Please read my 9/11 blog
Remembering The Day The World Cried As One 9/11/2001
People say there comes a time when a company cant grow anymore, has that time come for Zynga ? Some experts say yes others say no. I say a company can always grow if they are innovative and bring products to the public that they want, are fresh & new. Unfortunately Zynga isn’t that company at the present time.
Right now Zynga is a company that has lost it way and really doesn’t have a clue on how to right the ship or as some say they don’t want to fix it as they are getting things in place to sell the company. They are copying other companies games and putting their twist on it to make suit them so nothing really new is coming out, nothing innovative or fresh.
Zynga has lost touch with it’s player base and what the players want to keep the games fun. From what former employees say that the Product Mangers even discourage fun it the games & instead go with trying make profit. While I don’t fault them from making a profit , as that is what a company is in business for, but if they keep it fun they would make more profit. They need to open their eyes and realize this then maybe they wouldn’t have to work so hard to try and be profitable and I think they may even find new growth and I know this may sound crazy but yes even people who would be willing to spend money on the game. I know right.
Zynga right now is growing at about 1% a quarter and admit that they may not grow much more than that over the next 6 months, yet they are promising investors 20% growth over the year which myself along with many Wall Street experts don’t see happening unless they are able to pull a rabbit out of their hat.
Approximately 90% of the players who go to the new games Zynga puts out come from existing games so that is not really new growth just players shifting from one game to another. Copying other company games apparently doesn’t pay as those players, who play the original, will not go over and play Zynga’s game when the other game they play is the same and doesn’t have the content overload & begging of friends all the Zynga games have. And the other games are also more affordable in most cases.
Did you know that according to Zynga the MUP or Monthly Unique Payer spends about $97.90 ? Really, it is true that came out on their 4th Quarter earnings report just released Feb 14th. Here is the kicker though, it is down 11% from quarter before where those same players were spending $109.85. So as you see the growth isnt here anymore.
Another thing investors don’t see are the real numbers for the Monthly & Daily Active Users (MAU & DAU) which really show a decline in the number of players Zynga has. Facebook is supposed to report the numbers to App Data every day but they don’t and that gives the investors the impression that Zynga is doing well when in reality they are losing a big chunk of players every day. You can see the charts for yourself by going to the Zynga charts here at AppData .
I personally think Zynga & all game companies should be reporting certified numbers to an outside agency so investors get the real picture of what is going on there. And if they want let them use AppData or some other reporting site to publish them at least the investor will know that the numbers are true and not fudged. They have to do this with company financials why not with the players numbers.
I would love it even more if they include the amount of players who play multiple games within a company so the investors see how much growth they are getting from outside sources. That would truely show the growth of a company.
I still say we will see a number of under-performing games get shut down in the coming months, as a cost cutting measure to maintain profitability on the balance sheets. The games I think that will be cut are Mafia Wars 2 ( which Zynga themselves has called their biggest failure), Mafia Wars, Treasure Island, FishVille, PetVille, YoVille, Adventure World- The Indian Jones Game and Vampire Wars. From a business stand point I understand why but some of them could be saved & even turned into profitable games again if they REALLY listen to the players and implement some changes.
So right now from what I see Zynga is Flatlined and not showing real growth. Can they turn it around ? Absolutely, they have a good product but they are killing it with how they run the company. They need to bring the fun back after all this is what games are supposed to be. If they bring the fun back, fix game issues promptly, stop game exploits, bring out NEW fresh, innovative games and most importantly stop game overload and making players beg so much to get things done I think they will be able to grow again and more importantly start making a profit again.
Right now the ball is in their court to do what is right or they can keep going the way they are and that is by throwing enough crap at the wall and hoping it sticks and they get another winner. But right now the players are ready to pull the plug on them and I know investors are getting to that point too.
Wake Up Zynga !!!
Stats supplied by AllFacebook.com
The Question of the Day is,
“Does Mafia Wars Even Care Anymore?”
This is the question that many players of Mafia Wars are asking these days. It seems like the players issues are getting ignored as well as some very serious issues going on. Even though they are real and well documented.
Zynga seems quite content with just constantly releasing more and more content right on top of each other. They players say it is too much but they do it anyway. The players tell them they are tired of events that require spamming their friends so Zynga goes ahead and releases more spam events.
Zynga says the players want this but when we give them the numbers and comments of the players saying this is not the case they just ignore it and the sad part is that they asked us for the numbers and comments.
Well then why waste our time Zynga if you don’t care. Don’t try to placate us. I have an idea try and be honest with us. LMAO!!! Yeah right, that will never happen.
