Farmville, Zynga Poker and Words With Friends each will see see an expansion and new mobile games some time this year.
Farmville 2: Country Escape will look to reclaim the over 400 million users who played the original Farmville on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) when the game was launched over five years ago. Chief Executive Officer Don Mattrick, who left Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to take over at Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) last July is clearly trying to appeal to smartphone and tablet users who aren’t afraid to spend a few bucks on in-app purchases.
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) faltered after its initial public offering while it remained chained to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and focused on real money gambling. Since Mattrick took over the company as looked as though it could go either way: a return to prominence or a total fall from relevance. These releases may prove the catalyst either way as the company looks to shift to in-app purchases and advertising that has benefit like King, the creator of Candy Crush Saga.
Zynga farmville as savior?
“We know what we need to do as a business is create hits and sustain them,” Mattrick said in a telephone interview. “The team now understands that’s the to-do list.”
“We still have a huge, loyal following, and we’re now bringing FarmVille to mobile in a really reimagined, mobile-first way,” said Jonathan Knight, a Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) vice president in charge of the title.
Farmville for mobile will give free currency to former players and will allow users to swap commodities from the mobile and Facebook versions of the game.
While it’s Farmville that may prove to make or break the company, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) announced on Monday that they had other plans.
The new poker tile will offer “more personalized gameplay, lightning fast performance and sophisticated design,” says Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) chief operating officer Clive Downie.
A new Words With Friends will launch this year as well, and will offer a game history, and a sleeker interface.
“We know these games in particular have struck a chord with many of you,” says Downie. “You’ve not only spent time playing and sharing in these games, but you have also shared incredibly valuable feedback, helping us evolve these games over time in order to make them better for players around the world.”
Each of these games is expected to launch by the end June with Farmville 2: Country Escape leading the way with a launch in unnamed countries later this week. The global launch is expected within two months of this week’s release.