Zynga CEO: 'We want to be a mobile gaming network'
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said the company aspires to evolve into a mobile gaming network comparable to Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox Live online multiplayer platform.
Speaking Wednesday at the All Things D conference, Pincus said the current mobile gaming ecosystem suffers from a series of problems that Zynga's social connectivity model can solve. "We need more aggregated channels, more ways to discover new apps and find ways back to apps that they've been engaged in, and we think we can help that," Pincus said, according to Mashable. "We want to be a gaming network a lot like Xbox Live."
As of the first quarter of 2012, Zynga titles like Words with Friends and FarmVille boasted 21 million daily active users, up from 12 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. However, Zynga's mobile growth still pales in comparison to player activity on Facebook, where it counts roughly 100 million monthly players. Pincus said it was never Zynga's goal to build its business on the Facebook platform, but admitted its games grew fastest there: "As we saw their platform perform better than anyone else's, we double-downed on Facebook," he said.
Pincus also outlined Zynga's acquisition strategy, explaining the company looks for "great teams that would add to our DNA." He cited the 2010 acquisition of Words with Friends developer Newtoy as an example of that mindset. Pincus credited Draw Something maker OMGPOP, acquired by Zynga in March for $180 million, for solving a problem Zynga never could figure out on its own: Innovating on user-generated content.
Earlier this month, Forbes reported Draw Something has lost nearly 5 million daily active users since the Zynga deal, plummeting from 15 million users to 10 million. Pincus maintained Draw Something still generates more traffic now than it did when Zynga and OMGPOP first entered negotiations, but admitted "It's still too early to say that that acquisition is successful."
Pincus also confessed that Zynga has explored acquiring Rovio Mobile, the company behind the smash Angry Birds. "We're always in the market, engaging with any successful product or team," he said. "We're engaging because we think that we're learning by meeting these teams. Sometimes there's a good fit and sometimes there isn't. We've talked to them in the past."
- read this Mashable article
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