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Facebook game outfit Zynga files for $1bn IPO

60 million virtual world obsessives

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Zynga – the online gaming outfit behind the wildly popular Farmville – has filed for an IPO, seeking to raise as much as $1bn.

According to the company's SEC filing, Zynga is actually a profitable company. In 2010, it reached $90.6 million in net income and $597 million in net revenue. In the first three months of 2011, the company accelerated its revenue growth – pulling in $235 million – but this came at the expense of profits, which topped out at $11 million.

The company has 60 million daily active users. These users spend 2 billion minutes each day wasting their lives away on its games, creating 38,000 virtual items every second. People pay Zynga real money for such virtual goods, and real businesses fork over additional dollars to be included in the company's virtual worlds.

Zynga's games run atop Facebook, and the company acknowledged in its filing that this is a risk. "If we are unable to maintain a good relationship with Facebook, our business will suffer," the filing reads.

The filing is part of a sudden mini-boom in web IPOs. Pandora and LinkedIn have already gone public, and Groupon has filed as well. ®

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