Anyone doubting the popularity of social gaming should read a recent report in Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is citing a report from SharesPost Inc., an exchange for shares of privately held companies, as saying that Zynga is now worth more than the second-biggest mainstream game publisher on the planet--Electronic Arts.
According to SharesPost, privately held Zynga is currently worth $5.51 billion. That's nearly $300 million more than the $5.22 billion market capitalization of EA on the NASDAQ stock exchange. SharesPost based its valuation figure on data from trades of private shares, research estimates, and venture-financing valuations.
Zynga's massive worth can be explained in two words: Facebook and Farmville. Of the former's 210 million users, some 57.6 million play Farmville, which charges users small amounts of money to buy in-game currency and items. Zynga's other games, which include Cafe World, Mafia Wars, and Vampire Wars, operate on a similar model.