Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has not been successful at making any new hugely successful games, and even the current ones it offers are at risk. The word game Words with Friends is under threat from a new live multi-player word game called Letter Up, which is made by Flow State Media.
Letter Up already popular on Facebook
Kahn Jekarl, CEO of California-based Flow State Media, is pretty confident on the success of the new word game, and he told GamesBeat that it is faster and more intense than Zynga’s word game.
“Live, synchronous multi-player gaming will dominate the mobile charts in 12 to 24 months. Live multiplayer came to dominate PC gaming, then the console market, and it will happen again with mobile,” Jekarl said.
The game debuted on Facebook in spring 2013, and it already has more than 500,000 players. The game can be played freely without any interruption by spam-like ads for monetization. Players get an opportunity to earn an allotment of coins each day and use those for playing the game. For buying additional coins, players have to spend real money. Average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) plays a key metric in mobile games, which in the case of Letter Up is $29, and Jekarl believes it to be quite good.
Displacing Zynga won’t be easy
What makes Letter Up better is that a player does not need to depend on opponents for making a move. If an opponent fails to make a move in real-time, then he or she risks losing the game. The games do not take more than ten minutes, and if a player gets disconnected, then the game allows him / her to resume with the from where it was left.
Zynga Inc’s Word with Friends is among the most popular mobile games, and hence, it not easy to beat. At any moment, there are 55 million matches played, and the game recently got an all-new mobile version.
Flow State Media, which is focused on casual titles, is a cross-platform game studio. The gaming company has eight employees, and many of its developers are from Zynga and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In morning trading, Zynga shares were up 2.42% to $2.35, and year-to-date, shares are down by almost 40%.