02/16/2012 : SOCIAL GAMING GIANT LIKES ONLINE POKER POSSIBILITIES
Zynga exec talks about a ‘very interesting' opportunity
Addressing reporters after the first quarterly numbers following social gaming giant Zynga's recent IPO, a company executive characterised the internet poker sector as ‘a very interesting opportunity', citing his company's experience in the genre and recent enforcement and political developments.
Zynga COO John Schappert said,”I think it’s actually a very interesting opportunity, because we’re in a unique position. We have the world’s largest online poker game and the most social online poker game we’ve been running for four years. We had record results last quarter. And it’s one of the top six games on Facebook. So I think we’re in a very good position and it’s a category that’s interesting to us.”
His remarks come as no surprise to industry observers; earlier this month a Zynga spokesman revealed that the company was seeking partners as the prospect of legalised online gambling in the United States comes closer .
Against the background of a recent surge in partnerships and acquisitions between of US land gambling companies and promising internet operations, Zynga's interest is understandable.
Recent deals have seen Fertitta Interactive acquiring Cyberarts; DoubleDown Interactive and Entraction bought by IGT; a Chiligaming – Golden Nugget tie-up; Churchill Downs buying Bluff Media; new mobile releases from Bally Technologies; the launch of Zynga online bingo; and a partnership agreement between Bwin.party, MGM and Boyd Gaming.
More evidence of the interest in online poker is afforded by the growing list of applicants for Nevada internet poker licenses, which includes: 888, IGT, Boyd, MGM, Fertitta, Caesars, Bally, Cantor, South Point, Shufflemaster and Aristocrat.
Mark Pincus, chief executive of Zynga, expanded on the Zynga internet experience during a conference call, noting that:
* Zynga has grown its mobile user base to 15 million daily active users, which is up five-fold from a year ago.
* On a global basis, Zynga doubled its international revenue year-over-year, with games are now available in 17 languages compared to five languages a year ago.
* The company’s Z Cloud proprietary internet cloud infrastructure, is now managing almost 80 percent of daily active users. The company boasts a total of over 230 million users at present, many of these visiting on a daily basis. [Ed. note: some estimates peg daily poker player visits at over 6 million.]
* Zynga’s new destination website for social gamers is nearing completion and preparing for a live launch