|Traded as||NASDAQ: ZNGA|
|Founded||July 2007[nb 1]|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Mark Pincus (Co-founder and CEO)|
|Industry||Interactive entertainment, Social network service|
|Revenue||US$690.410 million (2014)|
|Operating income||−US$244.741 million (2014)|
|Net income||−US$225.900 million (2014)|
|Total assets||US$2.348 billion (2014)|
|Total equity||US$1.895 billion (2014)|
|Employees||1,974 (Dec 2014)|
|Alexa rank||2,923 (August 31, 2014[update])|
|Users||240 million monthly active users, 20 million daily active users[not in citation given]|
Zynga // is a provider of social video game services founded in July 2007 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States. The company develops social games that work stand-alone on mobile phone platforms such as Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone and on the Internet through its website, Zynga.com, and social networking websites such as Facebook, Google+, and Tencent QQ. Zynga states its mission as "connecting the world through games." The company was named in honor of Zinga, CEO Mark Pincus's deceased American bulldog.
Zynga launched what is considered its best-known game, FarmVille, on Facebook in June 2009, reaching 10 million daily active users (DAU) within six weeks. As of early January 2013, Zynga games had over 265 million monthly active users (MAU), and three of the top five Facebook games (in terms of MAU, according to AppData) were Zynga titles: FarmVille 2, Texas HoldEm Poker (now known as Zynga Poker), and ChefVille. According to the BBC, around 80 percent of Zynga's revenue comes from Facebook users, but its formal partnership with Facebook ended on March 31, 2013.
Zynga began trading on NASDAQ December 16, 2011 under the ticker ZNGA. Originally priced at $10, ZNGA shares reached a price of $14.50 in March 2012, but fell steadily after that point, hitting $2.09 in 2012. Some analysts and journalists have questioned the long-term prospects of Zynga’s business model, especially after Zynga’s Q2 2012 earnings report failed to meet analyst projections for revenue and earnings. Zynga has been taking steps to cut expenses and expand its business into areas such as licensed board games, online gambling, its own gaming platform (Zynga.com), and mobile game apps.
- 1 History
- 2 Revenue
- 3 Business model
- 4 Corporate culture
- 5 Relationship with Facebook
- 6 Studios and subsidiaries
- 7 Reception and controversies
- 8 Funding
- 9 Games
- 10 Board games
- 11 Zynga.org
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Mark Pincus, Eric Schiermeyer, Justin Waldron, Michael Luxton, Steve Schoettler, and Andrew Trader co-founded Zynga in April 2007 under the name Presidio Media; the company name changed to Zynga in July 2007. Zynga was named after an American bulldog named "Zinga" once owned by Mark Pincus. The company uses an image of a bulldog as its logo. Zynga's first game, Texas Hold'Em Poker, now known as Zynga Poker, was released on Facebook in July 2007. The company received US$10 million, led by venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, in its first round of funding in January 2008. In July of the same year, Zynga received US$29 million in venture finance from several firms, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in July 2008, at which time they appointed former Electronic Arts Chief Creative Officer Bing Gordon to the board. During the same period, they also bought YoVille, a large virtual world social network game.
Zynga became the Facebook app developer with the most monthly active users in April 2009, with 40 million people playing their games that month. Soon after, the company opened its first external game studio in Baltimore, Zynga East, led by Brian Reynolds. In June of the same year, Zynga acquired MyMiniLife which then built and launched FarmVille on Facebook and by August it was the first game on Facebook to reach 10 million daily active users. It had 20 million daily active users by October. On November 23, 2009, FarmVille.com went live as Zynga’s first stand-alone game.
On May 7, 2010, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington reported that Zynga was threatening to leave Facebook altogether in the wake of the website's requiring exclusive use of Facebook Credits for monetization in applications. On May 18, 2010, Facebook and Zynga entered into a five-year relationship to expand the use of Facebook Credits in Zynga's games.
Zynga filed with the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to raise up to $1 billion in an initial public offering on July 1, 2011. At the time, the company had 2,000 employees. Zynga began trading on NASDAQ on December 16, 2011.
On June 26, 2012, during the annual Zynga Unleashed conference, Zynga announced the "Zynga With Friends" network, aiming to connect players of Zynga game titles across multiple platforms. Zynga also announced the Zynga API, intended to help developers build social games. The company announced that three new partners were developing games for Zynga.com including 50 Cubes, Majesco Entertainment and Portalarium and unveiled the Zynga Partners for Mobile program to help increase Zynga’s presence on mobile devices.
On October 14, 2012, Zynga filed a lawsuit against a former general manager for allegedly misappropriating trade secrets. The suit claims the ex-employee copied important confidential information from his computer before leaving Zynga to work for a rival social games maker.
On July 1, 2013, Zynga confirmed that it had hired Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment President Don Mattrick as its new CEO. Zynga's press release announced that former CEO, Mark Pincus, would continue as Zynga’s chairman and chief product officer. According to Zynga's 8-K regulatory filing, Mattrick would receive about $50 million in cash and stock compensation over several years.
In 2013, Zynga began shutting down some of its games. On June 3, 2013, Zynga announced that the company would be laying off 520 employees — roughly 18 percent of its workforce — and close offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. By July 2013, Zynga has reportedly lost nearly half of its user base from the previous year. Consequently, investors decreased Zynga's valuation by 400 million. On July 25, 2013, Zynga reported during their Q2 earnings that they would not be pursuing real money game production in the US. Following this announcement, shares dropped 13%. The same month, the three top Zynga executives had left the company: John Osvald, a senior vice president of games, Jesse Janosov, a vice president who ran Zynga’s casino division, and Nathan Etter, a vice president of games, all resigned.
In January 2014, the company announced plans to reduce its workforce by 15%, bringing its total number of employees down by 314. In April 2014, as part of the company's regular quarterly earnings report, founder & former CEO Pincus announced he would be stepping down from day-to-day operations in his role as Chief Product Officer, retaining his position as Chairman of the Board. Daily Active Users fell from 53 million to 28 million year over year for the same period. The company also announced its new hire of Alex Garden, co-founder of Relic Entertainment and former Microsoft Game Studios executive. In July 2014, Zynga announced they had leased office space and were hiring software engineers and technical designers for a new outfit in Orlando.
In February 2010, Zynga acquired Serious Business, a social game company. Zynga also in February opened a studio in Los Angeles, California as well as Zynga India in Bangalore, the company’s first office outside the United States. In May 2010, Zynga acquired XPD Media. Weeks later on June 3, 2010, Zynga acquired Challenge Games, which would later be known as Zynga Austin. On June 9, 2010 Zynga launched FrontierVille developed at its Zynga East studio in Baltimore. Zynga acquired Conduit Labs in August 17, 2010, renaming it Zynga Boston. The acquisition of Dextrose, now Zynga Germany, marked the company's first expansion into Europe. Bonfire Studios was acquired by Zynga on October 5, 2010. It was renamed Zynga Dallas. The acquisition brought Zynga's workforce to more than 1300 employees worldwide. Months later, on December 2, 2010, Zynga announced it acquired the Texas-based mobile game developer Newtoy, Inc., developers of Words with Friends and Chess with Friends, and renamed the studio to Zynga with Friends.
