Zynga’s decision several years ago to focus its attention on mobile devices is paying off handsomely as the release of its Q2 earnings shows that the game developer derives 89% of its total revenue from mobile users following a 7% rise to $192.7 million in the second quarter of 2018.
Since 2012, Zynga has been trending toward increasing its smartphone game offerings and relying less on desktop games based on Facebook. That includes the recent acquisitions of small game studios such as Gram Games and Peak Games, the former hosting the popular Merge Dragons game that helped to boost revenue for Zynga.
All told for Q2, Zynga reported $217 million in revenue, an increase of almost 4% year over year. Total bookings also rose year over year, an 11.8% boost to $233.9 million.
Results Better Than Expectations
Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau stated at the Q2 earnings call:
We had a strong quarter, delivering results ahead of our guidance, driven by strength in our mobile live services and continued improvement in our operating leverage,
The CEO also pointed out that enhancements made to the popular Words with Friends resulted in the game recording year over year jumps of 30% in mobile revenue and 49% in mobile bookings. New features such as daily goals were responsible for player engagement reaching higher levels, adding to the revenue increase.
While revenue and bookings were solid, one shortfall was that of daily active users (DAUs). The total of 23 million DAUs did not meet the expectations of analysts, who pegged the total at 26.7 million.
Financial results were also looking up for Zynga Poker in Q2, with mobile revenue gaining 19%. Updates to the game that included new features of Jackpots and Challenges drove the performance.
Zynga Poker was responsible for 23% of the game developer’s online game revenue of $165 million during the quarter. Year over year Zynga Poker’s increase was more than 10%, with revenue reaching almost $38 million, according to a press release. That followed a nearly 6% boost in Q1.
Partnership with World Poker Tour
Zynga Poker players can expect a new experience in poker action later this year with the rollout of tournament play made possible by a newly-formed alliance with the WPT. Pro-style tournaments that will include a range of stake levels and higher payouts for winners will likely be met with glowing approval from loyal players.
The WPT-themed action is expected to kick off toward the end of September and may provide a considerable boost to the popularity of Zynga Poker. Competing against friends in tournament play will add a whole new dimension to the social poker gaming experience.
WPT CEO Adam Pliska stated that he and his WPT colleagues are “incredibly proud” to be teaming up with Zynga Poker and expressed confidence that the millions of loyal players who enjoy playing there on a daily basis will take favorably to WPT tournament action.