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play zynga games or play the stock

Zynga Games. Play Farmville, Cityville, Mafia Wars or Play the Stock

Zynga is the powerhouse company behind popular social games like CityVille, FarmVille, Empires & Allies, and Mafia Wars. Its game portfolio includes 3 of the top 5 of games played on Facebook, and 9 of the top 10 social games. You can play other Zynga games like Petville, Cafe World, FishVille, FrontierVille, CastleVille, Dream Zoo, Holiday Town, FrontierVille, and Treasure Isle. Their popularity is mind-boggling. Farmville alone is played by 16 million daily active users, and 56 million monthly active users. All combined, 47 million daily active users play Zynga games, and more than 200 million monthly active users. Zynga games are played almost exclusively on Facebook, although the company has a stand-alone site, and games to play on MySpace. Zynga also offers its version of classic games called Words With Friends, Draw Something and Chess With Friends.

Zynga Games, Play the Stock

Zynga stock trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol ZNGA. When the company went public in 2011, Zynga sold 100 million new shares, about 11% of the company, at a price somewhere between $8.50 and $10, and raised about $925 million with its IPo.This values the five-year-old game company at $9 billion. It's the largest IPO since Google raised $1.7 billion in 2004. Zynga followed other popular IPOs in 2011 including Groupon Inc, Pandora Media Inc and LinkedIn Corp. How did this iconic company get its name? Zynga was named for a bulldog owned by founder Mark Pincus.

Social game phenom Zynga was founded by serial entrepreneur Marc Pincus, with early investments by Google and venture capitalists. Revenue for third quarter 2011 grew sequentially to $307 million, with a quarterly profit of $13 million. The company has grown by acquiring other game studios, expanding its player base and its portfolio of games. Besides the San Francisco headquarters, there are 15 locations worldwide, including Bangalore, Beijing, Austin, Boston, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Dallas, McKinney, New York, Seattle, and Toronto.

How Zynga Makes Money From FarmVille, CityVille and Other Social Games

Zynga has two significant sources of revenue. First, the company makes money by selling virtual items that require game credits. Players purchase game credits via credit cards and PayPal, at a cost of ten cents or more per virtual game credit. The Platinum Purchase Program allows members to purchase virtual currency in amounts over $500 and pay by wire transfer. Zynga also sold prepaid cards for virtual currency at more than 12,800 stores across the USA. Like other social game companies, Zynga depends on a small core of big spenders, known within the industry as "whales".

For its second source of revenue, Zynga partners with other businesses to provide customer leads, advertising, movie tie-ins and brand tie-ins, that appear within the games themselves. In the past, game players were rewarded with virtual money when they accepted credit card offers, took surveys or bought services.

How to Play Zynga Games Like Farmville and Cityville

Zynga games are played, for the most part, online at Facebook. They are popular activities and free to play, with opportunities to involve your Facebook friends. Each game features interactive game play, creative design, graphics, avatars, and even in-game items. This creates games that are relaxing, compelling, and, some say, addictive.

Zynga makes much of its revenue selling virtual items for games. Let's look at its premier asset, CityVille, where you build a town of your own. Just name your town, and start building. Use your online credits to put up buildings, get services, and send gifts to your Facebook friends. Then ask your Facebook friends to help. When you need more virtual credits, you can use real world money to buy them for about ten cents per credit, via credit cards and PayPal. You have to play daily, or your crops will wither, and you'll need credits for new crops. You can also speed up the game by buying more "Energy." To advance through the game, you buy stuff and message your Facebook friends. That's pretty much the secret.

3 Business Hurdles Facing Zynga Games

  1. Zynga is linked inextricably with Facebook for its platform. In fact, Facebook controls Zynga. One writer calls Zynga, "Facebook's outsourced games arm." Their contract requires Zynga to use Facebook credits exclusively in its games. Facebook is the only site permitted to host these games, and has the right to preview all Zynga games before they are released. Games that use Facebook data must be exclusive to Facebook. The contract restricts Zynga from launching its games on a number of other sites. In exchange, Facebook will help promote Zynga games on its site.

  2. The next opportunity for Zynga is mobile games. Apple is launching its GameCenter on iOS, another social platform that could embrace Zynga or compete with it. Zynga is also creating its own platform, Project Z, to host more games. But competition is coming out of the woodwork. Other companies offer look-alike games with similar formats, and copycats are rampant. In fact, Zynga itself has been accused of appropriating game concepts. Game developers like Activision Blizzard Inc, Electronic Arts Inc and Walt Disney Co are all formidable rivals.

  3. Like social games in general, Zynga games have been criticized as spammy and exploitive, because friends are deluged with make-believe gifts and requests for help. Critics complain that the games can be aced simply by spending cash, rather than played with skill and strategy. But Zynga games are as popular as ever.

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