Zynga acquired the New York-based game developer Area/Code, now renamed Zynga New York in January 2011. Soon after, in March 2011, Zynga announced the acquisition of the team from Boston-based game developer, Floodgate Entertainment. It was Zynga's tenth acquisition in ten months. In April 2011, Zynga announced the acquisition of MarketZero, an online poker tracker company.
On March 21, 2012, Zynga announced their purchase of the game company OMGPOP for $180 million, therein acquiring the popular game Draw Something. A noticeable drop in popularity was noted following the acquisition, as daily active users dropped from 15 million to 10 million in the first month post-acquisition. In June 2012, CBS was the winner of a bidding war for the pilot of a TV Gameshow based on Draw Something.
On June 4, 2012, Zynga announced the purchase of video game maker Buzz Monkey, along with their entire 50 person, Oregon based office, which will now turn into Zynga's 18th satellite office. Buzz Monkey is known for working on successful video games such as Tomb Raider and Tony Hawk, as well as Zynga's Frontierville.
On November 9, 2012, Zynga announced it had acquired game company November Software for an undisclosed amount. Zynga revealed that the acquisition actually happened back in the spring and that it will be working on bringing console gaming experiences to mobile. The rumored title of the game is Battlestone.
On June 19, 2013, Zynga bought Spooky Cool Labs, a 40-person social games company led by Brian Eddy. The company has achieved successes with its Wizard of Oz city-building game and, more recently, with Hit It Rich Slots. Unlike many of Zynga's other acquisitions, Spooky Cool will continue to operate independently under the same leadership that it had up until the purchase.
According to the company’s first-ever earnings report, revenues from advertising and the sale of virtual goods grew by 59 percent compared with the same period the prior year. A net loss of $435 million included a one-time $510 million employee stock compensation expense that was triggered by the company going public.
The company's top three games – FarmVille, FrontierVille and CityVille – accounted for 57 percent of online game revenue. Total revenue was $329 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2012.
Zynga approached a billion dollars in revenue in four years since inception, surpassing the market value of the longtime console game company Electronic Arts. Zynga's rapid growth has been seen as an indicator of the vastly different playing field from only a few years before, where games have become able to gain significant public acceptance in a shorter period of time, with the cost of entry being much lower.
On July 25, 2012, Zynga reported revenue of $332 million for its Q2 2012, which was up 19 percent year over year, and reported that Q2 bookings increased 10 percent year over year. However, the company also reported a net income loss of $22.8 million, and reduced forecast for bookings for 2012 from 1.47 billion to 1.15 billion. Following Zynga’s weak Q2 2012 earnings, Zynga’s stock dropped by 40 percent in after hours trading, and analysts heavily criticized Zynga, with Richard Greenfield of BTIG taking the rare step of apologizing for having recommended the stock. Zynga executives listed several reasons for the Q2 earnings: changes to Facebook's gaming platform that hindered Zynga users; a delayed release for an important new game; and several new games that didn’t meet expectations.
In late October 2012, Zynga's stock price increased as much as 16 percent after it had posted revenues of $317 million during its third quarter, beating estimates of $256 million. Its revenue boost and stock price jump was a result of Zynga's $200 million share buyback plan that the company decided to instill to help improve its recent stock price declines. Another factor included Zynga's announcement that it was moving into real-money gambling in the U.K. While acknowledging Zynga’s continuing challenges such as slowing sales and its low stock price, some analysts were more upbeat after the Q3 2012 earnings than they had been after Q2 2012 earnings were announced. “Every single thing that they are doing is what you would want them to do,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities Inc. Comparing Q2 to Q3 earnings conference calls, journalists noted a change in former CEO Pincus’ tone. “Instead of blaming an uncertain economy, wandering consumer tastes or a weird alignment between Jupiter and Mars, the former CEO's message to Wall Street was clear: Blame us,” wrote CNET.
In early 2013, Zynga former CEO Mark Pincus announced that FarmVille, one of Zynga's most popular games, had reached $1 billion in total player bookings.
Zynga is supported in two manners: via direct credit card payments and partner businesses. Several Zynga games require an "Energy" characteristic to play. Engaging in "Missions", a core feature of many games, consumes a certain amount of energy. After expending energy, it slowly replenishes to the character's maximum limit. This can take minutes or several hours (energy replenishes whether or not players are logged into the game). After energy is replenished, players can engage in additional missions. Waiting for energy to replenish is a significant limiting factor in the games. Their support mechanisms take advantage of this. Zynga games are linked to offers from a number of partners. Players can accept credit card offers, take surveys or buy services from Zynga's partners in order to obtain game credits, which would allow them to replenish their character's energy or receive premium currency that could be exchanged for other various virtual goods. Players may also purchase game credits directly from Zynga via credit cards or PayPal. From within the game, players can purchase the points for a fee: US$5.00 for 21 game credits, for example. In March 2010 Zynga started selling prepaid cards for virtual currency at more than 12,800 stores across the US.
Zynga also sells advertising sponsorships within some games such as movie tie-ins and other brands. In March, 2012, Zynga announced it launched a separate social gaming platform, which will include publishing other developers to the new Zynga.com platform. Early third-party developers include Row Sham Bow, Inc and Mobscience. In June, 2012 Zynga started running Facebook advertisements and sponsored stories on its website. The revenue is to be split between Facebook and Zynga, as they continue their partnership. The exact percentage of this split has yet to be disclosed.
In February 2012, it was announced that Zynga and Hasbro had partnered to create products based on Zynga properties and brands. In October 2012, Zynga and Hasbro launched eight ‘face-to-face’ games resulting from their collaboration: FarmVille Hungry Hungry Herd and Animal Games; CityVille Monopoly and Skies; Words With Friends Classic, Luxe, To Go; and Draw Something. The Hasbro games include ties to Zynga Web and mobile games, such as in-game currency that players can use in the digital versions of CityVille and FarmVille.
In October 2012, Zynga announced a partnership with bwin.party, an international real-money gaming operator, to launch real-money gaming in the U.K., including the release of online poker, a suite of 180 casino games, and the first online FarmVille-branded real money slots game during 2013. The partnership opens up a potentially lucrative new revenue stream for Zynga.
Customer acquisition is key to Zynga's business. Zynga's customer acquisition was largely built on Facebook initially and most of its new users came in through incentivized viral loops. However, in addition to viral acquisition, Zynga has also invested in paid marketing.
Initially, however, when Zynga was three or four people and they launched Texas Hold'em on the brand new Facebook Platform, they didn't spend any marketing dollars.
In recent times, though, Facebook has been tightening up. Zynga's customer acquisition was perceived as spam by Facebook and the new rules have limited the rate at which Zynga can acquire users. In general, Zynga owes a lot of its growth to incentivizing users to send invitations to their friends on the Facebook platform. However, these incentives were usually artificial and not directly tied to the value proposition of the product. As a result, the indiscriminate usage of the virality that Facebook offered led to users getting spammed resulting in a backlash from users.
