Dust off your Farmville skills, it’s making a comeback. No longer relegated to a Facebook game, Zynga is throwing all of its chips on the table with the sequel to its once mega-hit. The move into mobile is seen by observers to capitalize on people’s ever-increasing appetite for mobile games such as Candy Crush and Flappy Bird. Simplicity with enough microtransactions to fill a quarterly report.
It isn’t just Farmville 2 that Zynga has in the pipeline. A new version of Words With Friends and the new Zynga Poker are expected to release in the fall. Mobile development is encompassing 75% of the company’s titles that are in-the-works.
The new Farmville comes at a critical time for Don Mattrick’s time as CEO. The former Xbox executive has seen the share price of Zynga jump 20% as losses have narrowed. Now, the transition has to be into profits for the company. The company lost only $37 million in 2013, after posting a $209 million loss in 2012.
With the new Farmville comes the marketing white papers on user base. The game is evidently popular at the Vatican, with 37 players. Pope Francis must be tending to his crop, along with the flock.
A New Wall Street Darling?
Before you dismiss the notion out of hand, remember that Netflix was once in the doghouse before Carl Icahn stepped in and the stock got the momentum label. There are some headwinds for Zynga though. King Digital recently held its IPO to raise $500 million. The stock, priced at $22.50, has since seen it tumble 20%. The metrics are different, but investors are quick to jump ship with mobile gaming companies.
With Farmville 2: Country Escape releasing today, it won’t be long until Wall Street gets its first look at metrics for the once ubiquitous game.