Electronic Arts: "Zynga blew it"

Frank Gibeau says FarmVille studio "fell into a hole" because the company was focused entirely on one platform: Facebook.

The reason social game company Zynga is struggling is due to its reliance on just one platform: Facebook.

That's the opinion of Electronic Arts mobile head Frank Gibeau, who spoke bluntly about the company's outlook with The New York Times recently.

"Zynga blew it. They're not a mobile business," Gibeau said when asked about Zynga cofounder Mark Pincus' belief that in the future, the majority of people would play games all the time.

"We're six or seven times their size in mobile. Zynga fell into a hole because they were completely focused on one platform, which is Facebook," he added.

Zynga now operates its own platform, outside of Facebook, through Zynga.com. A company representative was not immediately available to address Gibeau's comments.

EA has moved away from the social networking site of late, closing some of its biggest Facebook games recently, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society.

"We saw all the Facebook users going to smartphones. You can't play a game on Facebook on a phone," Gibeau said. "Coupled with that was the fact that customer acquisition costs were on a straight line up."

Some of EA's most pronounced revenue growth of late has come from its mobile sector, because "every smartphone, every tablet, is a gaming-enabled device," Gibeau said.

EA will report earnings for its fiscal second quarter on October 29 where more information on the company's outlook for its digital and packaged businesses will be discussed.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

135 comments
Hurvl
Hurvl

Zynga isn't dead yet and neither is facebook, but it's never good to put all virtual eggs (gathered playing Farmville) in one social network basket. If only Zynga had been equally evil as EA, they might have been in a better state now, hehe.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Oh hush EA. Remember who was named worst company in America two years in a row though next year Zynga might win that honor. lol 

crushbrain
crushbrain

Farmville fell into a hole because all the grandma's stopped playing it because it is gimmicky. Everyone else stopped playing because they realized they were paying real money for cartoon bitmaps (substantial money, sometimes $15 or more per cartoon pixel map) and eventually made the rational consumer decision to stop paying real money for no real value.

Fia1
Fia1

dont kill my farmville please :(

jophy
jophy

must listen to EA, the most money hungry gaming company. anything that does not generate enough revenue, ditch it. any dev successful? buy them and milk the shit out of their games

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

This is coming from a Company that somehow has managed to earn the title "Worst Company of America" twice!

Samparksh
Samparksh

Coming from the makers of SimCity.Irony at it's heights.

Samparksh
Samparksh

I disagree with EA.It's just that Zynga didn't make smart decisions and all that jazz.Otherwise,being focussed on one platform isn't a bad thing.Zynga,now give EA a fight for their bucks.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Their most popular game: Farmville is just a ripoff of Farm Town.  I hope these talentless hacks go under. 

selenamki
selenamki

Make fun of me all you want, but I like playing Facebook games...and so do a lot of other people.  But then EA closed Pet Society and taught me that your favorite game there could be taken away at any time based on a corporate whim.  So I #boycottEA and have lost my enthusiasm for playing any new games there.  I have a few mobile game, but I prefer Facebook, PC and console games. So good luck EA with mobile games -- not!  PS I'll be voting to give you the Golden Poo a 3rd year in a row.

Master_Turismo
Master_Turismo

Honesty it might do the world a favor if both companies jump over a bridge and sink.

ewjiml
ewjiml

I'm sorry.  I thought it said "Zynga blows Electronic Arts."   Makes sense, since both companies love plagiarizing each others mobile games.  The Sims....The Ville....

picho86
picho86

Right... Zynga are stupid because they AREN'T focusing on mobiles... Silly games that make you cover most of the screen with your fingers in order to play are the future!

Actually I'd be glad if they'd left real gaming. I really don't need that company ruining everything that is good in gaming.

Sarg1010
Sarg1010

"Zynga blew it"

"Our microtransactions policies will be WAY better than theirs! Just you wait!"