Overall, Zynga grew very fast but its marketing has always been expensive and it is now further threatened owing to its over-dependence on Facebook.
Platinum Purchase Program
In September 2010, Gawker reported that Zynga had set up a "Platinum Purchase Program" allowing members to purchase virtual currency in amounts over $500 at favorable rates by making a payment via wire transfer. In contrast, the normal maximum purchase limits are $50 to $200. As with other social game companies, Zynga depends on a small core of large spenders, known within the industry as "whales", for a large part of its income. Ryan Tate, author of the post, speculated that the program was a way for gaming addicts to feed their obsession, and compared the secrecy of the program to the secrecy of drug deals.
Many journalists have questioned the viability of Zynga's business model. Ray Valdes questioned the long-term prospects for Zynga, saying that it would be difficult for the company to make new titles to replace old ones whose novelty is fading. In December 2009, Tadhg Kelly, writing for Gamasutra, said that Zynga was at the "end of the beginning," noting that Zynga's business model is dependent on Facebook continuing to operate in the same manner and users continuing to expect the same quality of games, among others. Kelly also compared Zynga to Atari, which also churned out large numbers of simple games prior to the North American video game crash of 1983 and further claimed that Zynga's approach of creating similar clones of popular games would be impossible for deeper games. Tom Bollich, a former Zynga investor, said that it is impossible to make a cheap viral game, and that retaining customers is difficult.
In an October 2011 article in The Wall Street Journal, Ben Levisohn said that Zynga has "issues that could limit its upside," such as its dependence on Facebook and its reliance on a small percentage of users and a small number of games for most of its revenue.
In July 2012, after announcing disappointing second quarter results, some analysts speculated that the sale of virtual items may not be a long-term, viable business model. Analyst Richard Greenfield downgraded Zynga from "buy" to "neutral" in an article titled "We are sorry and embarrassed by our mistake." Zynga executives have said the company is taking steps to turn its business around, which includes introducing new Web, mobile, and multiplayer games and developing a gambling game to be introduced outside the U.S.  The company is also working to increase advertising revenues, which were up 45 percent in Q2 2012 compared to the previous quarter and increased 170 percent year over year. Advertising “will likely become a crucial revenue stream for the company,” according to Ad Age.
Zynga was listed in the cnn.com article "The top 10 tech 'fails' of 2012".
Through 2009, Zynga made money from lead generation advertising schemes, whereby game participants would earn game points by signing up for featured credit cards or video-rental services. These were criticized as being less cost-effective than simply buying game points, and in some cases, being outright scams that would download unwanted software or unwittingly sign up for a recurring subscription. One ad signed up players for subscriptions to expensive and unwanted text-messaging services.
On October 31, 2009, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch said that Zynga intentionally worked with scam advertisers, and that lead generation made up a third of Zynga's revenue. Arrington also alleged that Facebook was complicit in this. On November 2, 2009, former CEO Mark Pincus announced a reform in its offers: Tatto Media, a major offer provider that enrolled users into recurring cell phone subscriptions, would be banned, all mobile offers would be removed, and offer providers would be required to pre-screen offers.
Arrington continued to question Pincus' role in the scams, republishing a video of a speech by Pincus. In the speech, Pincus said:
So I funded [Zynga] myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this Zwinky toolbar which was like, I don't know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it. *laughs* We did anything possible just to just get revenues so that we could grow and be a real business.— Mark Pincus, Speech from Startup@Berkeley
Several days after the Techcrunch story, Zynga's most recent Facebook game, FishVille, was temporarily taken offline by Facebook on claim of advertising violations. According to Zynga, Fishville had 875,000 users within two days of launch. A release from Facebook on its reasons for taking the game offline read that "FishVille will remain suspended until Facebook is satisfied that Zynga demonstrates compliance with Facebook restrictions – as well as Zynga’s own restrictions – on the ads it offers users." The FishVille suspension was lifted less than 24 hours later.
Several suits were filed against Zynga for promoting such offers, including the class-action lawsuit Swift v. Zynga in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for violation of the Unfair competition law and the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, after the lead plaintiff's credit card was billed more than $200 for offers she completed to receive YoVille currency.
Pincus later said that he had been too eager to increase company revenues through advertising, and that operating in reactive mode by taking down ads only after receiving complaints had not worked. The company removed all ads for a time, relying only on direct purchase of game currency, then began reintroducing third party ads only after they had been screened.
In 2011, Zynga started to move employees to new headquarters, located in San Francisco's South of Market district, where Zynga has leased 270,000 out of 650,000 square feet of seven-story building. Zynga’s headquarters, nicknamed “The Dog House,” features a coffee shop, gaming arcade, gym, basketball court, and wellness center. At its San Francisco headquarters, Zynga CEO Pincus's goal was to create a "playful gaming environment" that evokes a "fantasy land." Zynga employees, also referred to as “Zyngites,” enjoy perks such as free gourmet meals, access to an in-house nutritionist, personal training, and insurance coverage for pets.
Prior to the company’s 2011 IPO, Zynga’s corporate culture received some negative media attention for renegotiating the equity packages of four senior employees. Those employees were required to either give up part of their non-vested stock or be fired. Although a San Francisco employment lawyer said in The Wall Street Journal that Zynga's actions would violate the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, no court has ruled on the issue since it has been rare for companies to demand non-vested stock as a condition of continued employment. Pincus later explained that Zynga
wanted to find them another position at the company versus just parting ways. They had the option to leave and have a package, as happened with some other leaders, but we in addition to that offered them other positions at the company that came with different forward compensation.
Zynga is reportedly known for having a highly competitive and stressful culture, with long hours and relentless tracking of progress.
In another criticism, in 2010 an ex-employee was cited quoting Mark Pincus as saying "I don't fucking want innovation. You're not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers." 
In November 2011, The New York Times reported that Zynga “operates like a federation of city-states” with each of its games, such as FarmVille and CityVille, run by autonomous teams. This culture reportedly fostered “fierce internal competition” and caused some employees to complain about long hours and stressful deadlines. Two former senior Zynga employees, quoted anonymously by the Times, speculated that Zynga’s corporate culture caused the company to lose a bid to acquire mobile game company PopCap and nearly derailed its acquisition of MyMiniLife, which later developed the technology that is the basis for FarmVille. At least one Zynga employee said he planned to cash out and leave Zynga after the IPO.
When asked about the criticisms Zynga had received for its workplace environment, CEO Pincus said the company strives to be a meritocracy with a culture of leveling up through promotions. Pincus’s management philosophy is to “turn people into CEOs,” encouraging employees to identify and fully own “something really meaningful” to the company. The CEO's philosophy is part of the Zynga meritocracy in which employees are rewarded for results. Pincus told The New York Times:
The only way people will have the trust to give their all to their job is if they feel like their contribution is recognized and valued. And if they see somebody else higher above them just because of a good résumé, or they see somebody else promoted who they don’t think deserves it, you’re done.
