Zynga Gets Ready Unleash New Games and New Strategy
CNBC Media and Entertainment Reporter
Zynga the social game maker is readying to unveil its pipeline of new games and its strategy for its next leg of growth at a big event at its San Francisco headquarters today.
The presentation, called Zynga "unleashed" is sure to be closely watched by investors, who have some big questions about the company's future, particularly its dependence on Facebook , a small percentage of its gamers, and a handful of its hit games, for the majority of its revenue. The stock has had a wild ride since its December IPO, up some 50 percent earlier this year before plummeting — it's now off more than 36 percent since going public.
CEO Mark Pincus will take the stage to unveil the company's pipeline of gamesfor the next six months. We're sure to hear about sequels to the company's popular franchises like "Words with Friends" and "Farmville." But we may also hear the company announce a broader range of titles - in addition to the casual games, we may hear about a move to appeal to more of a hard core gamer audience.
Mobile is sure to be front and center, as the company continues its big push for mobile apps, as one way to diversify its business away from Facebook. In March Zynga purchased OMGPOP, the maker of hit app "Draw Something" for north of $180 million. But the company has also been adapting its games for the mobile format, and rolling out new ones, with casino games like its new "slots."
But the biggest news may be about Zynga's platform - Zynga.com - which Pincus has said he wants to be the destination for play, including games from outside developers.
We've heard a lot about what Zynga would like to do with its stand-alone platform, but the company has only launched a handful of its games. Analysts are eager to see what the company has planned and how many of its players it can shift from Facebook.
Another big question for Zynga's business model, is the role that advertising will play. Just this past Friday Facebook started running social adson Zynga.com - opening the door for Facebook to make the big move of launching an ad network, while creating a new revenue stream for Zynga. We could hear more about the ad potential on Zynga's platform - and beyond - today.
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