Last week Zynga (ZNGA) launched their real money poker and casino platforms in the U.K. through Bwin. While this alone may not generate overwhelming revenues, it is definitely a start to their mission of global expansion in the real money gambling industry. As Zynga has stated, the U.K. launch is a trial run, to test what works and what doesn't work and to get feedback from players. According to Zynga's Chief Revenue Office Barry Cottle "Our long term vision is to offer our players the next generation of real money games on multiple platforms in regulated markets worldwide". The potential of globalization through mobile and desktop platforms would have an enormous impact on revenues being generated.
Appdata just released last week's fastest growing Facebook games, and guess what - number one is Zynga Slots, number 2 is Zynga's third party game Playdemic's Village Life, and the third fastest growing game is Zynga's Word with Friends. This is the first week after Zynga and Facebook's new arrangement, which came into effect on April 1st. This information is especially comforting as Bears have been using the new relationship as a reason to be worried about revenue growth. Despite the fact that Zynga has lost its special treatment on Facebook whereas it must compete equally with other game companies, the fact that the top three gainers this week will generate revenue for Zynga should put an end to that conversation.
Third, is their mobile platform, Zynga recently launched Draw Something 2 in Sweden, as well as What's the Phrase globally through Apple's iOS only, these are two apps that I see as being blockbusters on the mobile platform. Once Zynga launches Draw Something 2 worldwide and introduces What's the Phrase to all the available mobile platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, and Windows they will surely be generating revenue. Not to mention that Draw Something was picked up by Ryan Seacrest's production company for a potential game show on CBS.
Now we all know that on paper, since the IPO, Zynga's shares have performed very poorly, and every other article out there reminds us of this, however what a lot of these articles fail to say, whether purposefully or not, is that Zynga is actually up 49% over the last 5 months and that's what is important right now. With these new revenue catalysts as well as their current financial position (1.5 billion dollars cash, share buyback plan, and a vow to cut costs) Zynga has a huge upside potential. Nothing can be done about the past performance of the stock nor should it be forgotten, but the fact that the stock has gained traction over the past 5 months and with these new steps that Zynga is taking, this should at least give some comfort to current stock holders who have taken a long position over the past few months as well as potential investors who decide to take a long position in the near future.