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Friday, 26 July 2013 10:26

Zynga abandons lifeline

Written by Nick Farrell

Real-money gaming not the way forward

Zynga is abandoning its long-running efforts to build a real-money gaming business in the United States. The move will hack off investors who thought that this was the company’s best bet and its only lifeline.

The "FarmVille" and "Words with Friends" maker has reported that it lost 40 percent of its monthly active users in the second quarter. In his first public comments since replacing founder Mark Pincus as chief executive on July 1, Don Mattrick told Wall Street analysts that he needed at least three months to thoroughly review Zynga's cunning plans.

He intended to take the company "back to basics" with an emphasis on free-to-play games on Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile devices, as well as tried-and-true franchises like FarmVille, Mattrick said. 

Mattrick, who has chosen a new desk in the middle of the FarmVille team at Zynga's San Francisco headquarters, warned investors of two to four quarters of volatility in the company's performance before it could "reset" its business.

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