Zynga seems to be run like the federal government, one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. There is no communication there and they are really out of touch with the people. They answer our questions by skirting the issues. Like I have said before, “Even a Congressman would say, Are You Kidding Me”, with the answers Zynga gives people on issues.
How out of touch are they let me give you and example. We all know that in Mafia Wars they have an event called Crack the Safe and how you must add new friends to you game to get loot items. The players have been complaining that they are getting banned by Facebook for adding friends. When Zynga was asked on their Live Q&A on UStream by me that they need to stop events that ask players to add new friends due to this issue. Their answer was, “What event?”. They didn’t even know about the event until the entire LIVE chat room exploded with the answer and even then they were uncaring and skirted the issue. How’s that !!!
This is just one of the many issues. Here is another one they don’t care about or don’t know about and it is a major exploit going on and allowing people to get free loot. This is driving people crazy, is being reported to Zynga and is being endorsed by people they know and trust.
The exploit concerns the Crack The Safe Event, someone found a way to make it so people can be added to your mafia with out being your friend on Facebook just so you can max out on the loot you get. Yes this is cheating and has been reported to Zynga but they seem to be turning a blind eye to it. But when loot is dropping too fast they jump on that to fix the issue because they want a Fair & Balanced playing field for all the players. HELLO McFLY !!! Wake up Zynga, how is this fair & balanced !!!
The players who aren’t using the exploit are becoming victims of it and are then forced to go and remove all these people from their mafia, after all non friends do you no good in the game anyway, and this is all going on while Zynga & the people endorsing it know there is a very serious issue with hackers on Facebook and they are potentially exposing the players and friends to hackers. Nice work !!!
The game issues are also pushed to the side as Zynga doesn’t seem to be fixing any issues right now but they are giving us new stuff to do and some of that doesn’t even work. The PAC ( Players Advisory Committee) for Mafia Wars have given Zynga numerous spread sheets with all the game issues going on and we get told you will address this in the 2nd Quarter of the year. Well guess what Zynga the quarter is almost half over and the players want answers and the issues fixed. You are basically making PAC look as useless as teets on a bull. Let get this done now !!!
There are also REAL issues with bullying that are ignored. I am not talking about bullying where some one is hit 100 times and ices someone. I am talking about incidents where people are being harassed verbally with nasty messages and being told to give them loot and/or game cards and they will go away. According to your own Terms of Service this is a no no but you do nothing about it. And dont get me wrong Zynga you are not alone here as Facebook doesn’t care either as both of you want the players to go to their local law enforcement agency so you don’t have to deal with it. As if our police departments & legal system aren’t busy enough keeping peace in the world you want to bog them down with your issues. Deal with them !!!
Playfish/ Electronics Arts doesn’t put up with bullying. They have a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to bullying. Don’t believe me check out my blog on Social Games Policy on Bullying and read the statement they gave me on the topic. Maybe it is time you come up with a similar policy after all you are the biggest social game company in the world.
Zynga do you not see the numbers? Look at the graphic above !!! Your numbers are dropping like a rock. The players are leaving in droves and not just the casual player but the players that spend big money on the game. Look at your balance sheets do you not see your profits dropping off. Look again real hard !!!
I was a former stockbroker for a major company many years ago and if I saw a chart like the one above, and analyzed all the news and data on you I would issuing a SELL RECOMMENDATION on your company. I am sure your investors are looking at it that way too. And if you think an IPO will save you think again because once you have to make all this data public you would see the hype surrounding it would stop and they would be telling you to stay private, don’t do it.
If you went public you would also be forced by all your investors to do something to stop the bleeding and you would also have to make all the issues go away. So going public will not save you unless Mark Pincus is just looking to make one final score before he sell the company.
Bottom-line here Zynga is that you need to get on ball here and deal with theses very real issues before you lose everything. You have a good product and people like the games, just not what you are doing. Try and start listening to the players not your game developers, game designers and engineers. The players are the ones who know the game best and I honestly think that is why you put PAC together, so you could better serve them.
Let the developers, game designers and engineers do just that, don’t let them dictate what goes out and when. That is for the mangers and marketing people to do after they see what the players want and need. The developers, game designers, & engineers work for you they do what you say and make what you want, at least in the real business world they do, or maybe in your company it is reversed. If that is the case I will instruct the players to report everything that is broken is actually working fine so then maybe you will fix them because you seem to only change things that are working fine and the players like. So reverse psychology might be the way to go with you.
In any case it is time to get some Q-Tips and clean those ears out, the players have spoken loud and clear. Start listening to us before we all leave.