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

I've already said many times that companies like Kixeye need to get off of facebook, pay to win and that shitty Flash based programming and get into the real business of a Steam based title with a purpose built engine. The programming they have in games like Battle Pirates is ugly, pay to win and broken.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

The majority of companies are wrong nowadays, they keep making games for devices that nobody wants anymore, like consoles and pcs, it's clearly that Iphone and Ipad are the way to go.

DuaneDog
DuaneDog

One more thing... Zynga is total fail not because of Facebook. They are fail because they balls out copy any idea that has a hint of success with absolutely no shame. No other game developer I've seen is just so blatantly Xeroxing designs down to even using the same RGB values for the colors. I loathe that company. EA are freaking creative geniuses next to Zynga's band of Facebook hacks.

DuaneDog
DuaneDog

"A majority of people will play games ALL the time".... I'm a hardcore gamer, and play as much as perhaps any lifestyle will allow. Perhaps 45-60 hours a week when I don't have serious work. But most weeks I'm still probably getting in about 20 hours.  And yet that is still not "All the time".  The belief that a majority of people will one day play games "all the time" is a poor position to making decisions from. People are going to be bombarded with tons of entertainment choices and games will not be part of all of them.

pip3dream
pip3dream

Say what you want about EA, but they know how to run a business that makes filthy shit loads of money, with emphasis on the filthy.

ACMC85
ACMC85

LOL, sure it's because they stuck to a platform. Not because management was incompetent, sadly on the other hand I am not rich and these jerks are,

cirugo
cirugo

Yeah, says EA as they jump on the latest bandwagon...


AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

And people bought shares in that company based on gimmicky facebooks games. Fools.

I mean is there a more creatively bankrupt company than Zynga.

karnis
karnis

zynga games sucks let them go under

Kjranu
Kjranu

Business darwinism sucks but it's what keeps us moving. Zygna, either evolve or get out of here! 

toddx77
toddx77

Zynga listen to EA. They know all about blowing things.  Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3 ending. always online DRM for SimCity lol.

allever
allever

Things just don't seem to go right for Zynga, when the World Most Hated Company (and in a hole of it's own) Electronic Arts,  calls you out. R.I.P Zynga -- your demise is coming.  Hopefully, EA's demise will follow.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

They had a business model that wasn't sustainable.  Each one of their big hits at most has a shelf life of 3 months... and once you play one Zynga game, you might as well have played them all.  Yes, they caught fire with games like FarmVille, but they clearly had no plans to follow it... just regurgitation of the same basic model meanwhile expanding their business tremendously as if they thought that would sustain them for years to come.  Their audience is ENTIRELY comprised of casual gamers who are only interested in the next hot game that's absolutely spamming their news feeds and friend updates.  You cannot build a huge business with an audience that is that fickle... it's unreliable income.

matics27
matics27

EA giving advice to other companies....oh the Irony.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

We don't need the Worst Company in America telling us how much the second worst company in America sucks.  We know.

GLOK1132
GLOK1132

Is Don Matrick going to get fired... again?

Hurvl
Hurvl

@soulless4now Everyone keep bringing that up, while conveniently disregarding the fact that internet polls can often become swarmed by rabid fanboys with no sense and nothing better to do than to hate on a gaming company. Let's forget about all the other companies that did real harm, because EA is an evil gaming company.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@crushbrain I had a facebook friend that played Farmville and would occasionally get "invites" or status updates about giving stuff to her in-game. I asked about the gameplay and it was just clicking on stuff and something happened if you waited long enough. To think that people payed real money for a game like that - inconceivable!

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Jawehawk-DK That award has about as much merit as when Guiness World Records did an internet poll about the best video game ending and the most popular game that year, Black Ops, won. Yeah, the most *popular* game won and would have won any other poll no matter what it was about, because internet polls often deteriorate into popularity contests, or hate festivals in the case of EA.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Master_Turismo EA owns many good companies and IP's, Zynga only makes casual games like Farmville. If I had to, I would protect EA and kill Zynga in a deathmatch. Just because both are bad companies doesn't mean they don't have anything of value.

turkeypotpie
turkeypotpie

@PinchySkree Agreed.  Kixeye is going to have to change something if they're going to survive in the long term.  Otherwise, they'll just go the way of Zynga:  pioneers in a space they can't hold their own ground in.

