Zynga today held its annual stockholders meeting in San Francisco, which heavily focused on the game company’s real-money gaming efforts, an anonymous shareholder told PandoDaily.
Zynga’s shareholder meeting comes one day after the company just laid off 18 percent of its staff (520 employees) and shut down three of its offices — Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York — including Omgpop‘s office. (more…)
As part yesterday’s staff purging at Zynga, which saw 520 employees lose their jobs, in other words 18 percent of its staff, Zynga shut down Draw Something developer Omgpop’s office, according to a report from The Verge.
Along with the layoffs, Zynga shut down its Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York offices. But, Zynga New York does include Omgpop, and now former Omgpop employees are making it public on Twitter that they are out of jobs. (more…)
Game developer 5th Planet Games today launched Dawn of the Dragons for Android in North America (and worldwide later this week). The social MMO has come along way for the indie developer who first launched the title on Facebook back in May 2010, and later released for Kongregate and Armor Games.
We first heard about Dawn of Dragons flying its way to mobile for iOS in January, and then the game hit the Apple App Store weeks later in February (review). Chief mobile officer Rob Carroll told us that there’s no differences between the iOS and Android versions, but users can play simultaneously with other players on either platform. As for cross-platform play between the mobile offerings and the web-based versions, 5th Planet Games decided to not let the mobile and web versions talk to each other due to the game being developed in Adobe Air and to allow the mobile version to have its own exclusive content. Carroll also adds the Android port was published in partnership with 5th Planet Games by an unnamed publisher (the studio will announce details about the publisher soon). (more…)
Zynga today let go 18 percent of its employees (approximately 520 people) after shutting down its Los Angeles, Dallas and New York City studios. The studios that were shut down was first reported by AllThingsD. A small portion of the 18 percent were let go from Zynga’s Los Angeles office, which saw 55 employees losing their jobs, according to a tweet from an artist at the Los Angeles studio. Empires & Allies, the first game for Facebook from the Los Angeles studio, will be shut down on June 17.The layoffs and cost cuts will be completed by August.
According to a release from Zynga, the move will result in an estimated $70 million to $80 million in pre-tax annualized cash expense savings.
In February, Zynga closed it’s Baltimore studio as well as relocated its Mckinney, Texas and downtown Austin offices to its Dallas and North Austin Offices. The New York City offices saw consolidation as well, with the staff moving to the New York City mobile studio before being completely shut down today. In October 2012, Zynga laid off more than 100 employees, axing employees from its Chicago office, while completely closing down its Boston office. (more…)
Today’s Q&A is with Barcelona-based mobile-social game developer Social Point.
Inside Mobile Apps: Could you talk about the importance of nailing cross-platform gameplay such as allowing users to pick up and play where they left off on either platform?
Andrés Bou, Social Point co-founder and co-CEO (pictured left with co-founder and co-CEO Horacio Martos): Offering a full cross-platform experience has been a core strategy of Social Point this year. With access through both Facebook and mobile, our users are able to play the same game wherever they are, without missing a beat. Dragon City players can now enjoy the game from their phones, when they are commuting to work, at their offices or back home on their tablets, curled up on the sofa.
From a business point of view, giving users the opportunity to play on multiple platforms increases their time spent in the game and the likelihood that they come back every day. Retention (and proportionally monetization) increases significantly.
Additionally, we value the social component that Facebook integration offers because it’s closely linked to our company’s philosophy.
Read the complete interview on our sister site, Inside Mobile Apps.
The London-based game studio behind Candy Crush Saga today announced that it’s launching Pet Rescue Saga on iOS and Android early this summer, while also revealing that it has more than 70 million daily active users (DAU) across all platforms — mobile, Facebook and web.
Pet Rescue Saga, which first launched on Facebook in October 2012, joins Candy Crush Saga and Bubble Witch Saga as the third mobile title from the U.K. company. Pet Rescue Saga is a match-3 puzzler in the same vein as the mega popular Candy Crush Saga. The title will launch with more than 72 levels, providing cross-platform gameplay across mobile and Facebook, meaning a user’s game state including their leaderboards, scores and progress remain synchronized. Cross-platform play has been a feature that has shown to be very successful for King’s mobile games so far. Pet Rescue Saga for mobile was developed by King’s Malmo studio.
