Zynga Inc (ZNGA) May Ultimately Have to Gamble on Its Future

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Social gaming gem Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has been in the thick of bearish outlooks from industry specialists for a significant time. Amid thinning sales, an unprecedented employee exodus and hard-hitting restructures, the Silicon Valley company has resolved to a solution of sorts: real-money gambling. Though this is not the most recent news, the company’s recent annual shareholder meeting candidly suggests that it has settled for this as the ultimate solution.


During the shareholder meeting, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s stance on real money gambling was unmistakably profound. This suggests that real-money gambling was not a tentative solution as earlier imagined, but instead is the proverbial silver bullet. According to a report by Richard Nieva of Pandodaily, a Zynga shareholder who opted for anonymity revealed that close to 80 to 90 percent of the meeting revolved around real-money gambling. The shareholder further added that Zynga referenced positive preliminary real-money gambling results in Europe.

I believe that Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) may have to fully delve into real-money gambling if it wants to secure its future. Here are some of the reasons why.

Consistent revenue stream needed

Over the past several months, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has been synonymous with costs cuts and layoffs. In its latest move along those lines, the company announced that it would lay off 520 workers, which equals 18% of its global workforce. The early June job cuts were also coupled with the closure of the Dallas, New York and Los Angeles offices.

Some of the employees who were laid off in early June vented on Reddit; in addition to saying that the company was bound to tank, they gave an inside scoop of its withering finances. One ex-employee, who hid behind the veil of anonymity, ventured with a gush of evident emotion that perks at the company like free food and free gym access were slowly fading away and reducing in quality, underscoring the depleted finances.

While costs cuts are a good way of containing thinning margins, they are not a permanent solution. Zynga will have to look for an alternative revenue stream that is not subject to volatility in the end. Social gaming is a huge income earner, but it is also highly volatile. Gambling, however, is a perfect way to make consistent money. The incentive of getting something for nothing is by far the strongest I have seen in this world. Real-money gambling will ensure that Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s coffers don’t dip below a certain mark.

Social gaming as it is strewn with pitfalls

Social gaming, without real-money gambling, is a good way to make money. There is no denying that. It is laden with risk, however, and is not exactly the way to go for a company that’s teetering on the edge of a cliff.

The first notorious pitfall with social gaming is privacy. Apart from the obvious need to pass by as independent, why do you think Zynga distanced itself from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)? The privacy concerns that have long been the thorn in Facebook’s side were spilling over to Zynga. Ardent fans of the “Farmville” publisher were not too cozy with the Facebook gateway. In light of this, Zynga created its own portal that bypassed the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) portal. This not only allows users to evade the lingering eyes of Facebook friends, but it also gives users the chance to diversify their opposition and improve their overall game experience. The reliance on social media is also myopic, in a way. Facebook, as expansive as it may be, has already started attracting naysayers. One of them is media magnate Rupert Murdoch, who earlier last month remarked that the social site could be going the way of MySpace. In addition, several budding social sites are using the privacy card to hit at Facebook, with a number of niche social apps and sites that feature strong inclines toward privacy are mushrooming. Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is better off distancing itself from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) at such times.

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