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Zynga: In the doghouse

July 4, 2013

Dog days for Zynga
ONE of the popular games that propelled Zynga to prominence is ?Mafia Wars?. Now the online-gaming company, which went public in 2011, has found a Don to run it. On July 1st Zynga said that Don Mattrick, a Microsoft executive, will replace Mark Pincus as its boss. Mr Pincus, the company?s founder, will stay on as chairman and ?chief product officer?.All has not been well at Zynga?s headquarters in San Francisco, dubbed ?the doghouse? because of the giant posters of its bulldog logo hanging outside. Although the firm pioneered casual gaming on Facebook with hits such as ?FarmVille?, a virtual world of toil and tillage, many of its offerings have been losing their appeal on the social network. Since a chunk of Facebook?s revenue has been from selling credits for use in Zynga games, that has been bad for both firms. In June Zynga fired almost a fifth of its workforce. At the close on July 3rd its shares languished at $3.42, just over a third of its IPO price.Zynga (like Facebook) has been wrong-footed by a shift from desktops to smartphones and tablets, where its range is weaker. It has rushed out new products for...

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