Do you play something like Scramble with Friends every day? If you do, you’re one of the more than 15 million daily active users of a Zynga mobile game, the company announced during its fourth-quarter earnings.
The overall earnings were pretty good, as it reported $306. 5 million for the quarter and bookings for the entire year were $1.16 billion. The number of mobile users represented more than a five-fold increase from a similar period in the past.
“2011 was another milestone year for Zynga’s mission of connecting the world through games. We are seeing social games and more broadly play become one of the most popular pastimes on web and mobile,” Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said in a prepared statement. “Zynga set new records in the year in terms of audience size, revenues and bookings. We saw great momentum in mobile and advertising and ended the year with a strong pipeline of new games. We are excited about the opportunities in front of us to continue delighting our current players and to bring play to millions of new people.”
I’m not really qualified to talk about Zynga’s success on the traditional social gaming space but I do know a thing or two about its mobile happenings. The company has done a good job at making or buying the games it needs to be successful in the mobile space and games like Dream Zoo and Zynga Poker have wound up being part of Apple’s top-grossing list for the quarter.
The bulk of Zynga’s revenue comes from its social games on Facebook but mobile may offer another way to generate significant revenues and if it can ever figure out a way to get solid distribution with an HTML5 app, it may even be able to cut the middlemen out (Facebook, Apple, etc.). The aforementioned Scramble with Friends is also doing some interesting things by offering customers a lot of choice in how they experience it. You can play it for free but you’ll be limited on how often you can pay and you’ll also have to endure ads. You can buy the game outright without ads and you can also do some in-app purchases for items which make the gaming richer.
We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on if Zynga’s mobile presence has a significant impact on its future revenues.