Even as Zynga is striving to prove that it is a strong competitor in the mobile space, announcing today that 22 million daily active users are on mobile devices, their share continue to feel the strain of investors that are just not happy with the results.
Zynga already attracts more than 53 million daily active users on Facebook and took time today to announce new partners program that will let third-party developers reach its network -- this includes gaming companies Atari, Phosphor Games, and Crash Lab.
Zynga has been scrambling to prove that it has strength beyond its dominance on Facebook by creating its own solely-gaming platform Zynga.com and acquiring the runaway hit Draw Something. But entering the mobile world has been a bit of a challenge for the company that cut its teeth on the flash-centric and detailed world-creating games that end in the suffix -ville.
Companies that have been testing the waters with a fair deal of success are GREE and DeNA.
Zynga is also expanding its -ville games with the announced arrival of ChefVille, a restaurant world, The Ville (a Sim's-looking offering) and FarmVille 2, the 3-D sequel to Zynga's signature title.
The new title, The Ville, seems like the most grown-up version of CityVille, where you level up a relationship by interacting with characters -- with the possibility of getting romantic. That's right people, I am conjuring up the 1960s game show host to say that The Ville lets you "make whoopee." When you do so, the two characters start to disrobe on-screen and then the bed gets covered, briefly, with little floating hearts (presumably so that you don't see their virtual naughty bits).
The game is not age-restricted, but you have to be at least 13 to have a Facebook account and access the game -- and there are no virtual babies to worry about as a consequence.
Despite this clear move to grow and expand its offerings, Zynga lost daily-active users for two of its titles in May -- Hidden Chronicles lost 1.8 million daily-active users, to 3.3 million (35%), and CityVille lost 1.7 million to 4.5 million (27%). I must admit that I was one of the people that it lost on both of these games -- they just lost my attention and interest after a few weeks of play.
Bubble Safari, however, added 5.7 million daily-active users in its first four weeks on the market.
As a result of the waining love that people are showing the company and the lackluster Facebook IPO, Zynga shares (NASDAQ:ZNGA) have slipped more than 30% since May and dropped 9% in trading even after the mobile numbers, partnerships and new game announcements today.
Shares were up early in the morning and was trading over $6.25, but closed out the day at $5.76.
Perhaps investors aren't going to let up until Zynga gets deep into the casino gaming trends that many VCs are buzzing about.