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Feed The Sharks In The Shark Tank

Friday, January 31, 2014

Early Financial Conference Call For Zynga’s Q4’14

For some unknown reason Zynga decided to discuss the company’s Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Financial Results yesterday as opposed to the February 6, 2014 date it originally announced [1].

Surprise Move On Zynga FinancialZNGA Revenue January 30 2014

For the 6th consecutive quarter Zynga has shown a decline in revenues. Zynga’s Q4’13 revenues are only 53% the amount Zynga generated in Q2’12.

ZNGA Revenue January 30 2014 2
Revenue Quarter Over Quarter

Q2’12 $ 332  
Q3’12 $ 317 - $ 25
Q4’12 $ 311 - $  6
Q1’13 $ 264 - $ 47
Q2’13 $ 231 - $ 33
Q3’13 $ 203 - $ 28
Q4’13 $ 176 - $ 27
    - $ 166

$ In Millions

Q1’14 Projected Revenue

Q1’14 $ 155 – $165 - $ 11 to – $ 22

In Q1’14 Zynga projects another decline in revenue. Zynga is projecting revenue in Q1’14 to be between $11 – $22 less than the $176 million the company generated in Q4’13. FarmVille, FarmVille 2, and Zynga Poker continue to carry the company in revenue as those 3 games have generated more than half of Zynga’s total revenue.

Mafia Wars players and fans might want to start thanking FarmVille players for keeping the game we love and play free to play.

The decline in revenue is being over-shadowed by optimism that Zynga will have a positive year in 2014. During the conference call Zynga announced the acquisition of NaturalMotion. NaturalMotion is known for hit mobile games "CSR Racing" and "Clumsy Ninja". Don Mattrick further boosts the ‘high hopes’ of ZNGA investors by proclaiming that “Zynga will have no debt and $1.2 cash on the company’s balance sheet.” 

Pre-Market 1 31 2014

WSJ: Do you see more acquisitions ahead?

Mattrick: After we purchase NaturalMotion, we’re going to have no debt and $1.2 billion on our balance sheet. We’ve got a really solid business and solid position.

The Wall Street Journal showed more optimism of Don Mattrick within an edited interview;

WSJ: What’s been going on since you were named CEO?

Don Mattrick: It feels to me like we’ve ended 2013 with material progress, with momentum that we’re carrying into 2014 and we’ve had some successes. Two examples of successes we call out in our earnings call later today, which is growth in our casino business, which is posting growth for the first time in 18 months, and the second highlight is “Words With Friends” doing its largest quarter in the history of that product, which is a five year product to date.

WSJ: How would you characterize the company’s strategy at this point?

Mattrick: Content is a core area where we just see great opportunities to build a business that is able to post multiple top 20 global hits. And when I look at our current portfolio, we would say we have been blessed to have three of those already in our poker/casino products, our “Words With Friends” products, and with “FarmVille.”

We’ve got new bets underway that we will be announcing that we’ll announce over the course of 2014, but you can anticipate that we’re still funding, still creating new products in addition to those products.

I’m a bit more skeptical. Unless Zynga can draw players back to it’s existing titles and/or have a few major hits this year I am not going to jump on the Band-Wagon just yet.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

STAT WISE - 2

Stat Wise has returned to Mafia Wars. For a mere $15 you can choose the stats of 5 loots. That averages to $3 per loot. The 5 loots to choose the stats of are a Mercenary, a Pygmy Hippopotamus, a Winged Barrier, a Swiss Army Cannon, and a Runeminer.

Stat Wise Banner
Loot Swiss Army Cannon Loot Mercenary
Loot Winged Barrier Loot Pygmy Hippopotamus

You must choose the stats of all 5 loots (duplicate loots only available in more purchases). Zynga does permit the option to randomize your choices.

Stat Wise Empty 1Stat Wise Empty 2Stat Wise Empty 3Stat Wise Empty 4Stat Wise Empty 5

Once you have chosen the stats of all 5 loots you can proceed to making your purchase.

