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'Dragons' drive Zynga's third quarter, 'GoT' casino game boosts forecast

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Zynga Inc topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly bookings on Wednesday, driven by continued strength of its acquired mobile titles "Empires & Puzzles" and "Merge Dragons!".

The FarmVille-maker also forecast current-quarter bookings above expectations, boosted by the initial success of its recent social casino title "Game of Thrones Slots Casino" and the sequel to its adventure puzzle game "Merge Magic!".

Bookings, an important metric indicating future revenue, include the sales of virtual goods such as currency and lives.

In a bid to expand its games portfolio, the company has struck deals with studios to publish games based on popular franchises, including Harry Potter and Star Wars.

The mobile game-maker reported bookings of $395 million for the third-quarter ended Sept. 30, above analysts' average estimate of $384.4 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

It forecast current-quarter bookings of $415 million, beating estimates of $396 million.

However, Zynga's average daily active users were 20 million, below expectations of 21.53 million, according to three analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Chief Executive Officer Frank Gibeau told Reuters that the decrease in the average number of daily and monthly active users were related to discontinuation of certain games on Facebook Inc's Messenger platform.

"It's not a strategic platform for us anymore", Gibeau said.

Revenue from mobile, which contributes 95% of the company's total revenue, rose 54% to $328 million.

Net income, which includes a one-time gain of $314 million, rose to $230.1 million, or 24 cents per share, in the quarter, from $10.2 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)