Zynga’s Withdrawl From U.S. Online Gaming Market Is A Lesson In Humility
While the confirmation of Zynga withdrawing from the U.S. online gambling market comes as no surprise, it is a reminder to all new startups of just how quick a gaming company can fall irrespective of how much hype and potential they have reportedly supposed to enjoy. Complacency and the inability to read gaming trends is exactly what up and coming social gaming wannabees will want to avoid.
The story of the world’s once undisputed social gaming company Zynga has taken many twists and turns since its IPO launch in December 2011. For anyone looking to see how volatile the world of social gaming can be then the test case of Zynga would be the ideal example. At the time of their IPO launch their share price was trading at $10. Currently they have lost about 70% of their initial IPO share price and are trading at around $3.61. For those thinking this is bad they dropped down to $2.75 in August.
The success of Zynga was short lived and there are many reasons why this happened in such a short space of time. Former CEO of Zynga, Mark Pincus admitted himself that one of their key failures was the fact that they did not focus enough resources into the mobile market which is now seen as an essential part of any gaming company looking to capture a loyal player base. Added to this is the fact that competition is rife thanks largely to a startup called Betable. For those not familiar with Betable, they have single handedly opened up the social gaming market up with their ability to help small gaming developers compete with the likes of Zynga in the real money gaming world.
In essence Betable have existing gaming licences in various parts of the globe. Any gaming developer looking to monetize their product need just use Betable services and they take care of all the logistic and legal requirements need to offer real money games. In the past this notion of converting free-to-play games into the real money thing was considered almost impossible as the costs and expertise needed were way out of reach for the majority of smaller gaming houses. As a result Betable has successfully partnered up with many social casino companies in the last year to offer real money gaming.
While Zynga were not too long ago keen to enter the U.S. online gambling market they have since announced through their newly appointed CEO Don Mattrick that they have abandoned the U.S. market in order to refocus on their core social gaming market. This was confirmed when they recently filed a request with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to withdraw their Nevada Interactive gambling services provider licence. They have decided to focus on the UK market for the foreseeable future.
Time will tell if Don Mattrick will succeed in returning Zynga’s mojo or they will continue to lose momentum in an increasingly more competitive field of the gaming and gambling worlds.