Zynga is screwed and its share price shows it. The game maker’s shtick of selling virtual hay for virtual horses is looking more like an internet fad rather than a viable business model. Meanwhile, Zynga’s recent games have been a flop and its longtime ally, Facebook, is looking for new partners.
According to Chris Griffin, CEO of gambling hub Betable, the winners and losers in the internet gambling market are being determined very quickly and Zynga will be hard-pressed to catch up. Griffin points to the mobile launch this week of Big Fish Casino — a game that lets people gamble on their iPhone in places like the U.K. The presence of these rivals mean there could be little left for Zynga.
“Big Fish has a six to nine month head start on Zynga … It’s a false notion that gambling will save them because the valuable players are already locked up and there is loyalty there,” says Griffin, who adds that the current population of Zynga users are unlikely to become overnight gambling fiends.
The bottom line is that gambling may be a huge potential revenue stream but that doesn’t mean any of it will go to Zynga.