Farmville-maker worth more than EA - Report

Zynga's estimated worth placed at $5.51 billion, putting it over the Medal of Honor publisher's $5.22 billion.

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.

Farmville is growing a whole lot of green for Zynga.

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.

Written By

Discussion

153 comments
Booshon
Booshon

@lithus you are right:) tbh i dont even have facebook dont like it and i don't need it.

shakensparco
shakensparco

I can't believe cheap, unfulfilling social gaming is overtaking real games. Wanna know why? Because the world is filled with "casual" gamers. The ones who play real games known as "hard core" gamers are small in numbers when compared to the other group.

endocrine
endocrine

@smarb001 Sue them for what? They did not invade your privacy as you essentially gave them that information. Its a simple fact that many many companies have lots of information about you. However, chances are they do not care. If you are not spending decent amounts of money with a company, chances are someone else is (and these people would be a better focus of their time). Just because a company has lots of information about you does not mean they actually do anything with it (other than sell it for cheap). I am not paranoid or wearing a tin foil hat for one major reason: I am not wealthy or powerful enough for 99.999999% of this planet to care that i exist. As such, the Govt is not wasting time spying on me. Business are not wasting their time trying to get money from me. Whatever I search for on google just sits in a database that no one will read.

smarb001
smarb001

@endocrine Thats just a matter of fact, and can be ignored. If they actually do something with your card details, you can sue them for everything they've got. No need to be paranoid, I've been making 95% of my purchases online for 5 years now and its never gotten me anything except much lower prices compared to retail. TL;DR Stop wearing a tip foil hat and start saving money by not falling for the evil retail empire that overprices their stuff by 25% minimum.

smarb001
smarb001

@xenogearz88 Well unlike you some of us like to keep in touch with friends not within "hanging out" distance, like you know 5,000 miles, so its nice to have one place to not only do that, but exchange photos, send messages, read whats going on around of world in everybody's corner... It makes no sense if you've lived in one town your whole life and never travelled more than a mile, or are Amish, but otherwise Facebook is a triumph in social communication. Except for Farmville, which is evil. But rightfully successful.

IRoxxorUrSoxxor
IRoxxorUrSoxxor

57.6 million people. . . play farmville. . . And how many of those spend money on it? 60,000?

dsb333
dsb333

@ cyborg100000: I don't hate Farmville, but it worries me somewhat. On the one hand, I've seen my MOM play this game. This shocked me - when is the last time that I saw my mom playing a video game? Surely, any game that can draw my mom in has a much wider appeal than most, and will serve to entertain a wider audience. On the one hand, I've seen enough of it to know that I don't want Farmville to be the future of video games. Seeing it do so "well" makes me wonder... People copy the success of others - WILL Farmville be the future of video games?

Evenios
Evenios

your kidding right? I agree with another post. Facebook is really nothing more then a "look how many friends i have" for people who never realized high school is over. I have yet to meet anyone on facebook worth two cents. and facebook games are not real games. But i guess it just shows you the social status of online nowdays people care more about having 600 friends with people they dont even know then playing "real" games or having a life. many have moved from myspace to facebook but it really isnt that much better. and some people are stupid enough to post a lot of real life information that can be very unsafe online! (the story about the people who robbed these houses because they posted on their facebook page they were going out of town for a week..talk about stupid and the profile was public) I use facebook because i don't know why...heh.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

It's a sad, sad day for the gaming community.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

Is this good news or bad news ??? Bad news if you ask me !!!

Neogenic
Neogenic

LOL at the frankfurtian discussion below about the meaning of terms like "true gamer" or "drone". Thumb me down all you want, but to be honest i find Zynga brilliant in how they are making this much revenues with Farmville. It's basically a game that looks like it was made for a mobile phone, has very simple gameplay, requires no high end pc to play, is accessable to anyone with a facebook account, basically has self advertisement because of your facebook contacts that will send you requests to help them out on their "farm" and it appeals to a ridiculously large group of people (Whether you call them casual games, socialistic gamers, true gamers or whatever). Very well executed if you ask me.

xenogearz88
xenogearz88

@smarb001 i don't have a Facebook account, yet I'm happy with a REAL social life,i.e-a stable office job,hanging out with friends at coffee houses, bars, and spending time at other friends houses playing REAL games on CONSOLES that don't require us to spam our money un-necessarily just to keep us on even grounds with other players....that's just noob. point: YOU DON'T NEED FACEBOOK JUST TO LIVE!!LIFE'S BETTER WITHOUT IT!!

smarb001
smarb001

Thats not surprising, considering nowadays not having a Facebook account is a major symptom of social ineptness. Anything that capitalizes on that fact will learn many dolla.

StarWatchers
StarWatchers

zynga poker is addictive :) I think farmville and other villes are popular with alot of people, from oldies to girlies so it's not surprising they are making money because everytime you have to invest money in the game to get further quicker otherwise the free model really drags along.

endocrine
endocrine

@xenogearz88 Anything you buy with your credit card gets put into a database about you. Does not matter if it is online or in a brick-and-mortar store. As far as what your company and the store does with that information depends on the place and how much money you have/spend.

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

Why so much hate for Farmville? It's meerly a time waster or something to do while chatting to people.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Muteki_X I find the whole drone/fad label idiotic, you can't label any gamer in a certain negative fashion because were all after the same thing, entertainment, thats how games came to be, and thats what they are, tools which enduce a cure for boredom, yes farmville is a fad nor do i defend it, i hate it just as much as the next hardcore gamer, but farmville is an adequate time killer and a good entertainement giver for a casual market, so to call them otherwise would be hypocritical for guys like us you get me?

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

I only use Facebook for keeping in touch with people. Farmville & such is BS for kids or very, very casual gamers. I read a sinister article on this a couple of years back, FB & they're cohorts use these free games to build profiles on users in order to advertise and sell them stuff.

