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December 31, 2012

Zynga Shuts Down 11 Games As Troubles Continue

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Zynga Shuts Down GamesZynga continues to falter and as gamers turn towards other social games developers the one-time powerhouse has shut down 11 of its lesser performing titles.

The news of the games shutdowns was announced by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and they follow in line with the company’s attempts to downsize staff numbers while focusing on the company’s more popular and profitable titles.

Zynga has shut down the following social gaming titles in the month of December (and others coming in January). read more

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November 5, 2012

Anonymous Might Attack Facebook Today, Plans To Protest Zynga Layoffs

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Anonymous going after FacebookHacktivist group Anonymous is rumored to be preparing for a Monday attack on social network Facebook. The groups attack will coincide with Guy Fawkes Day and is meant to hurt the network over its support for social gaming platform Zynga.

Zynga recently began laying off more than 1,000 workers in an effort to cut down on mounting losses. While not directly involved in Zynga’s business transactions Facebook does derive a good but decreasing chunk of its revenues from Zynga games.

According to Anonymous the social gaming platform should be using its considerable cash reserves to pay employees during tough times. read more

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October 5, 2012

Words With Friends Creators Quit Zynga, Give No Explanation

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Words With Friends Creators Leave CompanyPaul Bettner and David Bettner, the brothers behind the hugely successfulWords With Friendsmobile game are quitting their posts at Zynga. The announcement which was made byGamesBeaton Friday provided no details for the reasoning behind the exit.

Debuted in 2010Word With Friends was picked up by Zynga when it bought social game developerNewtoy.Paul Bettner joined the team as the VP and General Manager of Zynga With Friends which also producedHanging With FriendsandChess With Friends.

The Bettner’s are just the newest in a growing list of high-level executives to depart from the company. Also gone are COO John Schappert and Chief Marketing Office Jeff Karp. read more

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April 24, 2012

Zynga Made Up 15% Of Facebook Revenue In Q1 2012

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Zynga Facebook Revenue Earnings Q1 2012Facebook’s reliance on social gaming company Zynga to drive in massive revenue for the company has actually decreased since 2011 with the company reporting that the social gaming platform made up just 15% of Facebook’s revenue in Q1 2012 compared to 19% in 2011.

Facebook receives 30% of the revenue Zynga draws from the social network by requiring that Zynga use Facebook credits to power its in-app purchasing system. While Zynga created Zynga.com and recently launched the site as an alternative destination for social gamers who do not necessarily want to log into their Facebook accounts, the company continues to use Facebook credits to power that site and users scores are still published through Facebook.com accounts.

The social network also earns money from Zynga as the company uses Facebook.com to market its products to customers. In 2011 Facebook collected 12% of its revenue from Zynga advertisements while Q1 2012 has watched that number fall to 11%. A partial drop in that number comes from the fact that Facebook received only 4% revenue from advertisers spots displayed on Zynga apps, down from 7% in 2011.  read more

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March 2, 2012

Zynga Bringing Its Social Games To Zynga.com

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Zynga Official Social Gaming WebsiteSocial game leader Zynga has announced plans to bring its popular games to Zynga.com after accounting for 12 percent of Facebook’s revenue in 2011.

My early March the company plans to offer such popular titles as “CastleVille,” “Words With Friends,” “CityVille,” “Hidden Chronicles,” and “Zynga Poker.”

While the games may be receiving a new home outside Facebook users will still be able to connect on the Facebook network through an option called “zFriends.”

Taking social to its own platform Zynga will offer real-time chat, an achievements wall where users can choose to post scores and even the ability to send other Zynga users gifts and messages from inside a game.

Also included on the social end is an interface that shows the number of players currently online along with a stream of who’s playing to the right side of the screen.

