Zynga’s Wake: Does The Venture Model Make Sense For Gaming Anymore?


Just about eight weeks ago or so, I was on a call with Zynga’s COO David Ko following the company’s first quarter earnings report. Zynga was trying to manage expectations for the coming two quarters by saying it had paused its game slate to re-evaluate every upcoming title on the table.

I can’t remember the exact question I asked, but it was something like, “Finland’s Supercell made $104 million in profit on a headcount of 100 last quarter while you made $4 million in net income with roughly 3,000 people. Does your headcount and structure make sense?”

Ko, who has a reputation as a savvy operator and is very media-trained, dodged the question saying, “We’re the biggest believers in social gaming across all platforms. This year, we will measure our progress by our ability to bring existing franchises to mobile while maintaining profitability.”

However, even if some Zynga…

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