Don Mattrick is out as Microsoft's President of Interactive Entertainment, and instead is headed to Zynga where he'll serve as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a social game maker in desperate need of guidance. That's all well and good for Zynga, but where does that leave Microsoft and its upcoming Xbox One launch? Squarely in the hands of Steve Ballmer, that's where, as confirmed by an open email from Ballmer to all of Microsoft's employees.
Usually it takes some time before Internet rumors are either confirmed or debunked. Not so with the news that Microsoft's Don Mattrick would be jumping ship and swimming over to Zynga to assume a high level position with the social game maker. Following unofficial reports of Mattrick's move, Zynga has now confirmed that the former president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment division is joining Zynga as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Shares of Zynga plummeted 40 percent to $3.03 in after market trading after the social game developer reported a net loss for its second quarter ended June 30, 2012. Zynga tried to put a positive spin on the fact that its Q2 revenue of $332 million represents a 19 percent year-over-year increase and that its six months year-to-date revenue of $653 million is a 25 percent year-over-year increase, but the numbers still added up to a $22.8 million net loss for the quarter, and a $108.1 million net loss for the six month period.
Dan Porter, chief executive of OMGPOP, has gone from having less than $2,000 in his bank account, to somewhere around $180 million in less than one month. That sort of money would make just about anyone feel invincible, but as he learned this week, Twitter is the great equalizer.
Hasbro, a multinational toy and board game company with the rights to the official Scrabble game, is teaming up with Zynga, a social network game developer with a number of popular titles under its belt, including Words with Friends, an online knockoff of Scrabble. The partnership gives Hasbro the rights to produce a wide range of toys and games based on Zynga's online games and brands, the two companies announced today.
The app developers behind the mobile iOS game Tiny Tower recently called out Zynga for blatantly ripping off their app to create Dream Heights, which is almost the exact same game with a different title. Copying another developer's game concepts and making them your own is by no means new to the industry or unique to Zynga, though in most cases the new product isn't a near clone of the original, as was the case with Dream Heights. Zynga CEO Mark Pincus isn't losing any sleep over it.
Brothers and business partners David Marsh and Ian Marsh put out a mobile iOS game called Tiny Tower. Perhaps you've heard of it. Apple named it the best iPhone game of 2011, and it currently has a 4.5/5 star rating on iTunes based on more than 98,000 rating submissions. Zynga liked it so much that it released (in Canada) what appears to be a blatant rip off of the free game, and is charging for it.
The company responsible for Farmville, Mafia Wars, and several other popular social games is finding out that nothing's guaranteed in the second coming of the dot-com bubble. Zynga shares began trading today, and at first, it looked as though Zynga would follow in the footsteps of Groupon, LinkedIn, and other social sites that have gone public and exploded on the stock market.
Zynga, the social gaming company that's made a fortune on casual titles like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, is looking to raise $1 billion or more with its stock price between $8.50 and $10 a share. The plan is to sell 100 million shares, with another 15 million earmarked just in case demand goes over the top, which it probably will considering the past success of social Web-based IPOs.
A new report details some seriously shady practices at FarmVille maker Zynga last year. Apparently the firm was using large batches of stock to entice the hottest talent in silicon valley to join up. This is fairly common in tech start-ups. However, in the process for planning it’s impending IPO, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus became worried they had given out too much stock. His solution was simple: force employees to give it back.