Samparksh
Samparksh

@Diegoctba You're completely wrong there idiot.Like it or not,the major chunk of gamers are the ones on PC.Face the facts.

Xirtahm
Xirtahm

@Diegoctba I really hope you were deliberately trolling with that comment. 

thatsphresh
thatsphresh

@Diegoctba noooooooooooooooooooo you are sooooo wrong. Did you just discover the internet?

jhcho2
jhcho2

@ACMC85 

 You can't even blame it solely on management incompetence as well. I look at it part and parcel of casual gaming. The thing about casual gaming is....casual gamers aren't exactly a reliable bunch. The same thing happened to the Wii and Wii U. And do you really think Angry Birds is gonna be popular forever? Or we can count on the same people playing Angry Birds to necessarily jump ship to another game? The answer is no. Zynga scored with Farmville, pretty much like how Nintendo scored with the Wii. 

The mistake everyone is making is expecting it to happen a second time.

skabb15
skabb15

@toddx77 dragon age 2 was fine, I have it on 2 systems, no probs. Mass Effect 3 was great. Didnt like the ending? Deal with it you entitled prick ( not YOU, the collective you), in NO other form of media will they change the ending nor would the readers, watchers, etc ever dream that they had any right to tell someone to rewrite what they had written. Its really kids these days that brought that about. They think they are entitled to anything and everything. Simcity...100% correct, they dropped that ball hard which is why they are done with "always connected". People forget that ubisoft had always connected first, blew it first, and got rid of it first. Thing is tho, its trendy for you sheep to hate on EA when you barely have any idea what you are talking about....

skabb15
skabb15

@allever HARHARHAR! YOUARESOCOOLIWANTOBEJUSTLIKEYOUCANWEBEFRIENDSILIKEDYOUCOMMENTAMICOOLNOWIDONTKNOWANYTHINGABOUTEABUTILIKEHEARINGMYSELFTALKANDIMASHEEPSOEASUCKS!

skabb15
skabb15

@matics27 How so? do us all a favor and explain how you came to that conclusion. Did you see someone else say it? While you are at it, why dont you go ahead and define "irony". Can't? Didnt think so, sheep

King_Wii
King_Wii

@Thanatos2k Actually the second worst company in america is Bank of America. I say BofA should be the worst not EA because EA never took someones home away or ruined anyone's life.

toddx77
toddx77

@skabb15 Why should we have to deal with the ending when we were lied too?  We were told our choices would create our ending and we would not be given the choice of A,B, or C in the end, but we were.  We were told that our choices in Mass Effect 2 would have dire consequences in Mass Effect 3,but they didn't.  We were told that there would be consequences for killing the Rachni Queen, but there wasn't.    I will admit Dragon Age 2 would have been fine if it was the first game or its own series, but having to follow Origins makes it look not even close to being as good of a game.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@King_Wii @Thanatos2k I use a Bank of America credit card and have had few problems and nothing but good customer service from them.  Bank of America provides a net social good BY FAR and to suggest otherwise is just massively ignorant.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@King_Wii @Thanatos2k  Finally, somebody else who isn't socially ignorant. Thank you.

Every time somebody mentions that 'worst company' poll, it makes me cringe.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@skabb15 @Thanatos2k @King_Wii Yes, because Bank of America ONLY does bad things, right?

Get a fucking clue.  If Bank of America disappeared there would be significant damage to both the economy and the everyday lives of a huge amount of people.

Bank of America is BY FAR a net social good regardless of random stories that some family's account somewhere got a typo in some database which caused their home to get temporarily foreclosed on.  Please don't tell me you're so stupid to suffer from negative confirmation bias by the media you consume.

skabb15
skabb15

@Thanatos2k @King_Wii ignorant huh? you should talk less and read more. If you need to be told why bank of america is awful then this must be your first time on the internet. You might as well say "killing babies is fun and to suggest otherwise is just massively ignorant." Seriously, you shoved your whole foot in your mouth here and showed that you have no business sharing your opinion.