Analyst: Declining Zynga User Activity 'Extremely Troubling'

October 27, 2011 -

Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz says that the continued user decline in various Zynga games on Facebook is "extremely troubling."

"Three of the five recent launches ('Empires & Allies', 'Pioneer Trail', and 'Adventure World') have suffered 40%+ DAU drops off their post-launch peaks, while 'Mafia Wars 2', launched two weeks ago, is already showing signs of having peaked. We think the lack of user growth at Zynga - which is really a two-year old problem - could cause issues ahead of a potential IPO in November, particularly given an expected rich valuation," he said.

Of course Facebook recently changed the way it counts Daily and Monthly Active users, so that is changing the number of users dramatically - at least in the last couple of weeks. Still, even new titles aren't helping to stop the player drop off on Zynga's games. As Creutz points out, newer games are "largely cannibalizing users from old titles, and failing to attract new users to Zynga’s portfolio."

Creutz goes into detail on why user drop-off may prove to be a serious problem for Zynga - particularly because the company is moving towards going public soon:

"At least as disturbing has been the degree to which new launches have begun rolling over almost immediately after the initial launch. Three of the five games (Empires & Allies, Pioneer Trail, and Adventure World) are already down more than 40% from peak DAU levels. Mafia Wars 2 hit a DAU peak 8 days after launch and has gone sideways for the last week; while it is very early in the game’s lifecycle, we view this as a bad sign, particularly given that Empires & Allies, Pioneer Trail, and Adventure World hit peak levels between 5 and 18 days after the initial launch. Only Words With Friends has enjoyed sustained DAU growth (and we note that this was a Facebook port of a popular mobile game that Zynga acquired, i.e. not developed internally at Zynga). In sum, we view the user trends at Zynga as extremely troubling given the apparent lack of organic growth, particularly in front of an IPO that continues to be talked about at rich valuations in the $10B range."

Source: IndustryGamers


Comments

Re: Analyst: Declining Zynga User Activity 'Extremely Troubling'

I've been told that Facebook Gaming is mainly an American thing?

Re: Analyst: Declining Zynga User Activity 'Extremely Troubling'

This is where investors take missteps. They look at a company like Zygna with out understanding deeply the industry they are in and the product they sell. Zygna games have largely been ripped off, simple games that keep people hooked with skinner box tricks and nothing else. They are not the kinds of games that keep people coming back for more.

Online, mobile, and free to play games are seeing a huge explosion with a lot of developers and publishers putting out games of MUCH higher quality that what Zygna currently offers. Unless Zygna can hire some talented developers they are going to be a foot note in gaming history.

Re: Analyst: Declining Zynga User Activity 'Extremely Troubling'

"Troubling"?  It's fantastic news for fans of real games.

Re: Analyst: Declining Zynga User Activity 'Extremely Troubling'

The only group of people which it would be troubling for would be those that didn't see the Zynga style "game" bubble popping anytime soon.  If anything, I'm surprised that it didn't pop sooner due to the semi recession.

Though, the consoles and PCs did see one released recently called Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures.  You'll need at least 40 bucks on top of the 70 bucks for 2 more levels, plus any other extra figures (8 a pop) to cover any element holes that are in the 20 buck 3 figure + Level pack.  And from what I've heard, it gets pretty arm twisty in letting you know that you need moar figures just like it gets pretty arm twisty in some Ville games (Frontierville I've seen it happen in) saying you need moar friends  for things

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
 

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