- Last Updated: 12:50 PM, June 27, 2012
- Posted: 12:56 AM, June 27, 2012
Zynga’s “Unleashed” conference was pretty tame.
The social gaming company failed to inspire Wall Street yesterday when it unveiled a series of new games and upgrades as shares plunged nearly 5 percent, erasing gains ahead of the event.
It was the second annual Zynga Unleashed and the company announced new partnerships with third-party developers, who can piggyback on its platform to launch games.
Also, Zynga built up its own social network for gamers — Zynga With Friends — who can now play with each other across devices and platforms. For instance, a mobile-phone user can challenge a desktop user in games like “Words With Friends.”
Still, the event reminded investors of one of Zynga’s weak spots: the continual need to churn out hits, a risky wild card as hit games can come from unknown developers, and past results are no guarantee of success.
“The way they will differentiate is largely through games that people like, which reinforces the message that the business remains a hit-driven one,” said Ken Sena, an Evercore Partners analyst.
When Zynga hasn’t been able to create fan favorites, it buys them, as it did with OMGPOP’s “Draw Something.” Zynga bought the New York City developer earlier this year for about $200 million, and since the purchase the hit title has cooled off. “The message we heard yesterday is that mobile is very competitive,” Sena said.
Zynga turned to its classic Ville brand to reinvigorate its gaming catalog and introduced “The Ville,” “ChefVille” and teased its upcoming “FarmVille 2.” Zynga shares fell 30 cents to $5.76 in Nasdaq trading.