Facebook games kingpin 'has disclosure issues', Zelnick claims

Zynga metrics are ‘sketchy’, claims Take-Two CEO

In what is adds to a week of allegations and denigration for social games titan Zynga, yesterday the CEO of Take-Two claimed the Farmville creator’s impressive metrics are “sketchy”.

Strauss Zelnick, whose company publishes blockbusters such as Grand Theft Auto and Bioshock, questioned Zynga’s business model and whether investors have received enough accurate data from the company.

"I think they have disclosure issues, I think you are seeing their acquisition costs go up, marketing costs go up and they have very high churn," he said at the Reuters Global Media Summit.

Zelnick said Zynga should provide investors with more details of the rates at which it loses customers. He said that would give a more complete picture of the company’s financial prospects.

Zynga has fought for Wall Street’s continued interest during a luckless and protracted IPO, and wants to raise about $1 billion at an estimated valuation of $14 billion.

But, despite a comprehensive push on new game releases, recent independent data suggests Zynga is failing to grow past the daily active user records the company had set in October 2009.

According to analysis from Cowen & Company, Zynga has around 47 million daily users – roughly the same figure it reached two years ago – despite a recent almighty push with five new game launches in half a year.

"I would argue being the number one player [in social gaming] is complicated, which is why Zynga hasn’t gone public yet because their metrics are sketchy," Zelnick said.

Zynga has declined to comment.

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