If you grew up in the ’80s, chances are you’ve heard of the cartoon Jem. Even if you didn’t, the quirky series about the adventures of a wholesome all-female rock band with magical holographic technology and technicolor hair has become a cult favorite. Its memorable 65-episode run inspired its share of musical careers, complicated love triangles and daring hairdos.
We caught up with Jem creator Christy Marx, who also wrote episodes of the original G.I. Joe cartoon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Marx currently works at Zynga, and her latest project is CastleVille Legends, an adventure/strategy game that involves freeing a fantasy realm from a Dark Wizard (whose name isn’t Techrat). The game launched on iOS in September and became available on Android a few days ago Read more…
To truly understand the lure of Facebook games, look no further than the Great Farmville Epidemic of 2009. Work was abandoned and classes were skipped as players wondered, “If I close the game to go to class, who will water my crops?”
In case you don’t spend enough time on Facebook already, Facebook games asure that what little life you have left is taken from your status-typing fingers. But Facebook’s App Center has a few games that just don’t seem like the type you want to share with your social network
It can be hard to give up a game after putting in a lot of time and effort, so if you must play Bingo Crack or, worse, Pot Farm, make sure you adjust the game’s settings to not post on your Timeline Read more…
Zynga’s shares rose nearly 12 percent in after-hours trading on lower-than-estimated losses.
Zynga posted a net loss of $68,000 on about $203 million of revenue, so they managed to stay roughly break-even. Their top line revenues are down 36 percent year-over-year as Zynga deals with disastrous losses in its user base on the Facebook platform. At the same time, they haven’t made as strong a transition to mobile gaming platforms as other com
Daily active users are down to 30 million, or half of what they were a year ago. Monthly active users are similarly now less than half of what they were a year ago at 133 million.
Today, they have just three of the top games on the Facebook platform by daily active users, a far cry from the days when they dominated the charts.
Yet new CEO Don Mattrick argued to shareholders that he is making the changes necessary to return Zynga to its former glory.
“We believe we are poised for future growth,” he said on the earnings call. “I am confident that Zynga is rewiring itself in a meaningful way that will strengthen the core of our business and put us back on track to achieve even more significant growth and progress.”
Today, Mattrick just hired Clive Downie, from DeNA and previously Electronic Arts, to be its chief operating officer. Mattrick said in reorganizing Zynga, he’s flattened the management structure. Creative product leads now report directly to him.
“Entertainment is an excellence business,” Mattrick said, adding that Zynga is aiming to build games “with the fit, finish and polish that truly engages a mass market audience.”
In the last quarter, the company launched a number of new titles, including Fairy Tale Twist, Ninja Kingdom and Hit it Rich. In mobile games, they’ve launched 1 Word, which was with the KiK Messenger App, and CastleVille Legends. They also released New Scramble with Friends, Baseball Slam (3P), and CityVille KRE-O.
While monthly payers declined to 1.6 million in the third quarter from 3 million the year before, the average bookings per daily active user rose to 5.5 cents from 4.7 cents. It also rose 4 percent on a quarterly basis. (That’s how much a daily active user spends on average on virtual transactions in Zynga’s games.)
Zynga said that its revenue will decline even further in the fourth quarter to $175 million to $185 million – which is usually a lucrative holiday quarter for game makers. Its loss will be in the range of $21 million to 31 million, the company added.
Zynga‘s third-quarter results came in better than analysts had expected, sending the company’s stock up more than 15% in after-hours trading.
The company reported bookings of $152 million for the quarter and a loss of 2 cents a share, which beat the $142.7 million and the 4 cents, respectively, that Wall Street had predicted
See also: 10 Best Indie Games on Android
The third quarter was the first one with new CEO Don Mattrick, who replaced Mark Pincus in July. The company also launched several new titles during the quarter, including Fairy Tale Twist, Ninja Kingdom and New Scramble With Friends. None were huge breakout hits on the order of FarmVille, which, along with Zynga Poker and Words With Friends, remain its most popular games Read more…
Justin Waldron, one of Zynga‘s cofounders, announced late Wednesday night that he would be departing the company after more than six years
In a post on Facebook, Waldron praised the company and its employees, but noted that “it’s time to leave Zynga and venture off on my own again.” Waldron did not offer any details about where he may go next, though he recently highlighted the fact that he has been investing in startups
See also: 10 Best Indie Games on Android
Several prominent people have left or been pushed out of the gaming company in the past year or so as it struggles to regain its footing in the gaming market, including top execs like Zynga’s chief operating officer and chief marketing officer and big names like Paul and David Bettner, who created Words With Friends, and OMGPOP founder Dan Porter. Read more…