Category Archives: Virtual Currency

Zynga IPO….The Aftermath

Now that Zynga has gone public, what is in store for the world of social gaming? Analysts across the world weigh in on the industry and the impact of the IPO. Here’s a sampling:

Hugffington Post provides an excellent article discussing why Zynga’s IPO is a major victory for the Facebook social networking platform.

” Zynga and other app developers can tap into Facebook’s population of more than 800 million users, as well as the social network’s payment system, marketing opportunities and viral potential. “

Boston Herald takes the Zynga IPO behind the proverbial woodshed.

” The disappointing debut on the public markets may put a dent in the amount companies can raise in the future. Facebook, for example, has been rumored to be planning a $10 billion IPO in 2012, valuing the company at $100 billion. ”

Los Angeles Times “John Schappert, Zynga’s chief operating officer, said his company is on track to grow beyond Facebook. “

Fox News “Zynga, which makes popular games such as Farmville and Words With Friends, opened up 10% at $11, but closed down 5.8%.  “


Video: YouTube Description: Dec. 15 – GreenCrest Capital’s Anupam Palit says Zynga’s growth trajectory and its ability to turn a profit will provide additional upside for its stock once it starts trading

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Filed under CityVille, Facebook, Facebook Credits, game, gaming, social, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods, Zynga

Video: Sean Ryan of Facebook

Sean Ryan,  Head of Game Partnerships of Facebook discussed the current state and future of the social gaming ecosystem. This is an excellent overview of the current Facebook social gaming environment.

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Filed under Facebook, Facebook Credits, game, GameHouse, gaming, mobile, online, Playdom, PlayFish, PopCap Games, social, social games, Virtual Currency, Wooga, Zynga

DeNA rolls out Mobage on Android

Online service giant DeNA launches their mobile social gaming platform Mobage into the global Android smartphone market. Articles and analysis from:

All Things Digital ” The idea behind the platform is that it will give players with common interests from around the world a place to meet up to play games — similar to Facebook, where you play games with friends from anywhere. “

TechCrunch ” Much like Zynga, the business model is to offer most games for free and monetize via sales of virtual items. As hinted at above, this model has worked very well for DeNA in Japan where the company is currently listed with a $7.6 billion market cap (you read that right) “

Marketwatch (Press Release) ” DeNA has had a business presence in China since April 2006 when it established a subsidiary in Beijing. In July 2009, DeNA acquired WAPTX LTD., DeNA China’s holding company, which owns the country’s leading mobile-only social networking service. “

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Filed under Android, DeNA, game, gaming, Mobage, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods

ShanghaiVille

Social gaming kingpin Zynga continues their expansion into other social networks and officially launches in China. The company will leverage local online giant Tencent’s massive reach to roll out its social games re-designed to reflect Chinese culture and customs. Articles and analysis from:

The New York Times ” The social game developer is introduced its first game in China on Tuesday, an adaptation of the extremely popular CityVille. Zynga had effectively been blocked from China because its games are played through Facebook, which is banned in the country. “

Los Angeles Times ” San Francisco-based Zynga, which has filed papers to sell its stock in an initial public offering, needs to show investors it can grow its audience beyond Facebook, where it already commands a significant share of traffic. “

Bloomberg ” Tencent had about 101 million users for its Pengyou site, President Martin Lau said on May 11. The company plans to increase spending this year on services including social media, Chief Executive Officer Ma Huateng said in March.”

 

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Filed under CityVille, Facebook, FarmVille, game, gaming, social games, Tencent, Virtual Currency, virtual goods, Zynga

Sold for a Zong

eBay acquires mobile payments provider and microtransaction specialist Zong for $240 Million. The race to monetize the lucrative mobile/social gaming space is definitely in high gear. Articles and analysis from:

Wall Street Journal  ” Zong’s customer list is a who’s who of social gaming and virtual world companies, including Zynga Inc., IMVU Inc., Walt Disney Co.’s Playdom Inc., Stardoll AB, IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s Zwinky and Shanda Games Ltd.’s Mochi Media. Not to mention the company’s arrangement with Facebook Inc. to sell the social network’s virtual currency.” 

