Bishop. A Miami Beach native, Ratner's resume includes Money Talks, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2,... Read more...
Boy, the hits just keep on coming for social game maker Zynga. In the last few months alone, the company has been sued by Electronic Arts, fumbled in its efforts to transition to mobile, broke up with Facebook, killed off 11 of its games, and has been bleeding talent like crazy. All of that is in addition to a weak financial performance. Now, Zynga’s chief game designer Brian Reynolds is moving on. Numerous reports speculated that he was leaving, and he confirmed the reports on Twitter, saying “Yes I'm officially leaving Zynga after 3 3/4 great years. Back soon... need to think of a... Read more...
The social games juggernaut known as Zynga announced it has pulled the plug on 11 of the 13 games it plans on shutting down as part of a cost cutting effort. Far and away the most popular of those titles is PetVille, a cute little game that had 1 million active monthly users in December 2012. "Thank you for supporting PetVille and for being a loyal player! We’re sorry to inform you that PetVille will be shutting down on Dec 30, 2012," Zynga informed Petsville players on Facebook. "In place of PetVille, we encourage you to play other Zynga games like Castleville, Chefville, Farmville 2, Mafia... Read more...
The online game company responsible for Farmville, Mafia Wars, and other online games that clutter your Facebook feed with various requests has an request of its own. Zynga wants Nevada Gaming Control Board to approve is application for online gambling in the U.S., a process that could take up to 18 months. Zynga already offers real-money gambling in its online poker and casino games in the U.K., and if all goes to plan, it will launch those same services in the U.S. next year. Before doing that, it needs the above mentioned approval for its "application for a preliminary finding of suitability."... Read more...
In what's likely to come as a surprise to no one, Facebook has called for an end to its close relationship with Farmville-creator Zynga. Unlike other game developers that use Facebook as their platform of choice, Zynga had access to promotional advantages that others didn't have. Essentially, if Zynga scratched Facebook's back, Facebook would repay the favor. This has paid off handsomely for Zynga, as it's been reported that a staggering 80% of its revenue has Facebook users to thank. Similarly, CNN Money states that 13% of Facebook's revenue in Q1 - Q3 2012 came from Zynga. Not long after the... Read more...
It's a little bit ironic that Zynga is having a tough time adjusting to mobile. Or perhaps it's fitting. Like Facebook, the social platform that was so pivotal in fueling its success, Zynga hasn't been doing so hot as a publicly trade company. Just a few days ago, Zynga warned that it expects to post a net loss of between $90 million and $105 million for its third quarter ended September 30, 2012. The company also lowered its full year outlook to reflect preliminary third quarter results and to reflect the "challenging" times. "The third quarter of 2012 continued to be challenging and, while many... Read more...
Working in game development isn't for the faint of heart. The industry is notorious for poor work/life balance, with some projects left on "crunch time" -- 12-16 hour days, 6-7 days a week -- for months. Visibility into why such situations exist is often limited to anonymous blogs and spouse reports; one woman made waves back in 2004 when her ea-spouse LiveJournal (we didn't call them blogs back then) made waves with reporters and within the company itself. Glassdoor is a website that tries to give would-be employees of various companies insight into how they function by offering current or former... Read more...
Social game companies have been enduring plenty of negative press lately, but where the critics see a saturated marketplace, Amazon sees an opportunity. Today it launched Amazon Game Studios, which appears to be a direct competitor to the likes of Zynga. The new team, which has apparently been working in secret for awhile, also announced its first game for Facebook. Living Classics, as the game is called, involves reuniting a family of foxes in scenes from classic stories.  It's hard to say whether the animated scenes are going to attract masses of players in the coming weeks, but the game,... Read more...
Game developer Zynga has made a fortune in part by altering existing game concepts into their own creations, such as Words With Friends (an obvious take on Scrabble, with a social twist and other elements that are Zynga's own). As far as Electronic Arts is concerned, however, Zynga went too far with The Ville, which EA claims infringes its Facebook game The Sims Social. "Zynga's design choices, animations, visual arrangements, and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from The Sims Social," said Lucy Bradshaw, general manager of EA's Maxis label. From Zynga's legal vantage point,... Read more...
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