Zynga reports Q1 2014 financial results, announces new hires

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By Brandy Shaul Comments

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Mobile and social game developer Zynga has released its earnings report for Q1 2014, documenting a quarter of growth for the company. Zynga saw financial results at the high end of their expected outlook, with bookings of $161 million. What’s more, the company’s audience grew at both the monthly and daily levels.

Through Q1 2014, Zynga’s monthly audience grew 10 percent, while its daily audience grew 7 percent, quarter-over-quarter. When looking specifically at mobile, the company’s monthly mobile player base grew by 45 percent and its daily players by 23 percent for that same period. Zynga’s total monthly active users currently sits at 87.3 million, with daily users at 17.5 million, according to our tracking service AppData.

This success on mobile is in line with Zynga’s shifting focus from Facebook games to mobile titles, with mobile bookings expected to account for more than 50 percent of the company’s bookings before the end of 2014. For Q1, mobile bookings grew to 36 percent of Zynga’s total bookings.

Leading the charge is FarmVille 2: Country Escape, which launched earlier this month and has already been downloaded more than four million times. In addition, Zynga’s mobile catalog received an instant boost via its acquisition of mobile developer NaturalMotion in January 2014. NaturalMotion’s character interaction game Clumsy Ninja launched on Google Play on April 23.

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For Q2 2014, Zynga predicts bookings between $175 and $195 million. This accounts for strong revenue from mobile franchises, but also takes into account increased marketing costs associated with future product launches. For the full year, Zynga is narrowing its expected bookings by $10 million, to $770-810 million.

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“To summarize our progress, we have established a strong base for 2014 and believe we are pacing well for a year of growth. For the first time in two years, our teams delivered sequential growth across our key performance metrics including bookings, Adjusted EBITDA, mobile bookings mix and audience,” said Zynga CEO Don Mattrick. “We believe these indicators demonstrate our strategy is working and the focus, rigor and discipline of our teams is showing up in our results.”

As part of this week’s earnings call, Zynga announced multiple new hires, including Alex Garden [pictured] as the President of Zynga Studios. Garden brings experience from Microsoft, having served in leadership positions including General Manager of Xbox Live.

In addition, visual effects specialist Henry LaBounta was named the company’s first Chief Visual Officer, and former CMO of Plum District Jennifer Nuckles was announced as Chief Marketing Officer. LaBounta will report to Garden, and will help Zynga’s creative teams develop the most visually appealing products possible for consumers.

Finally, Zynga founder Marc Pincus has announced his official departure from an operational role as Chief Product Officer at Zynga. He will now serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.