Things are finally looking up for Zynga

Ben Parfitt
Things are finally looking up for Zynga

After many years of struggling to recapture the glory years of the casual gaming bubble, Zynga has reported one of its best quarters for some time.

GAAP revenue for the period grew four per cent year-on-year to $194.3m, with GAAP net losses reducing from $35.4m to $9.5m. The EBITDA numbers were better, showing a 14 per cent jump in revenue to $207.4m and profit of $16.7m.

Mobile was the star performer, with online game revenue climbing 31 per cent. It now has a mobile average daily active user count of 18m, which is up 16 per cent. Mobile revenue, meanwhile, rocketed 63 per cent, with Zynga Poker having a very strong period.

Zynga's staff count currently stands at around 1,620 employees, which is a big reduction on the 3,500 who worked there a few years ago.

Less promising, however, was the performance of Dawn of Titans, which is one of the high-end games to emerge from Zynga's NaturalMotion division. CSR Racing 2 continues to perform strongly, at least.

We are having fun,” CEO Frank Gibeau told VentureBeat. Zynga has been in the dog house for a while. But the Q1 beat and mobile momentum is very positive. These are the best results we've seen in years. We've had our highest mobile growth, and refocused efforts around mobile live services. It is really paying off.”

It has also been confirmed that NaturalMotion founder Torsten Reil has left the company.

We want to thank Torsten for his many contributions to Zynga over the last three years,” Gibeau added in a statement. Torsten built a great team and launched incredible franchises like CSR, Dawn of Titans and Clumsy Ninja.

On a personal note, I've enjoyed working with Torsten in my time as a board member and CEO. We respect and support his decision to take a personal break after more than 15 years with NaturalMotion. We wish him all the best on his next chapter. Going forward, David Byrne, NaturalMotion's COO, will step in to serve as interim leader of our NaturalMotion studio.”

Zynga acquired Natural Motion for $527m in 2014.

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