The news last week was that Zynga has planned an IPO filing for $1 billion (it hopes to raise $1.5 to $2 billion with an overall company valuation as much as $20 billion). The move http://bit.ly/qq9yzv took nobody by surprise. ”’Tis the season of IPO company over-valuation after all.” Full disclosure – I have never played Farmville, Mafia Wars, Frontierville, or Cityville, or any other of Zynga’s free online games for that matter. I’ve also not had occasion to play AngryBirds (from Rovio) either.
It appears Zynga is counting on growth in the mobile marketing channel to further fuel its meteoric rise to prominence. I think that is a smart thing since I can’t help but feel that the backbone of Zynga’s past growth – Facebook users, will ultimately tire of the popular online game. And when people tire the user number fall will be fast and steep. But there are several interesting reasons that suggest Zynga might be undervalued http://bit.ly/oaFCqu.
A mobile Zynga platform offers more value since when a user is in a waiting room or stuck someplace he or she can jump on to kill some time populating a farm, frontier or whatever it is that people like to do while playing those time-killing games. And that’s what they are, time killing games right? Is there any other possible redeeming factor or benefit to playing a Zynga based game? C’mon people, this is your chance to give me reasons as to what I am missing!
I never was tempted to even sign up for a trial of any of the games although I received a multitude of invitations to join in Mafia Wars and Farmville. I pass quite a bit of my day already staring at a computer terminal and I haven’t the time or desire to play virtual games especially when I don’t have enough time to play the real ones I’d like to play more often.
The interesting part of Zynga’s development in the mobile space will be the uncoupling from Facebook. I champion Zynga’s realization that in order to stand more firmly on its own they will have to develop game delivery platforms outside of Facebook (or Google+ for that matter should it become a true competitor to Facebook).
Mobile payments are poised to become ubiquitous and the sale of virtual items in games is already gaining serious traction. So a future revenue model is there but a $1 billion kick start surely would help get things going.
$1 billion is still a lot of money (to me at least). Do you think Zynga has legs to stand for the long haul?