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Farmville maker Zynga delays new games after losing 57 MILLION users

Hey - who's tending to our veg patch?

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Zynga has slashed its financial forecast for this year and delayed the launch of several new titles after reporting weaker-than-expected second quarter results.

The company, best known for its FarmVille game on Facebook, has lost 57 million monthly active users since the same quarter last year, dropping to 130 million from 187 million farm fiddlers.

Zynga now expects 2014 “bookings” to be in the range of $695m to $725m, instead of $770m to $810m. Bookings are basically deferred revenue, meaning the money the firm expects to make on products and services it’s in the process of delivering. By moving some titles expected this year into next year, it’s pushed this figure down for 2014.

Zynga is delaying the releases of versions of Zynga Poker and Words with Friends, as well as mobile games from NaturalMotion, a firm it acquired for $527m earlier this year.

“Inside Zynga, we recognise that our products have the potential to live for multiple years and with nurturing, refinement and investment, they can grow and scale. We are purposefully competing, and while we would like to be further along, we believe we are making the right decisions to grow our business and unlock long term shareholder value," said chief exec Don Mattrick in a statement.

The firm hasn’t completely stopped up its pipeline. It announced that it had signed a deal with the NFL for its first sports game, NFL Showdown, a manager-style game for American football. Zynga also has a deal with Tiger Woods for mobile golf games and with Warner Bros for Looney Tunes branded mobe games.

"Today we are announcing that we are expanding our game development efforts in two new additional categories: Sports and Runner. Our Sports effort introduces a new franchise brand for us - Zynga Sports 365 - and with it, new mobile games in football with the NFL and NFL Players Inc. and in golf with one of the most iconic athletes in the world, Tiger Woods.

“Our Runner expansion features a new partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to bring to life their beloved Looney Tunes brand for mobile consumers,” Mattrick said.

The social gaming company made a net loss in the second quarter of $62.5m, compared to a $16m loss in the same quarter last year and a $61m in the first quarter of 2014. The company’s shares had dropped 7.5 per cent in pre-market trading to $2.70 at the time of writing. ®

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