Farmville 2 Keeping Hope Alive at Zynga: Now Has 42.4 Million Monthly Active Users
A week into 2013 we can report with certainty that Zynga isn’t dead yet. Despite all the rumors, game cessations and general shareholder apathy, the gaming developer continues to soldier on. What’s interesting too is that Zynga is soldiering on the back of a hit sequel—Farmville 2.
Since taking Facebook and the world by storm with Farmville, Zynga has had rotten luck trying to emulate its success. The idea of launching a sequel was frowned upon by many in the gaming industry, and some analysts even predicted that Farmville 2 would cannibalize the user base of their original and hugely successful Farmville. But Zynga didn’t debut on the NASDAQ after two years as a going concern without taking chances and take a chance it did.
Farmville 2 doing well
Despite the popularity of Farmville, which incidentally accounts for more than 20% of the $285.6 million made by Zynga last year, Farmville 2 has steadily found its place in the Zynga ecosystem. The company released some engagement data and the numbers are surprisingly good.
According to Zynga’s own data, there are a whopping 42.4 million people who log on monthly to play Farmville 2. 7.4 million of those users do so daily, and the stickiness rate (the length of time people stay online playing the games) is said to be 17.5%.
Such success makes you wonder why Zynga didn’t do the same thing with Farmville 2 to Mafia Wars 2. The latter as you may know has been discontinued due to poor engagement and weak sales. Still Zynga will be happy that a sequel is contributing heavily to its bottom line; if the company can roll out a few more sequels to the same level of success, shareholders might just start propping up the stock again.
The future of social gaming
Zynga has largely been a pioneer in the field of social gaming so it would be tragic to see the company have to shutter its doors. Mobile and social gaming remains a strong contender for users’ attention and the success of gaming developers like Rovio proves that gaming at the social and mobile level is a long term game.
Zynga can still be a part of the conversation if it finds a way to position itself on a more independent platform. Many who’ve analyzed the Zynga situation have all said the same thing: “an over-reliance on Facebook is a poor business strategy.” When you see how Zynga’s fortunes have dropped in the last year it isn’t hard to see wisdom in that sentiment.
But mobile and social gaming needs innovative players and it would be ashamed to see Zynga go. When most developers were placing their investment dollars into console games, Zynga came along and dared to be different; ensuring in the process that gaming once again had the wholesomeness and fun it once had. Market forces have all but clouded the judgment of users but should Zynga disappear all together, social and mobile gamers would almost miss it immediately.
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