Troubled games company Zynga re-installed founder Mark Pincus as its CEO, who argued “now that we are a mobile first company, it’s time to renew our focus on our founding mission to connect the word through games and our vision to make play and social games a mass-market activity”.
The move comes as the company continues to struggle with the transition from its roots in games for Facebook to reflect the increasingly mobile-dominated social games world. But while the company has not achieved a breakout success to rival companies such as King and Supercell, it has made some progress down the road to mobile.
Under the leadership of former CEO, Don Mattrick, the portion of mobile bookings has increased from 27 per cent to 60 per cent at the end of 2014. And under Mattrick’s lead, Zynga also acquired NaturalMotion, which has “surprised and delighted” the world with Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing, resulting in more than 160 million installs to date.
“I am inspired by our upcoming products – it is the most exciting slate of mobile games in Zynga’s history with titles like Empires & Allies, Dawn of Titans and FarmVille: Harvest Swap. These games are coming on the heels of one of the most successful mobile launches in our history with Wizard of Oz Slots, which was launched this past November by our Spooky Cool team in Chicago,” Pincus said.
When Zynga announced its 2014 results (in February), Mattrick said that the company would “deliver a 100 per cent mobile-first new product slate featuring new games, with a goal of ending 2015 with more than 75 per cent of our fourth quarter bookings coming from mobile.”
In Q4, it had 19 million mobile and 6 million web daily active users, although the total of 25 million was down from 26 million in the prior sequential quarter. Likewise, the 80 million mobile and 28 million web monthly active users gave a total of 108 million, which was down from 112 million in the previous period.
In both cases, while Zynga has seen growth in mobile usage, this was coupled with a drop-off in web users.