November 30, 2020

‘Merge Magic!’ helps Zynga top bookings estimates

2 min read

Mobile game developer Zynga Inc topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly bookings on Wednesday, riding on the success of its new titles “Merge Magic!” and “Game of Thrones Slots Casino”.

The Zynga logo is pictured at the company's headquarters in San Francisco
FILE PHOTO: The Zynga logo is pictured at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

REUTERS: Mobile game developer Zynga Inc topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly bookings on Wednesday, riding on the success of its new titles “Merge Magic!” and “Game of Thrones Slots Casino”.

The company reported bookings of US$433 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, beating average analysts’ estimate of US$418.8 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Bookings indicate future revenue including sales of virtual goods, such as currency and lives, within the games.

The “FarmVille”-maker has been strengthening its hold on the fast-growing mobile gaming market through a slew of acquisitions and licensing agreements with media outlets to publish themed games of popular franchises.

The company expects full year bookings to be at US$1.75 billion, marginally higher than analysts’ average estimate of US$1.73 billion.

Zynga has also been investing heavily to promote its core franchises including “Empires & Puzzles” and “Merge Dragons!”, as mobile-centric game makers face the heat from big-budget titles’ mobile versions such as “Call of Duty: Mobile” and “Need for Speed: No Limits”.

Quarterly sales and marketing expenses jumped 90per cent to US$127.7 million.

Zynga’s average mobile daily active users, who log-in to play games such as “Tiny Royale” and “Words with Friends 2”, fell 2per cent in the quarter to 20 million, from a year earlier, hit by loss of users in older mobile titles including “Zynga Poker” and “Words With Friends”.

Total Revenue rose 62.6per cent to US$404.5 million, falling short of analysts’ expectation of US$418.56 million.

Zynga, which also makes money through advertisements on its free-to-play games, said revenue from advertising rose 11per cent, and accounted for 19.7per cent of its total quarterly revenue.

The company reported a quarterly net loss of US$3.5 million, break even on per share basis, compared to a net profit of US$559,000, break even on per share basis, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)