In a June 2012 article on the Forbes website, Zynga Chief Engineer Kostadis Roussos defended the company’s meritocracy culture, writing that it attracts people who are “obsessed with business outcomes” rather than those enamored “with their own pet projects.”
Joe Raposo, the quality assurance lead on CityVille, is also the bassist for Southern California punk band Lagwagon. Raposo praised pro-creativity culture in Zynga, saying "I love working at Zynga because they really support anything you do on the creative side, and they nurture that." While on tour with Lagwagon, Raposo often works remotely for Zynga.
Over the summer of 2012, the company lost a number of key executives.
In February 2013, Chief Game Designer Brian Reynolds discussed company culture positively in a post for VentureBeat at the time of his exit from Zynga. saying "the capability to absorb and adapt to change quickly is one of the great strengths of Zynga’s culture – the true meaning of the motto and occasional battle cry Zynga Speed!" among other comments.
Relationship with Facebook
On July 18, 2011, Zynga filed an addendum to its Form S-1 detailing its relationship with Facebook, including the 2010 five-year agreement to use Facebook credits exclusively. According to the released information, all covered Zynga games that use Facebook integration must remain exclusive to Facebook for the duration of the agreement, and Zynga is not allowed to release new games on an undisclosed list of other social networks. Also, Zynga is required to notify Facebook of any new games at least one week prior to their release. Finally, Facebook agrees to help Zynga reach "certain growth targets for monthly unique users of Covered Zynga Games".
On October 11, 2011, Zynga announced plans to create their own platform in which users can play the company's games. Although the platform, Project Z, will still have major ties to Facebook it is believed to be the first major step away from the social media giant.
In November 2012, Facebook ended its special agreement with Zynga. Effective March 31, 2013, Zynga was bounded by the standard Facebook Platform policies.
Studios and subsidiaries
Zynga has acquired many studios across the world.
- Zynga Headquarters (San Francisco). New 270,000 square feet (25,000 m2) headquarters at the site of former Sega offices.
- Zynga Chicago
- Zynga India (Bangalore, India)
- Zynga Austin (formerly Challenge Games) – acquired June 2010
- Zynga ATX (formerly MarketZero, Inc.) – acquired April 2011
- Zynga Germany (formerly Dextrose AG, based in Frankfurt) – acquired September 2010
- Zynga with Friends (formerly Newtoy, Inc., based in McKinney, Texas) – acquired November, 2010
- Floodgate Entertainment – acquired March 2011
- Zynga Toronto (formerly Five Mobile) specialized in mobile platforms, acquired July 2011
- Wild Needle, a casual games company that makes games which appeal to females, acquired May 2012
- Zynga Eugene (formerly Buzz Monkey Software), acquired on June 4, 2012.
- NaturalMotion Games, acquired January 2014 
- OMGPop (Draw Something creators), acquired March 2012
- Zynga East (Baltimore) – started in May 2009
- Zynga Boston (formerly Conduit Labs) – acquired August 2010
- Zynga Japan (formerly Unoh Games, based in Tokyo) – acquired August 2010
- Zynga New York (formerly Area/Code) – acquired January 2011
- Zynga Dallas (formerly Bonfire Studios) – acquired October 2010
- Zynga China (formerly XPD Media, based in Beijing) – acquired May 2010
- Zynga Los Angeles – opened February 2010
- Zynga Seattle, opened October 2010, closed January 2014
Reception and controversies
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (May 2013)|
In its first years of existence, Zynga has been criticized on various fronts, sometimes resulting in legal action.
Critics like Nick Saint of Business Insider have said that Zynga's games have essentially the same mechanics even though they have different premises and settings. Georgia Tech professor Ian Bogost came up with the name "cow clickers" for such challenge-free games that demand little more than clicking on things, and eventually created the satirical Facebook game Cow Clicker, an "attempt to distill the social game genre down to its essence". The game became quite popular.
The criticism applies to the "social games genre" in general, though Zynga is emphasized as one of the most cynical companies. Ian Bogost has four points of criticism: the concept of "enframing" ("In social games, friends aren't really friends; they are mere resources"), "compulsion" ("brain hacks that exploit human psychology in order to make money"), "optionalism" ("the gameplay in social games is almost entirely optional. The play acts (...) can be skipped [by] spending cash money [...]. Social games are games you don't have to play.") and "destroyed time" ("Social games so covet our time that they abuse us while we are away from them, through obligation, worry, and dread over missed opportunities.")
Many of Zynga's games involve players posting messages to non-players, often for in-game benefits. Many non-players have notably complained about such communications created by those games that appear to them as "spammy." Peter Jamison described Zynga's communications as a "deluge" of "unwanted gifts or requests for neighborly 'help'". Facebook groups created to express displeasure regarding overexposure of Zynga's games attracted millions of members. As a result of this, Facebook modified their application developers policy to prevent applications from sending messages to news feeds of friends or submitting updates to the notifications bar. Kotaku attributed the removal of Facebook notifications to a decline of users of Zynga games in April and May 2010.
Intellectual property controversies and litigation
Zynga has been accused several times of copying game concepts of popular games by competing developers. The launch of Mafia Wars sparked a lawsuit from the makers of Mob Wars. An attorney for Psycho Monkey, the creators of Mob Wars, said that in making Mafia Wars, Zynga "copied virtually every important aspect of the game." The suit was settled out of court for $7–9 million. An Ars Technica column said that Zynga's Café World and Playfish's Restaurant City were "nearly identical"; Café World was released six months after Restaurant City. Its gameplay, design, graphics, avatars, and even in-game items are almost identical to the ones in Restaurant City. Many players who have played Restaurant City and Café World have noticed the extreme similarities between both games. In addition, journalists have remarked that Zynga's FarmVille is similar to Farm Town, with Peter Jamison calling it "uncannily similar."
In September 2010, SF Weekly reported that an employee recalled Mark Pincus advising him to "copy what [Zynga's competitors] do and do it until you get their numbers." NimbleBit founder Ian Marsh has accused Zynga of copying its award-winning Tiny Tower game to create Dream Heights. Within a week, Buffalo Studios alleged that its game Bingo Blitz was copied by Zynga in making Zynga Bingo. Pincus responded by saying that tower-building games have existed since SimTower (1994) and that Zynga uses mechanics and ideas developed throughout the history of video games to create "best in market games". He added that Bingo Blitz has similarities to the discontinued Zynga game Poker Blitz. In response, Marsh argued that other tower games like SimTower and Tower Bloxx are substantially different from Tiny Tower and Dream Heights, and that Zynga copied Tiny Tower's "core gameplay mechanics and rules" and tutorial steps. Inside Social Games writer Pete Davison said that although Zynga's The Ville is "not a complete clone" of The Sims Social, it was "very similar".
