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Zynga

The social and online gaming company might be down on its luck these days, but no one can dispute the effect Zynga, ZNGA,has had on the video game business.

Nintendo, NTDOF,might have wooed new players to the world of console games, but Zynga stole them away and opened up Facebook as a legitimate gaming platform. It also spawned an empire with its "With Friends" games (more than 13 million people play each month, according to AppData.com).

Zynga's offerings in the social and mobile space let people play games whenever they wanted to, whether by themselves or with friends. And that success forced companies like Electronic Arts, EA,and Nintendo to reassess their business models.

Photo: Getty Images