King’s 70 DAU is significant because it topped Zynga’s 52 million DAU, which it announced during its latest earnings call. When comparing the companies, King is a private company with 450 employees, while on the other hand, Zynga is a public company with a much larger workforce. (more…)
Gameloft yesterday released its earnings for Q1 2013. The French mobile game developer achieved sales of €54.2 million ($70.1 million), up 21 percent over the same quarter a year ago.
Smartphone and tablet revenues increased by 71 percent year-over-year, representing 60 percent of total group sales compared with 43 percent in Q1 2012.
Gameloft attributes its fast growth to the success of the free-to-play model. The company adds that more than 67 percent of its smartphone sales came from in-app purchases and ad revenues in Q1. In terms of which games performed well in the quarter, Gameloft says older titles from as far back as 2011 and 2012 like Dungeon Hunter 4: Zero Hour, World at Arms, My Little Pony, Ice Age Village, Order & Chaos Online, Gangstar Rio: City of Saints and Asphalt 7: Heat, have largely contributed to the company’s strong performance in the first quarter.
Gameloft hopes three recently released titles in the past few weeks including Dungeon Hunter 4, Iron Man 3 and Order & Chaos Duels, help grow sales in future quarters. Gameloft claims Iron Man 3 was the most downloaded game worldwide on the iOS after it was launched. Future releases include Gangstar Vegas, Despicable Me and Uno & Friends.
Gameloft didn’t provide an earnings forecast for Q2 2013. Gameloft’s share price closed today at €5.29 ($6.84), up 0.95 percent.
Mobile-social gaming giant GREE today reported 37.9 billion yen ($370.9 million) in revenue and 10.8 billion yen ($105.7 million) in operating profit for the third quarter of 2013, a quarter-over-quarter decline of both sales and profits. Sales fell 4 percent and profits 24 percent. Year-over-year, revenues are down 18 percent from 46.2 billion yen ($452.1 million) in Q3 2012 and operating profit dipped by 56 percent from 24.5 billion yen ($239.7 million).
The Japanese company, which was established in 2004, also posted an “extraordinary” loss of 4.03 billion yen (39.4 million) on one-time write-off of assets related to some titles. The loss was part of GREE’s plans to shift growth strategy to “selection” and “concentration”, where it will streamline its portfolio of core titles. Card battle titles from Pokelabo, the Japanese game studio GREE acquired in October 2012, are performing well for GREE. Three of the top 25 grossing iOS apps in Japan include Guardian Battle of Glory at No. 7, Sword of Phantasia at No. 10 and Clan Battle of Fate at No. 25. GREE also plans to share its successful Android lessons with Pokelabo, while Pokelabo plans to do the same for GREE with iOS lessons. (more…)
Japanese mobile-social gaming juggernaut GREE recently laid off around 30 employees from its San Francisco office, according to GameIndustry International.
“We have recently aligned GREE’s U.S. studio to focus on creating the next generation of mobile social games,” said Anil Dharni, chief operating officer of GREE, in an official statement. “This shift in focus has been clearly demonstrated by the success and growth of our games. As part of ensuring that we are operating as efficiently as possible, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our work force. The employees leaving today have made great contributions to our success and we wish them all the best.”
In December 2012, GREE restructured its company, letting go 25 people, mostly from GREE’s social networking platform OpenFeint team. GREE announced the closing of OpenFeint a month prior to the layoffs. GREE acquired OpenFeint in April 2011 for $104 million as part of the Japanese company’s efforts to expand into Western markets.
Stay tuned to Inside Mobile Apps for GREE’s Q3 2013 earnings tomorrow.
Japanese mobile-social gaming juggernaut DeNA today reported 52.3 billion yen (approximately $528 million) in revenue for its fourth quarter of 2013, a 22 percent increase year-over-year, while operating profit rose 3 percent from the same quarter of the previous year to 18.2 billion yen ($184 million). For the 2012 fiscal year, the company set a new earnings records with revenues of 202.5 billion yen ($2.04 billion) and 76.8 billion yen ($775 million) in operating profit, up 38 and 28 percent respectively.
“DeNA’s full-year revenues and operating profits increased for the ninth consecutive year, representing growth every year since the company went public,” said Isao Moriyasu, President and CEO of DeNA, in a statement. “We will continue to pursue aggressive growth worldwide for our mobile internet business, especially in the mobile-social games sector.” (more…)