Zynga founder Mark Pincus has dismissed the criticisms, saying that competing video game makers have always released similar titles for each genre of game. The managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners said that creating similar competing games has "always been part of the game industry." Following Zynga's January 2012 release of Hidden Chronicles, Paul Tassi of Forbes wrote that Zynga "refuses to innovate in any way, and is merely a follower when it comes to ideas and game design." In September 2009 Zynga was threatened with legal action by Nissan for using their trademarks in the game Street Racing. Zynga subsequently renamed and changed the thumbnail images of all cars that were branded Nissan and Infiniti to "Sindats" and "Fujis" with the thumbnails changed. At the time they also renamed and redesigned automobiles depicted as being made by GM, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Saab, and others. In September 2009, Zynga initiated trade secrets lawsuits against Playdom and 22 other rivals, including Green Patch which Playdom acquired in November 2009. These lawsuits were finally settled in November 2010. In October 2010, Zynga was criticized on Hacker News and other social media sites for having filed a patent application relating to the ability to purchase virtual currency for cash on gambling and other gaming sites. Commentators said that significant prior art exists for the concept.
In January 2011, Techdirt reported that Zynga had sent a cease and desist letter to Blingville alleging trademark infringement for its use of the letters "ville" in the name of a proposed Facebook game. Blingville has filed a suit for declaratory judgment that it is not infringing a Zynga trademark. As reported in Gamasutra, Jay Monahan of Zynga responded by saying that Blingville's "[use] of the name 'BlingVille' is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the fame and goodwill associated with Zynga's family of 'ville' games which includes FarmVille and CityVille". In November 2011, Inside Mobile Apps wrote that Zynga's lawyers demanded that mobile game developer Latman Interactive abandon its trademark registration for the game Quackville. Night Owl Games has also filed a lawsuit for declaratory judgment that its game Dungeonville does not infringe any Zynga trademarks after Zynga protested Night Owl's registration of the Dungeonville trademark. In May 2012, Zynga sued Kobojo for trademark infringement for calling one of its games PyramidVille.
On May 20, 2011, it was reported that The Learning Company, owners of The Oregon Trail trademark, filed a trademark infringement suit against Zynga, which is planning an "Oregon Trail" expansion to FrontierVille. The Learning Company had previously contacted Zynga about an Oregon Trail game on Facebook, but Zynga declined. On May 24, Games.com writer Brandy Shaul wrote that Zynga was dropping the Oregon Trail name and soliciting new names for the expansion. The name of the expansion is now "Pioneer Trail". In August 2012, Electronic Arts (EA) sued Zynga for copyright infringement, alleging that Zynga's The Ville copied expressive elements of EA's The Sims Social. Zynga's counsel responded by alleging that EA's SimCity Social "bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga’s CityVille".
Insider trading allegations
Other legal controversies
In late May 2010, the Norwegian Consumer Council filed a complaint to the Data Inspectorate regarding breaches of the Data Protection Act.
In August 2010, the San Francisco city attorney's office complained about the firm's guerrilla marketing campaign for its Mafia Wars game that pasted fake money on city sidewalks, calling it "vandalism".
On July 1, 2011, the company filed its Form S-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Zynga priced at $10 per share and began trading on NASDAQ December 16, 2011. The stock closed down 5% on its first day, then climbed 26% to $13.39 per share after Facebook's IPO filing on February 1, 2012 (Facebook had reported that 12% of its revenue comes from Zynga). After Facebook's weak initial public offering and announcement of poor earnings results, Zynga's stock fell throughout 2012, hitting $2.27 per share by October 5.
In March 2015, a district judge ruled that plaintiffs can pursue a lawsuit against Zynga on claims executives inflated the company’s value prior to its 2011 initial public offering by concealing weaknesses in its R&D pipeline of new games, numbers of users and their purchasing patterns, and other key metrics.
|Parts of this article (those related to number of Facebook games) are outdated. (April 2015)|
- Chess with Friends
- Clay Jam
- Draw Something
- Empires & Allies
- FarmVille 2
- FarmVille Mobile
- Fashion Designer
- Fairy Tale Twist
- Friends for Sale
- Gems With Friends
- Hanging with Friends
- Hit It Rich! Casino Slots
- Live Poker
- Mafia Wars
- Matching with Friends
- NFL Showdown: Football Manager
- Ninja Kingdom / Dojo Mojo
- Party Place
- Scramble with Friends
- Solstice Arena
- War of the Fallen
- Words with Friends
- Words on Tour
- Zynga Bingo
- Zynga Poker
- ZyngaPlus Poker
- Art with Friends – shut down April 1, 2015.
- Ayakashi: Ghost Guild – pulled from app stores April 30, 2015.
- Battlestone – shut down January 1, 2014.
- Bubble Safari Ocean – shut down April 30, 2015.
- Bubble Safari – shut down April 30, 2015.
- ChefVille – shut down April 30, 2015.
- Café World – shut down July 22, 2014.
- CastleVille – shut down April 30, 2015.
- CityVille – pulled from app stores April 30, 2015.
- CityVille 2 – shut down March 7, 2013.
- CityVille Holidaytown – shut down February 12, 2015.
- CityVille Hometown – shut down February 12, 2015.
- CityVille KRE-O Invasion – shut down May 15, 2015.
- CoasterVille – shut down July 23, 2014.
- Dope Wars – shut down December 2009.
- Dream Heights – shut down June 20, 2013.
- Dream PetHouse – shut down June 28, 2013.
- Dream Zoo – shut down May 27, 2013.
- Duck Dynasty – shut down April 30, 2015.
- Empires & Allies – shut down June 17, 2013; revived for mobile in 2015.
- FishVille – shut down December 5, 2012.
- Hidden Chronicles – shut down July 23, 2014.
- Hidden Shadows – shut down July 23, 2014.
- ForestVille – pulled from app stores.
- Indiana Jones Adventure World – shut down January 14, 2013.
- Mafia Wars 2 – shut down December 30, 2012.
- Mafia Wars Shakedown – pulled from app stores.
- Mojitomo – pulled from app stores.
- Montopia – shut down December 21, 2012.
- PetVille – shut down December 30, 2012.
- Puzzle Charm – shut down April 30, 2015.
- Roller Coaster Kingdom – shut down June 30, 2010.
- Ruby Blast – shut down January 4, 2014.
- Riches of Olympus – shut down April 30, 2015.
- Street Racing – shut down in December 2010.
- Skateboard Slam –shut down April 30, 2015.
- The Friend Game – shut down in February 2013.
- The Pioneer Trail (formerly FrontierVille) – shut down April 30, 2015.
- The Ville – shut down June 24, 2013.
- Treasure Isle – shut down December 5, 2012.
- Vampire Wars – shut down December 5, 2012.
- Warstorm – shut down in September 2011.
- Word Scramble Challenge – pulled from app stores.
- YoVille – sold May 11, 2014.
- Zynga Slingo – shut down August 26, 2013.
- Zynga Slots – shut down November 25, 2013.
- Zynga Elite Slots – shut down April 30, 2015.
- Zombie Smash – shut down January 12, 2015.
In 2012, Zynga, in conjunction with Hasbro released several physical board games based on the various properties in the Zynga game library. These games were released under an imprint of Hasbro called "Hasbro Gaming".
