Nov

19

Forget Zynga’s Share Price – Social Gaming is Alive & Well!

Mark Stephens

Anyone taking a look at Zynga’s recent share price plummet might be forgiven for thinking that social gaming is taking a dip … executives at Nintendo were certainly hoping that’s the case!

While the name Zynga has become synonymous with social gaming on Facebook, the recent ‘bare harvest in Farmville’ for Zynga, is just a blip in what is still a growing and emerging area of gaming.

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Teething problems are part and parcel of any new phenomenon and let’s not forget that online social gaming has only really hit mass popularity since Facebook started attracting spotty teenagers all around the world a few years back and the sexy smartphone handsets hit the market…that’s not very long at all, in the great scheme of gaming things!

Zynga was a Hit – Now it takes a Hit

Those annoying invites to join your friends on Farmville – yeah, really annoying – but as a game developer you secretly wished that it was your game they were being invited to. And countless millions have flocked there, let’s face it.

By the middle of 2012, Zynga titles like Farmville, Chefville, Zynga Poker, Words with Friends and Bubble Safari had attracted over 300 million monthly active users.

The success of the company since it opened its doors in 2007 led it to being floated on the stock market at the end of last year. Its initial share price on NASDAQ was $10 and it quickly rose to over $14.50 shortly after.

However, that was as good as it got. Since then Zynga stock has lost most of its value – and it currently sits at under $2.30. Ouch.

Even its inherent strength in making popular games has begun to hit the rocks, with some of its newer titles not doing as well as hoped.

Life beyond Zynga

Despite the hits that the company has taken, the genre of online social gaming which it has led for so long, remains as strong as ever.

The number of quality social games being developed is increasing, not decreasing. As everything seems to be moving to mobile devices, it’s the nimble developers out there which will come out on top of the heap over the coming years; those who can change quickly with the times and the trends.

The right game designed for the mobile market of smartphones and tablets will still attract investors ready to write large cheques (or, rather, make large bank transfers – but that doesn’t sound as good!)

Another way to ensure ongoing success is to create an online social network of users rather than relying totally on appearing in Facebook feeds to get your game out there. This is something that a few of the larger competing game developers (like the Japanese company Gree) have been working on developing.

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Monkeybin Still Swinging in the Jungle of Social Gaming

Monkeybin’s first real “swing” in the jungle of social games was with our turn-based boardgame Mindfeud. We’ve made it available on iOS and Android devices and also on Facebook.

We’ve had so much fun developing and getting this game out there, and then watching the number of downloads multiply, that we will be doing it all over again in the future.

We may not be floated on NASDAQ anytime soon but we are doing what we love – and in the meantime building up a following and enjoying watching you folks play our games.