Zynga Announces Q2 2014 Financial Results, Zynga Sports 365

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By Brandy Shaul Comment

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Mobile and social games company Zynga has announced its financial results for Q2 2014, which saw the company meet the low end of its quarterly guidance, generating $175 million in bookings. That’s an increase of nine percent quarter-over-quarter. Zynga earned $153 million in revenue for Q2, a 34 percent decrease year-over-year and a nine percent decrease quarter-over-quarter.

While revenue fell for the quarter, Zynga’s mobile catalog has continued to grow, with mobile bookings surpassing web bookings for the first time. This was due, in part, to the release of FarmVille 2: Country Escape in April, a mobile-only product in the developer’s popular farming simulation franchise. Zynga also released Duck Dynasty Slots under its growing Zynga Casino brand.

For Q3 2014, Zynga projects its revenue to fall between $160-170 million, with bookings of $165-175 million. The company has also adjusted its outlook for the full year, decreasing its expected 2014 bookings from $770-810 million to $695-725 million. Zynga CEO Don Mattrick explained the decrease in Zynga’s recent earnings call:

“As we grow and sustain our franchises and create new hits, we are finding the right balance between unlocking long term value for customers and shareholders.  We are incubating our games with longer development cycles in order to nurture our products and deliver higher quality experiences to consumers. Our teams are focused on delivering product quality as we move through internal tests, geo-locks and measure our experiences against player feedback.

 

In Q2 we made a decision to hold back the global launches of New Zynga Poker and the New Words With Friends which were originally slated to launch in the quarter. We made these decisions during our geo-lock and testing phases after we identified specific areas where additional development time could improve product quality and customer experience.”

While Zynga has moved away from early pre-launch previews of its games, due to increased competition in the mobile and social games spaces, the company did make a few announcements for its upcoming plans.

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First, Zynga has partnered with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to license the Looney Tunes brand for a future game in the “runner” genre.

Next, Zynga has announced Zynga Sports 365, its multi-game brand, which will begin with the release of games based on football and golf. The first game, NFL Showdown, is a team management simulation game that includes both real NFL team names and athletes due to multi-year licensing agreements with the National Football League and NFL Players Inc. The game is now available in select markets for testing.

Finally, Zynga announced its exclusive, multi-year, multi-platform partnership with Tiger Woods for the development of mobile experiences “that bring the world of Tiger Woods golf to life for consumers.” The resulting game is in early development, and is expected to launch on mobile platforms in 2015.

“Our entry into the Sports category – and the development of NFL Showdown and our Tiger Woods golf game – is being led by our Zynga Orlando Studio,” added Zynga COO Clive Downie. “The team is led by several gaming industry veterans – including Mike Taramykin, Jason Shenkman, Jeff Luhr, Ian Cummings and Michael Cayado – all of whom have a proven history of creating innovative AAA sports games that immerse passionate fans in the sports they love. From gameplay simulation to visual fidelity – the team understands the art of delivering sports fans transformative, authentic entertainment experiences that feel as real as the sport itself.”

Downie’s full remarks on Zynga Sports 365 are available on the company’s blog.