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Mattrick: Zynga left its lunchbox unattended

Mattrick: Zynga left its lunchbox unattended

Fri 06 Jun 2014 8:22am GMT / 4:22am EDT / 1:22am PDT
Development

The CEO talks restructuring and rival Supercell

Zynga CEO Don Mattrick has explained the recent swathe of executive departures at the company, and highlighted what he sees as a big miss for the social gaming giant, in his latest interview.

"The fact that we didn't have a mobile version of FarmVille is what created the opportunity for Hay Day," he said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference, as reported by SeekingAlpha.

"So we're just detangling and doing the obvious things. Imagine we went to the schoolyard, left our lunchbox unattended, someone was eating it. We're just kind of picking up our lunch now."

Mattrick joined Zynga last July, leaving behind his role as head of Microsoft's Xbox business.

"Not bringing Farmville to mobile, creating an opportunity for Supercell to have that product in market to build the business that's generating whichever source you want to cite, more than a million dollars a day in revenue, that's a miss. So we're cleaning up some of those misses and getting to a point of view on what categories are important and how to build great teams, great leaders and go after it in the mid-term but in a persistent way."

Mattrick also addressed the recent executive departures that have made headlines, revealing there were 850 fewer employees now than the first day he started with the company. He also had praise for Zynga's most recent acquisition, NaturalMotion, which it picked up for a startling $527 million.

"We were 2,650 people when I joined. We went down to 1,800 people inside of Zynga in January-ish time frame. We acquired a Company based out of Oxford predominantly that added 270 people to the mix and we've on boarded some very sophisticated, very seasoned senior people who are capable of running a company 5x to 10x the size of what Zynga is currently."

7 Comments

Rolf Klischewski Founder & CEO, gameslocalization.com

43 117 2.7
I don't see any kind of vision there that I'd find particularly enticing. Where does he see the company in five years? Or is that when he's been at his next stop for three years?

And why on earth is Mr Post saying "Got it." all the time?

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Gil Salvado 3D/2D Artist

34 37 1.1
Well, guess what? Casual gamers playing casual games like casual platforms. My mind just explo-...

Posted:4 months ago

#2
"Mattrick: Zynga left its lunch box unattended"

A bit of rose-tinted 20/20 revisionism there I think - Zynga didn't leave their lunchbox unattended, Zynga consciously abandoned it to hunt other people's lunchboxes to steal from instead. Zynga didn't get caught out or blindsided, they gave up and turned to robbery, and stealing is not a livelihood with long-term prospects. Supercell handed you your ass because they remained a games company first and foremost.

Hard to see how Zynga are not headed for another crash with these "hey it's a business amirite?" milksops in charge.

Posted:4 months ago

#3

Ben Link CoFounder and Podcast Host, GamerBrew

5 13 2.6
Don Mattrick is pointing his finger at SuperCell as if they stole Zynga's ideas (Lunch). Zynga rips off indie games all the time. Copycatting smaller games while slapping on some appealing art is not innovating. Improve Zynga and then start talking Don. Quit ripping the company you work for as if it was a shit show before you got there.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ben Link on 6th June 2014 5:14pm

Posted:4 months ago

#4

Brian Lewis Operations Manager, Aeria Games Europe

132 84 0.6
@Ben

Don is stating that SuperCell did to Zynga, what Zynga does to other companies.... and that Zynga should have known better. The 'unusual' factor here was that Zynga had a hit product that others could replicate. By leaving this door open (or leaving this lunchbox unattended) Zynga lost an opportunity to a competitor, using their own rulebook. If anything, I am hearing grudging admiration here, not complaint.

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

275 127 0.5
"We're just kind of picking up our lunch now".

Well your lunch is gone Mr Mattrick, you shouldnt be picking up any leftovers, but rather prepping dinner.

Posted:4 months ago

#6

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance

213 529 2.5
If karma exists, Zynga is proof.

Posted:4 months ago

#7

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