(click to enlarge)I have been awfully quiet on Zynga lately but I have got to say something. ZYNGA all these problems you have are all your own fault.
You have blatantly ignored your player base when it come to improvements to games, your coding of games is horrible as they always have issues, when your players numbers drop your answer is to add more content to keep them interested instead of dealing with the real game issues that are making them leave, you force the players to have massive amounts of friends to play games and get them in trouble with Facebook for over posting to get things done in game, you manipulate your player numbers, with Facebook's help, to make it look like you have a large number of people playing games when it is the same players who are playing other games of yours through cross game promotions to get virtual items for games they are really playing ( Not New Players ), you make comments bashing existing players, your customer service doesn't fix game issues they pay off players and hope they go away and forget game issues. The list can go on & on.
Lets go through each item above to prove a point;
- You Ignore Player Base on Game Improvements : You do not listen at all to your players on what game improvement they would like to see to make their playing experience better. Ok, you do have forums which they can tell you what they want but you ignore their ideas and basically their input and do what you want. Result: Players leave games and don't spend money.
- Your Coding of Games : When you come out with games or add features to the games they always have coding issues that make games unplayable. It takes outside script writers to make features work and yet you want to ban people for using them. You need to do beta testing with real players not developers so the bugs can be worked out before the game or feature is released to the players. You don't do this. Result : Players leave games and don't spend money.
- Your Player Base Drops, You Add More Content : This cracks me up. You think by adding more content you will increase player base. WRONG, the player base is dropping because there is too much content and not enough hours in their busy lives to do it all and your developers agree with this but upper management tells then to do it anyway. Result : Players leave games and don't spend money.
- Forcing Players To Have Massive Amounts of Friends For Games : Yes you do this. You make it so people cant play your games and be competitive with other unless they have alot of friends to get things done in the games. You in turn cut off you own nose to spite your face because you help get players accounts disabled by Facebook for adding to many friends or over posting requests to get help in game. Result : Players leave games and don't spend money.
- Customer Service Issues : Now this is a joke. A customer service department is supposed to help fix issues and make customers happy. Yes JD Powers even gives out awards to companies for this but you will never win it. You customer service department doesn't fix game issues well as they don't have access and ability to do so. So what happens they pay off players with game credits and virtual loot items and hope they go away. Result : Players leave games and don't spend money.
- Management Bashes Player Base Publicly : Yes you do this and it has been everywhere. Your leader Mark Pincus has flat out said he doesn't care about the cash cows in the game as there will be others to replace them. WRONG AGAIN !!! Look at your player base and in case you haven't noticed you aren't getting new players as a result. Result : Players leave games and don't spend money.
Now these are just a few issues there are other reasons why you are crashing & burning. Lets get to what investors are seeing and making them run away in droves.
- Too Many Insiders Selling Stock : Yes too many insiders are selling Zynga stock and that makes investors nervous. Sure alot know many were given massive amounts of stock options to work for you but it looks like everyone is selling including Mark Pincus the CEO and that make investors feel uneasy about companies and that is any company.
- You Player Base Numbers Are Skewed : Yes it looks like you are cooking the books here as the players know these numbers are way off by maybe 150 Million MAU. Why ? Because the people playing the games are finding that is harder to get help in the game as alot of people have quit playing your games, lots of people have multiple accounts for certain games so it looks like you have bigger numbers than you do, Facebook doesn't properly report the numbers and some games numbers never change for some times weeks on end ( Yes and Facebook did say they would prop your numbers up in your S1 ), They don't show how many are actually new players ( A player already playing Zynga games is not new, cross promotion players shouldn't count as that is very misleading to investors and advertisers ). So bottom-line is how many are actually new customers not someone already playing multiple games as they count as one customer in my book.
- Your Mobile Gaming Platform : It will never work as long as you are tied to Facebook and your games don't work properly. All your mobile apps have to be tied to Facebook the way you have company structured and even when you do open your own platform do you think people are gonna want to start games they already play all over again from beginning and lose all the money they have put into current games. Plus you don't have your own social network so again they will have to be tied to Facebook so players can get help and play game. So it will fail as no trusts you or them and the investors see this.
- You Don't Come Out With Original Games of Your Own : You never come out with exciting new games that are your own ideas. You always copy someone else's successful game or buy the company, change the coding and graphics and make it your own. People realize this and cant see how you are going to keep growing this way. You say you have the best programmers, graphic artists and developers but do they have imaginations to come up with something original. I know I haven't seen it and neither have the investors.
Look investors and players aren't stupid and they know what is wrong but Zynga you refuse to listen or maybe I should say Mark Pincus wont listen and correct things. So as long as you stay on this course you will die as a company. The time has come to change before you lose it all.
Zynga you still have a company here and your games are fun when they work and are not overloaded with content. Wake Up and smell the coffee already. You stock is already down to $2.95 a share as of close of market today, how much lower do you want it to go ? Or are you trying to get de-listed. Lord knows you have your hands full right now with all these new lawsuits against you for stock fraud, misrepresenting your numbers among other things. Do the right thing and turn this negative into a positive and run the company right before it is too late.Click to enlarge
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.