CNET  ” Zong provides a mobile payments platform that facilitates carrier-direct billing for digital goods and services. Users pay for their purchases by entering their mobile phone number and payment is billed to the customer’s wireless service account. “

Forbes interviews Matrix Partners’ Dana Stalder about the rationale for the acquisition.

” There is certainly competition. I think Boku is the most-known competition here in the U.S., but there are two companies in Europe of roughly equal scale: in MindMatics Germany and Allopass France. All of these companies are formidable, but Zong has built the best team with the most direct relationships with carriers and the most converting payment flows in the business. “

Learn more about the explosive Virtual Currency industry at VirtualCurrencyNews.com

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Filed under acquisition, gaming, mobile, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods

Zynga IPO: The Countdown Begins

Social gaming titan Zynga’s recent filing for an IPO later this year has captured the imagination of Wall Street. It’s success or failure in it’s debut and as a public company will have a far reaching impact on the entire industry. The following articles examine Zynga’s postion within the marketplace.

The Los Angeles Times  ” While Zynga has not yet priced shares for the public market, some investors are speculating that shares could be as high as $20 or more, which would give Zynga a market valuation of roughly $16 billion. “

Wall St. Cheat Sheet  ” Zynga CEO and Harvard Business School Alum Mark Pincus is demonstrating a very cunning business acumen, also accumulating $1 billion in cash reserves v. $234 million in liabilities. Other impressive stats for the company are its 2,000 employees, 148 million users (across 166 countries), and the fact that none of its senior management is under 40 years old (contrary to the usual fare for tech startups). “

The Huffington Post   ” Zynga sees its market opportunity in the context of: a) the growth of social networking; b) a culture of the “app economy” whereby developers have access to social network platforms; and c) A “free-to-play” gaming culture that allows users to play games for free, thereby attracting a broader set of users and a richer ecosystem for social interaction within the gaming environment. “

CNNMoney  ” The big remaining question for Zynga is how underwriters and investors value the its IPO. Initial reports valued the company at $10 billion. It would be very considerate of Zynga to list at that price and leave money on the table, but it’s not going to happen. Remember that LinkedIn, which is expected to make $420 million this fiscal year, was worth $9 billion on its first day of trading. By that measure, Zynga could debut and see its value rise above $20 billion. “

Forbes  ” Zynga’s valuation is high relative to its peers. While Zynga has yet to set an offering price, Zynga is valued at $15.4 billion on the SharesPost secondary exchange — more than Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (ERTS) — worth  $13.5 billion and $8 billion, respectively, according to Bloomberg. “

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Filed under CityVille, Facebook, FarmVille, gaming, mobile, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods, Zynga

ZYNGA IPO: A Closer Look at The Financials

Zynga’s filing to go public has allowed for a complete view of the company’s business model and various revenue generation channels. Articles and analysis from:

GigaOM ” Zynga completed seven acquisitions in 2010, according to the IPO filing. Together, the purchase prices of all those deals totaled $101.6 million; $35.2 million of that was in stock, and $66.4 million was in cash.  “

The Wall Street Journal ” Though only a small percentage of players make up “nearly all” of Zynga’s revenue, the amount spent on its virtual goods is soaring. Revenue for the first quarter this year jumped 133% to $235.4 million from under $101 million in the year-ago period. “

CNET ” For one, Zynga reported that it has 232 million monthly active users and 60 million daily active users from 166 countries around the world. Every second, 38,000 virtual items are created in its wildly popular worlds. Each day, 2 billion minutes are logged in Zynga’s titles. “

The Wall Street Journal ” Also impressive is that Zynga isn’t paying lots to attract users. Unlike Groupon, for instance, which spends heavily on marketing, Zynga says it “acquires most of its players through unpaid channels.”

The New York Times  ” By far, the founder of Zynga has the largest stake in the company. Mr. Pincus and his related entities own 91,385,846 class B shares — about 16 percent of the pool. He also owns all of the available Class C shares (20,517,472 shares). “

 

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Filed under CityVille, Facebook, Facebook Credits, FarmVille, gaming, mobile, online, social games, Virtual Currency, virtual goods, Zynga