Zynga Social Gaming
For years, Zynga has been the top name in social gaming. Their list of hit games is legendary – Farmville, Mafia Wars, and their With Friends word game series. However, Zynga recently revealed it fell short of its financial goals, meaning the company could be on a downward spiral. When one looks at the offerings and decisions of Zynga of late, it’s no surprise they’re struggling.
Many analysts have tied Zynga’s failures to Facebook’s initial public offering, but this theory is short-sighted at best. The truth is, Zynga hasn’t delivered the goods in some time. The company’s sequence of recent missteps has put Zynga in danger, and they have nobody to blame but themselves.
Zynga’s first and biggest cash cow was Farmville, a game that saw users spend untold amounts of time and money. The widespread addictiveness of Farmville and Mafia Wars, another Zynga hit, prompted the company to reach the upper echelon of gaming. As these games age, though, people are not as inclined to spend money on power-ups and unlockable features. Since Zynga cannot rely on users to spend the way they once did, Zynga must respond by creating compelling content in future titles.
When Draw Something was released by OMGPOP in early 2012, it was a social gaming phenomenon. It’s no surprise that Zynga targeted OMGPOP for acquisition, and Zynga got their target at a price tag in excess of $200 million. Unfortunately for Zynga, Draw Something faded just as quickly as it arrived, with users jumping ship after discovering the limitations of the game. Zynga was left holding the (very expensive) bag after this ill-fated transaction, further damaging the company.
No Reasons to Spend
Zynga’s current claim to fame is its With Friends series. Words with Friends, Scramble with Friends and Hanging with Friends are all very popular games in today’s marketplace and are played on millions of smartphones each day. The problem is, users download the apps for free and have no reason to pay for any added content. Since the game is fully functional, users have not shown a desire to pay for the full version just to get rid of the game’s advertisements. This cuts further into Zynga’s bottom line at a time in which they desperately need a strong revenue stream.
While Zynga will remain a player in the marketplace, it is clear that there are chinks in the armor of the once-mighty face of social gaming. The next generation of social gaming will build upon Zynga’s model of simple and addictive games that can easily be played with others. Games on Best10usaonlinecasinos seem to be future winners because they’ve figured out the next step – the use of real money in social gaming for gambling purposes.
As much fun as it can be to play for bragging rights, there’s nothing better than making a few bucks while rubbing it in the face of a buddy. While not legal yet, the monetization of social gaming is on the horizon in America, making games like bingo and real-money poker games the future of social gaming. These games take everything we currently love about social gaming and amplify them, while giving the winners a real reward for their victories. Who wants useless “points” when they can win real money?
It seems that Zynga’s run at the top is nearing an end, and they will be replaced by games that cater to an underserved portion of the social gaming market. Monetized gaming will take social gaming to new heights, rewarding gamers, advertisers and developers alike.