Zynga bringing FarmVille 2 to mobile, pushing onto the platform with new IP
“We’re both bringing existing major franchises like FarmVille 2 to mobile and launching new potential franchises in multiple categories, ” Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said today during the company’s Q4 2012 earning call.
Pincus emphasized the importance of the mobile platform for the future of the social game developer, and said that shifting to a “mobile first focus” is its top priority for 2013.
During the call Pincus also reiterated several times that last year Zynga had only 20 people working on mobile products, whereas now more of the team is working on mobile than web.
Pincus believes Zynga is well positioned to lead in the mobile space, citing its current 72 million mobile players, its network, talent, and the popularity of its existing franchises. In addition, Pincus noted mobile players spend more time in mobile Zynga games then they do on the offerings from the next five most popular mobile developers combined.
Pincus also said that one specific goal for mobile in 2013 is to help players better connect with each other. As an example, Pincus cited how most Words With Friends players on mobile who want to play with other players end up using the random matchmaking option. One reason Zynga’s games become so popular is that your Facebook friends don’t need to download an app to see you interact with a game or for you to invite them to join you.
In 2013, it seems, Zynga will attempt to achieve the same kind of “social liquidity” on mobile.
“Push notifications are the most important channel on your mobile phone,” Pincus said. “If you started playing and your friends didn’t have the game, the notification will have to go through another channel. We’re excited to give you interesting people that you can play with right now. I believe on mobile it will matter even more than it does on PC.”
Words With Friends, Zynga’s most popular mobile game, grew by 13 percent in Q4 2012. Mobile also now accounts for 21 percent of Zynga’s booking, up 8 percent from last year.