The news of the games shutdowns was announced by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and they follow in line with the company’s attempts to downsize staff numbers while focusing on the company’s more popular and profitable titles.
When Zynga burst onto the scene it seemed like social gaming was going to revolutionize the industry, fast forward a few years later and Zynga is in decline and competitors such as Playdom and Playfish have also watched users jump ship as their products continue to age out of the market.
In the meantime a new social gaming market is emerging, one that once again removes “casual gamers” from the mix and instead focuses on serious online gamers with a penchant for complex video games that feature every improving gaming experiences and more incentives to continue playing.
The announcement comes just one day after the company released Hidden Chronicles and marks the company’s determination to hit 2012 running after December met their IPO with skepticism and with shares in the company currently hovering around the $9 mark.
Zynga added to their “With Friends” category last year when they released “Hanging With Friends” a hangman type game that combines social gaming with friends.
Scramble isn’t actually a new offering for Zynga, they released a Facebook Scramble game as one of their earliest titles, it was eventually downloaded by 2.5 million Facebook users. However the new offering brings the game to the masses. As the name suggests users must find words from a Scrambled group of letters, the higher the word count the higher the score. [Read more…]
If that pricing is met the company will have raised between $850 million and $1.15 billion with a total company evaluation of $7 billion.
Those numbers are no small amount, however the company that has created such viral hits as FarmVille, CityVille, and MafiaWars believes they are worth nearly half the valuation of the world’s largest gaming company Activision Blizzard ($14.2 billion).
While $7 billion may seem like a high amount for a relatively new gaming company it should be noted that before pulling their original IPO due to fears of market volatility the company’s valuation was believed to be closer to $10 billion.
While some analysts have mixed feels about Zynga, it’s believed that by selling such a large percentage of the company’s worth during their IPO (14.3% to be exact) they may be able to lessen that volatility. [Read more…]
If you took away the lush farmland of Zynga’s FarmVille and replaced it with a desert in the middle of nowhere you would have Happy Oasis a middle east version of the popular game that has already attracted more than 100,000 active social gamers.
Developed by Aranim Games the product offers Arabic and English versions and asks players to create their own “Oasis” in the desert.
The game is not only a “build up your land” setup, it also attempts to bring modern day struggles to the masses, for example both men and women can drive cars in the game, a current major issue of contention in Saudi Arabia.
Company CEO Suleiman Bakhit told Mashable that his company is better equipped than most to deal with social issues in the Middle East, noting:
“There are serious cultural issues that are extremely sensitive … most western companies won’t know how to deal with these issues.”
The game started as a comic book in which Bakhit chronicled a beating he received near his Minnesota university following the 9/11 attacks. In his comic books, also published under the Aranim company name he speaks about social issues in the area, features Arab heroes and attempts to teach school age children important lessons about tolerance. [Read more…]