As of 2012, the list of available games includes board game versions of Draw Something and Words with Friends, a CityVille edition of Monopoly and several kids' "Animal Games" based on FarmVille.
In 2009, Zynga started a nonprofit organization, Zynga.org, in charge of incorporating charitable contributions into its games such as FarmVille. To date, Zynga.org efforts have raised $15 million for international humanitarian relief efforts and philanthropic initiatives.
- Zynga was originally incorporated as Presidio Media in April 2007. The company's name was changed to Zynga in July 2007.
- Takahashi, Dean (December 12, 2011). "How Zynga grew from gaming outcast to $9 billion social game powerhouse". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- "Zynga Fact Sheet". Company.zynga.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Zynga Inc. Form 10-K, Securities and Exchange Commission, February 24, 2015
- "zynga.com – Traffic Details from Alexa". Alexa Internet, Inc. Retrieved Aug 31, 2014.
- "Zynga". Developer metrics. AppData. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "About Zynga". Company.Zynga.com. Zynga. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Zynga offering sneak peek at next-gen games. ABC7
- Shambora, Jessica (December 2, 2009). "Zynga suddenly is everywhere. What gives?". Fortune. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
Zynga is named after Pincus's deceased American Bulldog, Zinga
- O'Neill, Nick (22 June 2009). "Zynga Launches "FarmVille". Does It Look Familiar?". AllFacebook. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- Lien, Tracey (5 September 2012). "'FarmVille 2' represents the next generation of social games, says Zynga". Polygon. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- Thompson, Mike. "The Top 25 Facebook games of January 2013". AppData. Inside Social Games. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "Facebook and Zynga to end close relationship". BBC News. BBC. 2012-11-30. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- Zynga IPO Goes SplatVille. What Went Wrong?. Forbes
- "Why Zynga is Shedding Users". ReadWriteWeb. June 12, 2012.
- Shih, Gerry (2012-07-25). "Zynga slashes outlook, denting its stock and Facebook's". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "NASDAQ Summary Data". Nasdaq.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Seagall, Laurie (25 October 2012). "Zynga surges on higher sales, casino gaming plans". CNNMoney. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- Thomas, Owen (24 October 2012). "Zynga Is Launching Online Gambling Next Year". Business Insider. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- Ha, Anthony (5 December 2012). "Zynga Makes First Move Towards Gambling In Nevada, Says Process Will Take More Than A Year". TechCrunch. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- Millian, Mark (6 September 2012). "Zynga Adds More Developers to Publishing Network Seeking Revenue". BloombergBusinessWeek. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- CEO Mark Pincus elaborates on Zynga’s transition from web to mobile, announces today’s launch of Draw Something 2. Insidesocialgames.com (2013-04-24). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- "The American Bulldog gives you Chips!". Texas Hold'em Poker Facebook Page. Zynga. January 11, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
Zynga is named after our founder's American Bulldog, Zinga!
- Stone, Brad (January 15, 2008). "More Than Games, a Net to Snare Social Networkers". The New York Times.
- "Zynga Completes $29 million Financing, Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers" press release from Zynga's blog (July 23, 2008)
- Mack, Christopher (April 30, 2009). "Zynga Making $100 Million/Year?". Inside Social Games.
- on Businesswire.com Legendary Game Designer Brian Reynolds Joins Zynga as Chief Designer
- "Zynga buys virtual home startup MyMiniLife". Venture Beat. August 7, 2009.
- Arrington, Michael (May 7, 2010). "Zynga Gunning up (and Lawyering up) for War Against Facebook with Zynga Live". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "Facebook and Zynga Enter Into Long-Term Relationship". Facebook. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- "CityVille" Is Now Bigger than "FarmVille". Mashable.com (2010-12-24). Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- CityVille Dethrones FarmVille As Biggest Game on Facebook: What's Next For Zynga?. SocialTimes.com (2010-12-24). Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- "FORM S-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Website. July 1, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Chang, Alexandra (26 June 2012). "Zynga Unleashes New Games and Its Own ‘With Friends’ Social Network". Wired. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- King, Rachel (26 June 2012). "Zynga API puts spotlight on developers, infrastructure". ZDNet. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Marlowe, Chris (26 June 2012). "Zynga powers up social gaming network, mobile and more". DigitalMediaWire. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "Zynga Files Suit Against Former Staffer, Claiming Theft of Trade Secrets". All Things D. October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "In Major Hire, Zynga Confirms Xbox Head Don Mattrick as New CEO, Taking Over From Mark Pincus". All Things D. 2013-07-01.
- "The $50 Million Man: Mattrick Gets Hefty Cash and Stock Package From Zynga, Including $19.3 Million in the First Year". All Things D. 2013-07-03
- Digital Trends. "Zynga's Downward Spiral Continues as it Shutters Four More Games". Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Zynga to lay off 18% of workers; reportedly close Dallas office". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- "Zynga Reaps What They've Digitally Sown". Forbes.
- "After Losing Nearly Half Its Users In A Year, Investors Dock Zynga’s Valuation By $400 Million".
- "Zynga Won’t Pursue Real-Money Gaming License In The U.S.; Shares Drop 13% In After-Hours".
- Zynga Is Said to Lose Three Top Executives After CEO Change (2). Businessweek. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- "Zynga announces $527M purchase, layoffs". USA Today/The Associated Press. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "So how's Zynga doing with Don Mattrick in charge?". Eurogamer.net. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- "Zynga Announces First Quarter 2014 Financial Results".
- Orlando Sentinel (2 July 2014). "Gaming company Zynga signs lease in Maitland". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Robin Wauters (February 11, 2010), Zynga Buys SocialMedia Startup Serious Business, TechCrunch
- "Zynga Opens International Office in India". Industry Gamers. February 17, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "Zynga acquires Challenge Games; expands social gaming footprint".
- Peckham, Matt, PCWorld. "Zynga's Wild, Wild Western FrontierVille Launches." June 9, 2010.
- Takahashi, Dean, Venturebeat.com. "Gaming legend Brian Reynolds on how FrontierVille might change Zynga." October 18, 2010.
- Rodriguez, Armando. (2011-02-02) Zynga Brings Words With Friends To Android, Still Waiting On Farmville. PCWorld. Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- Paul Bettner (December 2, 2010). "Today is a big day for Newtoy".
- Leena Rao, techcrunch.com. "Zynga Adds Team From Mobile And Video Game Developer Floodgate Entertainment." March 18, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- Zynga Hires Team From Poker Industry Service Provider MarketZero Inside Social Games
- "Amendment No. 1 to FORM S-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Website. March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.[dead link]
- "Zynga acquires OMGPOP, developer of Draw Something, for US$200 million".
