Drought Hits FarmVille: Zynga reports losses, lashes out at Facebook

drought hits farmville zynga reports massive losses lashes out at facebook farmvile 2 stock falls

It would appear that widespread drought isn’t just affecting the corn and soy farmers of the United States this summer. San Francisco-based developer Zynga—the face of the nascent social gaming industry thanks to the runaway success of games like FarmVille, CityVille, and Mafia Wars—has reported massive losses for the June quarter. Worse still, the company has lashed back at Facebook, the social network it shares a crucial symbiotic relationship with.

Shares in Zynga dropped more than 38% on Wednesday, crumpling to just above $3 per share after the company reported a net loss of nearly $23 million for the April to June quarter. Even as the company’s daily active user base increased year-on-year by 23 percent to 72 million and monthly active users great 34 percent to 306 million over the same period, the company still bled money. Revenues grew 19 percent, but Zynga’s rapid expansion still led to that critical net loss that shook shareholder confidence in the company.

What happened? A couple of things. First was the implosion of Draw Something. Few games exemplify the perilous nature of booming social and mobile games. Omgpop’s game boomed at the beginning of the year, racking up 50 million downloads by the end of the March, leading Zynga to buy up the studio and Draw Something for a cool $210 million. As soon as the check was signed, no one was interested in playing Draw Something anymore. Users abandoned the game, causing the advertising revenue generated by the game to shrivel and make it worthless to Zynga.

The other problem is Facebook itself. Facebook and Zynga need one another to survive and thrive as they have been in recent years. In fact, when Facebook revealed the details of its initial public offering, it revealed that 12 percent of its total revenue last year was generated by Zynga’s video games. Zynga meanwhile is blaming social network for its poor performance over the last quarter. “Facebook made a number of changes in the quarter,” John Schappert, chief operating officer at Zynga, told Eurogamer, “These changes favored new games. Our users did not remain as engaged and not come back as often.”

Schappert’s statements don’t jive with reported user growth though and industry analysts like Michael Pachter are mystified by the company’s performance. “Why did they do so badly? I wish I knew,” Pachter told the Christian Science Monitor.

Zynga will just have to do what every farmer is doing this summer: Pray for rain.

Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Gaming

Epic Games is launching a competitor to Steam, but can it dethrone the king?

Epic Games is launching its own competitor to Steam, initially for PC and Mac. The platform will offer an 88 percent revenue share to developers, and players can directly support their favorite video creators.
Gaming

Take-Two Interactive takes down another ‘GTA Online’ modder, seeks $150K

Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have filed a lawsuit against the GTA Online modder behind the software named Elusive. The publisher is continuing its crackdown against GTA Online mods.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.
Deals

Miss Black Friday but still need an Xbox? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Gaming

The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.
Gaming

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Gaming

Bundle up for the huge ‘Monster Hunter: World’ expansion coming in 2019

Monster Hunter: World is getting a major expansion in fall 2019 called Iceborne. The expansion will be similar in scope as the Ultimate versions of previous Monster Hunter games, featuring new quests, monsters, weapons, and armor.
Gaming

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.
Deals

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.