MystikRex
MystikRex

I think if I was the head of Zynga I'd be selling my company right now. Imagine having over $5 billion in the bank for a rainy day. :D Oh I don't use Facebook, and I know it's the cool thing to hate anything that's popular but you can't deny that Zynga must be doing something right.

19Gam3NErD91
19Gam3NErD91

i tried many times to just try it for once but every time i had some problem that didn't let it run( flash player , proxy , ...), so i guess I'd better forget it and just stick with the good' ole harvest moon.

marcogamer07
marcogamer07

The fact that I have gotten countless invites to play this stupid ass Harvest Moon wannabe of a game was one of the reasons I quit using Facebook and despise it to this day.

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

I find it sad that Zynga has become this large solely from ripping off its unsuspecting customers. I really wish I had the statistics on their profit/cost ratio. I'm sure that it's absurdly high.

malintenby
malintenby

@hughobrien All power too the small company, (although with a value of $5.51 billion I fail to see how you can call it a 'small' company.) but they are not competing in the same market. People who buy games for their consoles aren't going to stop buying their games and start punting their money in the direction of Zyanga.. Kudos to Zyanga for finding themselves an extremely healthy market and prospering from it, but I think it's wide of the mark to say they are competing and keeping the market fresh..

hughobrien
hughobrien

Geez, so much unnecessary hate for Farmville. It really is a game. You may not want to acknowledge it, but it is. And real gamers do play it too. And why can't people see the positive side of this. A small company made it big. It means that the giants like Activision and EA don't fully control the markets and that Indie developers stand a chance if they can get the formula right. This sort of thing stops the industry going stale. We should celebrate it.

TerrorRizzing
TerrorRizzing

lol at the comments. "I dont like it, so its not a real game!" It is a real game like it or not. Whats sad is that most of you play games that feel casual and dumbed down to me, and call yourself hardcore gamers proudly... Well congrats, you guys play games with shiny graphics and no replayability. You guys must be proud.

GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

@malintenby You're so right. There isn't any connection between farmville and the actual gaming market so no worries there

malintenby
malintenby

People need to get some perspective on this. These type of applications are merely the evolutions of the tamigotchi, or virtual pet. They are not true games, and are not played by gamers. Their popularity or money making will have nil effect on gamers or games, so why the hysterical nature of some of the posts? I can't foresee 'Farmville for PS3/360/wii' any time soon..

GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

This is lol. Could it be true? Shame on you EA. You've been pwned by a 2D harvest moon wannabe app!

KingsterX
KingsterX

this is just sad. farmville is a disgrace to anyone who loves and enjoys games :(

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

Farmville was ok for a month, and then crops died. Anyone who pays for anything in that game is a moron

okassar
okassar

Dear God, imagine time traveling to this news back when you were a kid and EA was today's Activision chomping up a bunch of devs. Anyway, to be honest, this is kinda sad for gaming, I mean, Farmville...a game where you grow virtual crops on a social networking site, and pay to get ahead of your friends in the "farming business"...pathetic, down with casual gaming!

drummerdickens
drummerdickens

I hate to be a Video Game Nazi, but Zynga don't make "games". They make apps for idiots who pay money for "crops". Zynga users really need to try to better themselves.

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

@ Gelugon_baat I call it like I see it; I don't sugar-coat things. That makes me feel better about myself. If someone doesn't have thick enough skin, then I feel sorry for them; they're going to have a tough life. The world isn't all bubble-gum and sunshine. Although it does look like we both have a chip on our shoulders. As for thinking I'm superior than anyone else; if you knew me in the least little bit, you wouldn't have even began to jump to that conclusion. You are right, however, we are getting off topic. Let's just call a truce, eh? Personally, I kind of like seeing EA get slapped; I haven't been the biggest fan of some of their policies lately.

NejiKusa
NejiKusa

EA's biggest problem now is overcoming a bad reputation from yesteryear.

kbaily
kbaily

EA's been in a slump for a while even when they finally tried to make some original games, they spent years just rehashing the same sports game and so many companies spend millions on making HD cinematic games that in the long run only appeal to a small group whereas Zynga understands what mainstream consumers want. They want something with a pick up and play aspect, they don't want to be bogged down with overly long cutscenes and tutorials. Casual gamers have always existed, they didn't just spring up out of the ground.

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

@ Gelugon_baat True, some people get tired of one thing then move on to whatever interests them next, but can they really be called "true gamers" then? "True gamers" love gaming period; they've been with it for years and will continue to be with it and don't find it boring. Just buy a bike, ride it for a year, then go into a biker bar and boast to everyone that you're a "true biker", and see what kind of reaction you get. There is a notable difference, however between someone who moves from one thing to the next because they get bored easily, and someone who does it because everyone else is doing it, i.e. they're following the flock like blind sheep. People who get bored easily move on to the next interesting thing regardless of how popular it is at the moment; they're nomads and not necessarily true to anything. "Fad chasers" move on to the next thing not because they would like it independent of everyone else's opinion, but because they either want to be the first to do it, want to be like everyone else, or they just want to appear cool in everyone else's eyes. Then they move on not because they get tired, but because everyone else does.

r3pzero
r3pzero

zynga needs to die and stop making these crappy aps... i dont even consider them games

lithus
lithus

um Farmville? Worth billions? Oh that's beyond sickening...it's your fault people. Sitting there playing that drek while interacting with a hundred friends you don't really have...I think this is one of the 1st unholy signs of the Apocolypse.

TheLegend1
TheLegend1

silverdoe wrote: "so they suggest EA & everybody goes social now. That's the end of gaming ..." ----------------------- EA is already headed there. Game Over.