mobile games

Can Zynga wean itself off Facebook fast enough?

After a rocky start, Facebook’s life as a publicly-traded company has settled down a bit. Despite healthy skepticism about its prospects in light of a $100bn valuation, its stock price has stabilised (for now) while industry observers and investors are taking stock of its actual — not hypothetical — business.

But one of Facebook’s best friends, social gaming giant Zynga, hasn’t been so fortunate. Today, its stock plunged to under $5, its lowest level since the company went public last year.

The cloud: where your games go to die?

For consumers, the cloud’s appeal is hard-to-resist.

From music to documents to applications, and everything in between, the ability to access our ‘stuff’ anywhere we go on any device is an extremely attractive proposition.

Until it isn’t.

Zynga reports record revenue in Q1, but big loss

Social gaming on Facebook may be past its prime, but don’t tell social gaming juggernaut Zynga that casual gaming is.

The company, which went public late last year, yesterday reported $321m in revenue in the first quarter of 2012 — its highest quarterly revenue figure ever. All told, bookings rose to $329m, up 15% year-over-year, while the $321m in revenue represented a more impressive 32% year-over-year increase.

Has social gaming on Facebook peaked?

One of the biggest drivers of Facebook’s success has arguably been the rise of social gaming.

From Mafia Wars to Farmville, Facebook’s platform has become a virtual gaming console of sorts for millions upon millions of consumers, creating a multi-billion dollar virtual currency opportunity for Facebook that it’s exploiting with Facebook Credits.

Relationship building key to in-app purchases

Mobile in-app purchases are expected to hit $4.8bn by 2016, and increasingly they’re key to the monetization models mobile app developers and app store operators are employing to keep themselves well fed.

But the dollar signs are somewhat deceptive. Profiting from in-app purchases is a lot more difficult than just enabling in-app purchases, and not all developers will implement the model successfully.

So what’s the secret to success?