Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has announced a new infinite-runner style game called “Running With Friends.” The game is very similar to Temple Run. In Running With Friends, you can select one out of multiple characters to run from the bulls. The original Temple Run game is ranked as the #9 most downloaded iOS game of all time.
Zynga announced at the NewSchools Summit that they are committing $1 million for the first year of a new educational startup accelerator. Zynga is making the investment through their Zynga.org charity arm. Zynga is partnering with NewSchools Venture Fund on the startup accelerator. Zynga will host the startups at their headquarters in San Francisco where they will be able to interact with game designers and product managers.
Zynga has reported their Q1 2013 revenues. Unfortunately, Zynga’s revenues declined 18% year-over-year to $264 million. In the same quarter last year, Zynga reported $321 million in revenues. The company is in the midst of investing more resources into mobile platforms. Analysts were expecting Zynga to generate around $209.8 million in revenues at a loss of 4 cents per share. For the quarter, Zynga reported a net income of $4 million.
Dan Porter, the founder of OMGPOP!, has stepped down from Zynga. OMGPOP! is best known for developing the popular mobile game Draw Something and Zynga acquired the company for $180 million. OMGPOP! was Zynga’s largest acquisition so far, but the number of users since then have dropped significantly.
Zynga Chief Information Officer Debra Chrapaty has stepped down from the company to join cloud storage company Nirvanix as the CEO. While working at Zynga, Chrapaty oversaw the company’s transition from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to their own proprietary solution.
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OMGPOP was Zynga’s largest acquisition. Zynga acquired OMGPOP because their game Draw Something was a mobile sensation. Draw Something was beating Zynga’s game “Words With Friends” at the time of the acquisition. It turns out that Draw Something was at it’s peak at the time and has been in decline ever since. Now Zynga is re-investing in the game by releasing a sequel called Draw Something 2. American Idol host Ryan Seacrest even tweeted out a preview of the game:
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) March 18, 2013
Zynga has announced that they will be shutting down four of their offices. The offices are being shut down in Baltimore, Maryland; Austin, Texas; New York; and McKinney, Texas. The closings will lead to the loss of about 30 jobs and accounts for about 1% of their current workforce. Zynga’s employees in the downtown office will be moved to the offices in Dallas and North Austin. The employees in the New York office will be moved to their mobile studio.
Brett Ratner, the director of the Rush Hour series of movies, has joined Six Eleven Media to produce a TV series based on Zynga’s online game FarmVille. An animated TV series will be made about the farming simulation social networking game.
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