Zynga's Event "Unleashed" Panic
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In an effort to assuage investor concerns about its future and profitability, Zynga(ZNGA) announced several new games in the pipeline, a new social network, and opened up its platform to developers.
Speaking at the "Zynga Unleashed" event at its headquarters, CEO Mark Pincus reflected on the company's milestones, remembering when he thought only 50% of Americans would play games online. Today, 72% of them are gaming. "Search, shop and share are the most valuable things we do online, and we think play can join those ranks," Pincus said during the keynote speech. "We can make play one of those treasured activities that you can't live without."
The company announced the release of new games with more dimensions of play and new real-world tie-ins for mobile and the web. The Ville, which will be released on Wednesday, allows players to check other players' statuses on Facebook. "These '-Ville games' have become something like hobbies for millions of people," Pincus said before teasing the audience with a preview of FarmVille 2.
Zyga also plans to release ChefVille, Elite Slots and Matching With Friends.
As Zynga tries to diversify away from Facebook(FB) and capitalize on the 2.8 billion social interactions made through its games every day, it built a new social network, "Zynga With Friends." The network, which will be rolled out for web and mobile, offers "one network, one unified experience, one social lobby that connect all players no matter where they play," said Zynga General Manager, Manuel Bronstein.
In addition to the features that were launched in beta with Zynga.com in March, the unified network showcases the ability to have multiple players play a game at the same time using a shared board displaying gifts, scores, profiles and chat stream.
"It's about our players and giving the best, most social experience," Bronstein said.
Zynga also announced it would open up its API (application programming interface), enabling developers to build fresh and exciting games more efficiently. "The games we make are a living, breathing world, constantly change every second, every day, for each player," Kostadis Roussos, Zynga's Chief Engineer, explained.
Zynga, which boasts the largest mobile audience in the world, wants to create an ecosystem of best-in-class developers so it can expand across all game genres.