Stat Wise Randomized 1

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Don’s Favorite – 7 DAYS OF FREE SKILL POINTS

If you aren’t the Don’s Favorite it is because you do not have the Mafia Wars Facebook App grouped among you favorites list on your Facebook wall.

Dons Favorite BannerDons Favorite Pop 1

To add Mafia Wars to your favorites you need to hover your cursor just to the left of the Mafia Wars App and click to open a drop down box (as shown in the 2 images above). Click the Add to favorites link and the Mafia Wars App will now appear in your Facebook favorites list.

To participate in the Don’s Favorite Feature you now need to access Mafia Wars from the recently moved App link. If successful you should receive 10 free skill points for your first day of accessing Mafia Wars in this manner.

Dons Favorite Congrats

If it didn’t work for you then we recommend closing Mafia Wars and waiting a few minutes and try again.

Once collected your Don’s Favorite banners should now indicate that you have acquired your 10 free skill points (as shown in the following 2 images).

Dons Favorite ActiveDons Favorite Pop

I knew I was the Don’s Favorite. Now everyone knows. The question is, are you?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This Is How Zynga Do’s It

Are you ready for a Fairy Tale Twist? Players of the game ‘Fairy Tale Twist’ tried to log in to their games on January 26 only to find that they couldn’t. That was because Zynga was making a few changes to that game. Zynga subsequently made the following announcement;

Introducing Puzzle Charms!

Mon Jan 27 09:26:28 EST 2014

Hello Fellow Twisters!

The twists and turns of the game we all loved can only get better and charm-ier!

We're glad to announce to everyone that Fairy Tale Twist is now called Puzzle Charms! Feed the Rabbits and pass  through Puzzles with never-ending Charms as you go along and finish all the fun-tastic levels!

Don't forget to bookmark the new game link: https://apps.facebook.com/puzzlecharms/

And now, let's all continue to play and be charmed, by Puzzle charms!

source: Puzzle Charms Player Suport 

Name Change

With the name change from ‘Fairy Tale Twist’ to ‘Puzzle Charms’ the DAU of the game now surpasses that of Mafia Wars.  

Fairy Tale Twist Game Name Change Increases DAU

DAU 1 28 2014

Mafia Wars’ DAU Still Hovering Below 200,00

MW DAU 1 28 2014

Although Mafia Wars may appear to have a little momentum in improving it’s Daily Users over the course of the past 2 weeks the game is far from where it once was. The next 2 graphics show how much Daily activity Mafia Wars has lost within the last year and 2 years (respectively).

DAU Change in last year:  -31%

MW DAU Monthly AVG 1 28 2014

Change in DAU between 2012 Q2 and 2014 Q1: -52%

MW DAU Quarterly AVG 1 28 2014

We have expressed time and again how we believe Zynga is its own worst enemy with its business model. Others are now expressing similar thoughts. The following is a quote from Robert Weinstein who wrote an article on thestreet.com that questioned Zynga’s Customer Service.

“According to Zynga's filings, few users break out the credit card to spend real money. OK, that's not a surprise, but maybe the exact model it's using isn't the correct one.”

The problem with Zynga (within nearly ALL it's games) is that they have forgotten that their games are ‘supposed’ to be ‘freemium’ games. Mafia Wars is among several of Zynga’s games that have become money grubbing games that are nearly impossible to play (or to at least have the ability to complete many of the ‘in-game’ tasks and features) without the need of spending lots of cash.

Zynga made its billions 4 (+/-) years ago when its games were playable by everyone. Players used to spend $5 or $10 on a game card or other in-game purchase when they didn’t feel over-pressured by Zynga to do so. This is back when the in-game purchases either sped you through something or gave you a small perk over others (albeit only temporary).

The over-priced and high-pressure tactics of Microsoft WILL NOT work in a ‘Freemium atmosphere! Period. Those tactics will only chase players away from your services Zynga! Facebook is not like the X-Box.

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