Facebook Is Going To Buy Zynga, Duh.

I don’t own Zynga. I haven’t told any clients to buy Zynga. And, I’m terribly delinquent in all of my Words with Friends games.

But when I see something like this juicy stat pass by on Twitter — and from Kara Swisher no less, I can’t help but think: why wouldn’t Facebook buy Zynga? What’s the downside? Antitrust holdup? Hardly. No game makers are going to want to work with Facebook as a result? Really? 

So, why not take that infrastructure & improve margins on 15% of your revenue, pretty much instantly? Especially before Facebook Credits effort takes hold? Am I missing something here?

Kara Swisher, All Things D:

In the first quarter, Facebook said Zynga made up 15 percent of the social network’s revenue, from both advertising and the sale of virtual goods. In comparison, Facebook estimated Zynga contributed 19 percent of its revenues for all of 2011.

As it stands today, the two companies are an inseparable pair. Zynga is Facebook’s largest partner and Facebook is where Zynga attracts most of its user base.

Facebook is able to generate revenue from Zynga three ways: Processing fees generated from the sale of virtual goods using Facebook Credits; third-party advertising on pages generated by Zynga’s games; and direct advertising from Zynga.

On the surface, it looks like Facebook is becoming less reliant upon Zynga. But Facebook did not explain why Zynga’s portion of the pie fell this quarter, and it’s hard to compare one quarter to a full year of results.

Facebook did warn that Zynga recently launched games on its own Web site, and that it could choose to try to migrate users from Facebook to its own platform. “We may fail to maintain good relations with Zynga or Zynga may decide to reduce or cease its investments in games on the Facebook Platform. If the use of Zynga games on our Platform declines for these or other reasons, our financial results may be adversely affected,” Facebook wrote in its update IPO filing. 

Source: All Things D, WSJ



2 thoughts on “Facebook Is Going To Buy Zynga, Duh.

  1. Games R Srs Bsns

    The thing you’re missing is that the 15% of revenue is very replaceable. With Zynga unable to replace “hit” titles in time to offset user attrition, and with other products replacing Zynga games quickly (and unpredictably – this is a market with low production times, costs and barriers to entry), it would be a bad time to buy Zynga.

    Essentially – the market is fragmented and rapidly changing. So buying Zynga wouldn’t create long-term value.
    I’ve written a bit on how Zynga might try to protect their market-leading position, but I suspect the way they’re going about it at the moment (buying “hits” at peak popularity) is misguided. And I’m certainly not the only analyst to see it that way.

  2. iheartWallSt

    I don’t think 15% of their revenue is as plug and play as you. To me, there’s a huge chasm between Zynga at #1 and the others. And if the stock keeps dropping, there could be value for sure.

    I personally think both are headed to the scrap heap at some point, believe it or not. Facebook will eventually become too polluted with games, and credits, and apps for me to care. I also think they’re both a bit sleazy, so in that sense it would probably be a good marriage. 

    I’m not saying I’m right. And I’m actually stoked you’re commenting — I want people to challenge and add to my thoughts. And, I’m going to read some of your work tonight. Cheers!

Comments are closed.