Zynga's Core Business Continues To Implode

| About: Zynga (ZNGA)
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It's been two months since my previous article warning about the dire situation Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was in then and since that time its core business of social games via the Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) platform has only gone from bad to worse as the monthly average users (MAU) and daily average users (DAU) continues to implode at an alarming rate. At the time I wrote the article ZNGA was sporting a $2.7 billion market cap and in the two months since that time, $1 billion in market cap has been lopped off. Not surprisingly, its arch-nemesis Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), for comparison, has managed to hold its ground during that time severely outperforming ZNGA.

In this article I will detail the top 5 games of Zynga two months ago according to appdata.com and what's happened to them since that time. As detailed in Zynga's most recent 10Q filing, their top 3 to 5 games can be anywhere from 50% to 80% of the entire company's revenues so it's important to pay close attention to how their most popular core games perform over time, especially when they start imploding in popularity over short periods. Below is a sample of data I collected on various days for each of the top 5 Zynga games starting at September 22, 2012 and their respective traffic since.


09-22 55.5 mil 6.6 mil
09-30 50.2 mil 4.9 mil
10-14 35.0 mil 4.4 mil
10-24 28.2 mil 4.1 mil
11-18 23.7 mil 3.8 mil

As one can immediately see, Zynga's number one star just two months ago, which was already in somewhat of a premature tailspin, has continued its death drop. Monthly users decline has fallen by 31.8 million or 57% in just two months while average daily users has fallen 2.8 million or 42%.


09-22 43.6 mil 2.9 mil
09-30 53.0 mil 2.1 mil
10-14 30.1 mil 1.8 mil
10-24 23.4 mil 1.8 mil
11-18 19.2 mil 1.5 mil

Slingo's two month performance has been another disaster. A 24.4 million drop in average monthly users represents a cut of more than half. Daily average users faired not much better with a 1.4 million drop which likewise is being almost sliced in half.


09-22 36.3 mil 6.9 mil
09-30 39.3 mil 6.7 mil
10-14 38.5 mil 6.2 mil
10-24 35.8 mil 6.2 mil
11-18 33.8 mil 6.3 mil

Although this one showed declines as well, this game appears to have the most staying power and consistency compared to the others though it's not difficult to beat their terrible performance of the other four games. Monthly users "only" dropped off around 7%; daily users "only" shed about 9%. For a company who's core business is imploding, sadly, 7% and 9% drops in 2 months is actually somewhat good news. They should still be able to pull in a few bucks of gross profit for the months ahead, albeit at a declining rate no doubt.


09-22 30.4 mil 4.6 mil
09-30 30.3 mil 4.0 mil
10-14 28.7 mil 3.5 mil
10-24 26.4 mil 3.5 mil
11-18 24.6 mil 2.9 mil

Bubble Safari is yet another losing ground fast with 5.8 million monthly users or 19% dropping off, and, perhaps more telling of its own "bubble" getting burst, is its daily average users -- a dreadful 1.7 million decline or 37%, a far quicker rate drop by percentage than its monthly user base which suggests its core "regulars" are abandoning ship which is especially concerning since it's these regulars that tend to monetize the most effectively.


09-22 30.2 mil 2.9 mil
09-30 24.4 mil 2.1 mil
10-14 20.2 mil 1.7 mil
10-24 17.1 mil 1.5 mil
11-18 11.1 mil 0.9 mil

Wow this is bad -- 63% of their average monthly user base just disappeared. Daily is even worse with 69% now gone. Don't be surprised if they take the Ville completely off line early next year as the cost of maintaining it gets too expensive to support their tiny and shrinking user base left.

Clearly Zynga's core business is in trouble. The games clearly have less and less staying power shortly after launch. With its core business imploding, will Zynga even be able to survive over time, and is this business model simply broken? Facebook shareholders should also be concerned considering how large of a percentage of their revenues are derived from Zynga.

All this said, perhaps if they are successful outside the current core business and create a new core business to replace the one that's dependent on Facebook, they could reverse the imploding trend. I wouldn't hold my breath though

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.