- "Draw Something Loses 5M Users a Month After Zynga Purchase". Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Wallenstein, Andrew (15 June 2012). "CBS to adapt Zynga game 'Draw Something' for TV". Variety. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Monday, June 4th, 2012 (2012-06-04). "Zynga Adds 50 People Through Talent Acquisition of Video Game Maker Buzz Monkey". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Friday, November 9th, 2012 (2012-11-09). "Zynga Announces Acquisition Of November Software To Build ‘Mid-Core’ Game Battlestone". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- "Zynga Acquires Spooky Cool Labs To Boost Its Social Casino Push — TechCrunch". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "Zynga buys British game maker NaturalMotion for $527m". Telegraph. 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Zynga to buy mobile game developer NaturalMotion for $527 million". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Zynga Acquires Mark Pincus’s Incubator, Superlabs". Recode. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
- Snider, Mike (February 15, 2012). "Zynga rolls out 'Slingo' after mixed results". USA Today.
- "Zynga Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results". Zynga Financial Results. Zynga.com. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Saylor, Michael (2012). The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything. Perseus Books/Vanguard Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-1593157203.
- LeFebvre, Rob (25 July 2012). "Zynga misses Q2 earnings estimates by a wide margin, incurring Wall Street’s wrath". VentureBeat. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Zynga Current Report, Form 8-K, Filing Date July 25, 2012" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- Streitfeld, David (25 July 2012). "The News Isn’t Good for Zynga, Maker of FarmVille". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- James Temple (2012-08-17). "Free-falling Zynga needs fast turnaround". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "‘We Are Sorry and Embarrassed," Says Zynga Analyst at BTIG, Bloomberg". Go.bloomberg.com. 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Tate, Ryan (24 October 2012). "Zynga Stock Soars on Solid D+ Performance". Wired. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- Morris, Chris (24 October 2012). "Zynga: Is this the start of a turnaround?". Gamasutra. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Wasserman, Todd. "Zynga Beats Q3 Revenue Estimates; Stock Rises 15%." http://mashable.com/2012/10/24/zynga/
- MacMillan, Douglas (25 October 2012). "Zynga Rises as Game Maker Annouces Buyback, Gambling Deal". BloombergBusinessweek. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Cooper, Charles (24 October 2012). "Zynga CEO takes blame for poor quarter". CNET. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 (2013-02-05). "Zynga’s Pincus Says FarmVille Has Passed $1B In Total Player Purchases". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Doug Gross (February 23, 2010). "The Facebook games that millions love (and hate)". CNN. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Miguel Helft (July 24, 2010). "Will Zynga Become the Google of Games?". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
In addition, Zynga’s $520 million in financing includes a recent infusion of $300 million through two, roughly equal investments from Softbank and Google, according to people briefed on the investments who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Zynga’s finances publicly. Google and Zynga are also in the early stages of exploring a collaboration, these people said. Zynga and Google declined to comment or confirm a Google investment.
- Eldon, Eric (2010), "Zynga's Pre-Paid Virtual Currency Cards Have Expanded to More than 12,800 US Stores", Insidesocialgames.com, retrieved April 5, 2010
- Slutsky, Irina. "Zynga Announces CityVille Integration With 'Kung Fu Panda 2'". Advertising Age.
- "Zynga launches separate social gaming platform, still 'likes' Facebook". LA Times.
- Friday, June 22nd, 2012 (2012-06-22). "Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories Are Now Running On Zynga.com, Previewing A FB Ad Network". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Warren, Christina (February 9, 2012). "FarmVille Toys Are Coming: Zynga and Hasbro Sign Licensing Deal". Mashable.
- Thompson, Mike (25 September 2012). "Apphome Hasbro’s Zynga-branded merchandise coming to stores next week". Inside Social Games. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "How much is Zynga paying for new gamers".
- Choudary, Sangeet Paul. "Zynga's Fall and Facebook's Evolution".
- Carpenter, Steven (13 May 2010). "TC Teardown: Zynga's Profit Machine At Risk". Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- Tate, Ryan (September 10, 2010). "The Secret Dealer for Farmville Addicts". Gawker. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- Chris Morrison (September 10, 2010). "Zynga's Platinum Purchase Program Does Exist, Used Mostly for Internationals". Inside Social Games.
- Kelly, Tadhg (December 18, 2009). "Zynga and the End of the Beginning". Gamasutra. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- Jamison, Peter (September 8, 2010). "FarmVillains". SF Weekly. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- Levisohn, Ben (October 29, 2011). "Two IPOs Beckon Investors". The Wall Street Journal. p. B.9.
- Geron, Tomio (25 July 2012). "Why Zynga's Earnings Missed And What It Plans In Response". Forbes. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Raice, Shayndi (5 August 2012). "Zynga's Rocky Shift to Mobile". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Delo, Cotton (25 July 2012). "Zynga Turns In Lackluster Quarter, But Points to Growing Ad Business". Ad Age. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Gross, Doug (28 December 2012). "The top 10 tech 'fails' of 2012". CNN. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Arrington, Michael (November 2, 2009). "Scamville: Zynga Says 1/3 of Revenue Comes from Lead Gen and Other Offers". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- Arrington, Michael (October 31, 2009). "Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- Arrington, Michael (November 2, 2009). "Zynga Takes Steps to Remove Scams from Games". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- Arrington, Michael (November 6, 2009). "Zynga CEO Mark Pincus: "I Did Every Horrible Thing in the Book Just to Get Revenues"". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
- Pincus, Mark (November 6, 2009). "To Zwink or Not?". Mark Pincus Blog. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
- Arrington, Michael (November 8, 2009). "Zynga’s FishVille Sleeps With The Fishes For Ad Violations". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 9, 2009.
- Arrington, Michael (November 9, 2009). "Zynga's Fishville Gets out of the Penalty Box at Midnight". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
- Facebook facing legal action over unauthorised payments from The Telegraph
- Gelles, David; Joseph Menn (November 25, 2009). "Facebook in Lawsuit over Unauthorised Charges". Financial Times. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Swartz, Jon (December 7, 2009). "Lawsuit says ads in social games are scamming players". USA Today. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Tate, Ryan (November 19, 2009). "Facebook Named in Federal Class-Action Suit over Scammy Zynga Ads". Valleywag. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Tate, Ryan (November 19, 2009). "Initial Complaint in Swift vs. Zynga". Valleywag. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- "Zynga Headquarters Moving, Expanding In San Francisco". Gamasutra.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Graham, Jefferson (March 28, 2012). "Zynga's new headquarters is like a playful fantasy land". USA Today.
- Hintz-Zambrano, Katie (April 13, 2012). "Zynga's Stylish Power Players Give Us A Tour Of Their Extra-Fun Office!". Refinery29.
- Mangalindan, JP (April 13, 2012). "What it's really like to work at Zynga". Fortune.
- Raice, Shayndi (17 January 2012). "Zynga Chief Talks IPO, Lessons Learned". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Zynga Leans On Some Workers to Surrender Pre-IPO Shares".