In the meantime we wouldn’t expect to see Zynga sever ties with Facebook anytime soon, the company still receives 90 percent of its revenue from the social network and they find new players through Facebook Connect. Even on the new platform Facebook Credits will be used to purchase virtual goods with Facebook still taking a 30 percent cut of profits. read more

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March 1, 2012

Zynga Bridges Online-Offline Worlds, Offers Free Products Inside Frito-Lay Snacks

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Frito Lays

You may recall a while back when Zynga teamed up with Green Giant products to bring a bit of realism to Farmville, now the company has decided to once again bridge the online world to the real world, this time through the use of Lay’s Classic potato chips and Doritos.

Each time a customer buys one of those items they will receive a special code which can be used in FarmVille, CastleVille and CityVille by accessing each game’s Game Card Redemption tag on Facebook.

To find Frito-Lay products that offer the option just look for specially marked bags of chips which are only available at Walmart at this time. The chips are being sold next to $15 and $25 Game Cards and the promotion is set to run from today through April 12.

Prizes users can receive include a spring llama in FarmVille when users purchase Funyuns, a Lucent apartment in CityVille with a ruffles purchases and a sunburst banner in CastleVille when Cheeto’s are purchase.  read more

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January 13, 2012

Words With Friends Is A Real Life Saver, Literally

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Words With Friends

Words With Friends can be more than just a fun scrabble type game you play with Friends, it could be the very technology that saves your life one day. At least that was the case for an Australian man who was diagnosed with a life threatening condition.

Australian resident Georgie Fletcher and American wordsmith Beth Legler met several years ago through the gaming platform and began a friendship through the Words With Friends chat screen. Recently Mrs. Fletcher began to describe her sick husbands symptoms when Beth’s husband Larry, a physician, told Georgie to rush her husband immediately to the hospital.

It turns out that Simon Fletcher had a 99% blockage near his heart that would have led to certain death had he not been taken immediately to the emergency room. read more

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January 5, 2012

Zynga Hopes For Another Win With “Scramble With Friends”

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Scramble With FriendsZynga on Thursday announced the release of their newest game in the “With Friends” category, Scramble With Friends.

The announcement comes just one day after the company released Hidden Chronicles and marks the company’s determination to hit 2012 running after December met their IPO with skepticism and with shares in the company currently hovering around the $9 mark.

Zynga added to their “With Friends” category last year when they released “Hanging With Friends” a hangman type game that combines social gaming with friends.

Scramble isn’t actually a new offering for Zynga, they released a Facebook Scramble game as one of their earliest titles, it was eventually downloaded by 2.5 million Facebook users. However the new offering brings the game to the masses. As the name suggests users must find words from a Scrambled group of letters, the higher the word count the higher the score. read more

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December 2, 2011

Zynga Hoping For $1 Billion IPO

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Zynga Dog LogoSocial gaming firm Zynga on Friday filed IPO documents with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that places the company’s initial price per share between $8.50 and $10.

If that pricing is met the company will have raised between $850 million and $1.15 billion with a total company evaluation of $7 billion.

Those numbers are no small amount, however the company that has created such viral hits as FarmVille, CityVille, and MafiaWars believes they are worth nearly half the valuation of the world’s largest gaming company Activision Blizzard ($14.2 billion).

While $7 billion may seem like a high amount for a relatively new gaming company it should be noted that before pulling their original IPO due to fears of market volatility the company’s valuation was believed to be closer to $10 billion.

While some analysts have mixed feels about Zynga, it’s believed that by selling such a large percentage of the company’s worth during their IPO (14.3% to be exact) they may be able to lessen that volatility. read more

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September 19, 2011

Zynga Rolls Out Lighthouse Cove Expansion Pack

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Lighthouse Cover - Zynga Welcome ScreenSocial game developer Zynga on Monday announced the release of Lighthouse Cove a new expansion pack for their highly popular FarmVille platform.

According to the company, players to Lighthouse Cove are tasked with rebuilding a coastal area after a gigantic storm wipes everything out. Using the games platform users can plant crops, erect new buildings and even make their destination a getaway spot by adding in a bed and breakfast while creating culinary dishes for town guests.

The expansion pack is available to users who have made it past level 15 of the standard FarmVille platform. Users at that level will also see a bunch of additions including river otters, duroc pigs, raspberry wine and super maple trees. read more

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