- Rusli, Evelyn M. (November 27, 2011). "DealBook: Zynga's Tough Culture Risks a Talent Drain". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- Bryant, Adam (30 January 2010). "Are You a C.E.O. of Something?". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Roussos, Kostadis. "Why Would Anyone Want To Work For Zynga?". Quora. Forbes. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Nieva, Richard. "Rock or get a real job? He chose both". Tech. CNNMoney. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Williams, Sean. "CEO Gaffe of the Week: Zynga". DailyFinance. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- Reynolds, Brian (2013-02-01). "Brian Reynolds on Zynga, Games, and the Future". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Gobry, Pascal-Emmanuel (July 19, 2011). "Facebook Basically Owns Zynga". Business Insider. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Gannes, Liz (July 18, 2011). "Zynga and Facebook Exclusivity Goes Far Beyond Credits". All Things Digital. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- "Zynga Unveils New Games and New Platform, Project Z". KeyNoodle. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Indvik, Lauren (February 1, 2012). "Facebook: Zynga Generates 12% of Our Revenue and We Need Them". Mashable.
- Nakashima, Ryan (February 2, 2012). "Facebook filing lifts Zynga, other recent IPOs". Yahoo! News.
- Rosoff, Matt (June 3, 2011). "Zynga's New Headquarters Will Have A Dog Run On The Roof". Business Insider.
- Cutler, Kim-Mai (May 14, 2012). "Zynga Picks Up Mobile Gaming Startup Wild Needle In A Talent Deal". TechCrunch (AOL). Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- "Zynga Announces Fourth Quarter and 2013 Financial Results". Wall street journal. January 30, 2014.
- Opening LA Studio. Gamasutra.com. Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- Caoili, Eric. "Zynga Opening Seattle Studio". Gamasutra.
- Martinez, Amy. "Zynga closes Seattle office".
- Saint, Nick (September 28, 2010). "Why the No-Fun 'Farmville' Is So Popular". CNN. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
- "Ian Bogost - Cow Clicker". Bogost.com. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Alexander, Leigh (2011-10-03). "The Life-Changing $20 Rightward-Facing Cow". Kotaku. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- Jennifer Van Grove. "Facebook App Notifications Moving to Your E-mail Inbox". Mashable.
- Crecente, Brian. "Farmville Maker is Hemorrhaging Players". Kotaku.
- Eldon, Eric (October 8, 2009). "Meet Plinga, Apparently Zynga’s German Copycat". Inside Social Games. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Takahashi, Dean (December 7, 2009). "Turning the Tables, Playfish Clones Zynga's Poker Game on Facebook". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Mob Wars Creator Puts A Hit Out On Zynga, Sues For Copyright Infringement from TechCrunch.com (February 14, 2009)
- Hoge, Patrick (July 13, 2009). "Game makers fight over proliferating lookalikes". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- Zynga Settles Mob Wars Litigation As It Settles In To Playdom Fight. Techcrunch.com (2009-09-13). Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- Webster, Andrew (December 9, 2009). "Cloning or Theft? Ars Explores Game Design with Jenova Chen". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
- "Zynga Shamelessly Rips Off 'Tiny Tower' With Canadian Release of 'Dream Heights'". Touch Arcade. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- Tassi, Paul (January 25, 2012). "Everything Wrong with Zynga in One Image". Forbes. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- Reisinger, Don (January 30, 2012). "Another day, another accusation that Zynga is copying competitors". CNET. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- Takahashi, Dean (January 31, 2012). "Zynga CEO: We aren’t the copycats on Bingo social game (exclusive interview)". VentureBeat. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Hodapp, Eli (January 31, 2012). "More 'TinyTower' Drama: Glu Releases Second Knock-Off; Zynga Responds, as Does NimbleBit". Touch Arcade. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Davison, Pete (2012-06-28). "The Ville review". Inside Social Games. WebMediaBrands. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Tassi, Paul (January 6, 2012). "Zynga Stock Falls as Second Post-IPO Game Fails to Impress". Forbes. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- Cars FKA Nissan/Infiniti Graphics and Name Poll – Zynga Community Forums. Forums.zynga.com. Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- "Zynga Goes To The Mattresses 22 Lawsuits Filed This Year And Counting". Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "Zynga is Extremely Pleased With Playdom Disney Litigation Settlement". Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "Zynga wants to patent virtual currency in gambling games".
- United States Patent Application 20100227675. Appft1.uspto.gov. Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- Masnick, Mike (January 19, 2011). "Zynga Becoming A Trademark Bully: Threatens Blingville For Daring To Use 'ville'". Techdirt. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- Caoili, Eric (January 24, 2011). "Zynga Threatening To Sue Blingville Over Trademark Infringement". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- Cutler, Kim-Mai (November 18, 2011). "Put Ville in a Mobile App's Name. Risk Litigation from Zynga". Inside Mobile Apps. Inside Network. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
- Weisman, Laura (November 21, 2011). "Houston Firm's Dungeonville in Fight with Farmville Company". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- Shih, Gerry (2012-05-07). "Zynga sues French game developer over Ville title". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Essers, Loek (2012-05-08). "Zynga Sues French Game Publisher for Copyright Infringement". PCWorld. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Webster, Andrew (May 20, 2011). "You have died from dysentery: Zynga sued over Oregon Trail". Ars Technica. Conde Nast Digital. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- BestUsBingo (February 16, 2012). "After law-suit Zynga makes a comeback releasing Slingo". BestUsBingo. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- Shaul, Brandy (May 24, 2011). "FrontierVille: Zynga drops 'Oregon Trail' name; help pick a new one". Games.com The Blog. AOL. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Thompson, Mike (2012-08-03). "Update: EA taking Zynga to court over The Ville". Inside Social Games. WebMediaBrands. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Primack, Dan (2012-07-31). "FraudVille? Zynga sued for insider trading, CNNMoney". Finance.fortune.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Orland, Kyle (2012-07-27). "Law firms investigating Zynga for insider stock sell-off". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "Klager inn Facebook for Datatilsynet".
- "Zynga catches heat in hometown over marketing ploy".
- Letzing, John (December 16, 2009). "Facebook's Russian Backer, Digital Sky Technologies, Buys into Zynga". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 16, 2009.[dead link]
- Don Reisinger, CNET. "Zynga files for IPO." Jul 1, 2011. Retrieved Jul 1, 2011.
- Douglas MacMillan - 2012-02-03T21:14:47Z (2012-02-03). "Zynga Surges for Second Day After Facebook IPO Filing: San Francisco Mover". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- "Zynga Trading Pauses Last Too Long Amid Facebook Difficulty". Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- Christina Warren2012-10-05 01:23:19 UTC (2012-10-05). "Zynga Takes a $95 Million Hit; Stock Falls to New Low". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Jonathan Stempel 2015-03-26 13:37:19 UTC (2015-03-26). "Zynga must face U.S. lawsuit alleging fraud tied to IPO". reuters.com. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
- "Zynga Games Update". Zynga Company Blog. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- "Zynga games page of HasbroToyShop.com. Retrieved October 17, 2012". Hasbrotoyshop.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "Zynga.org – A Digital Giving Year in Review". Zynga.org Blog. Zynga. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Official Zynga website
- United States Securities and Exchange Commission Form S-1 Registration Statement
- Zynga SEC Filings