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Zynga CEO: I'll never go back to console and PC

Former EA executive Frank Gibeau sees mobile as a much more enticing opportunity

Yesterday Zynga posted earnings results above guidance but the company still suffered a $41 million loss as it continues to transition towards mobile (more than 80% of both revenues and bookings came from mobile). "We're still managing the legacy Facebook and web business. We're still trying to understand how that's going to continue, even as it's obviously in secular decline. It's a nice contributor to our business, but overall we have to make sure we're constantly monitoring how that drops," Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau noted to GamesBeat.

Interestingly, Gibeau, who used to head up EA Studios but more recently ran the publisher's mobile division as executive vice president, commented on the evolving state of mobile and how even with its problems it's a better opportunity. "I used to work on console and PC, and I'll never go back. I love the mobile business. The audiences you can reach, the geographic distribution-you have huge markets in Asia and emerging markets," he said.

One of the criticisms of mobile is that the charts don't change much week to week or month to month, or that they're always dominated by the same big companies. Gibeau doesn't believe that's going to be a long-term trend, however. "When people say the charts are never going to change, I don't agree. It's a dynamic time in mobile. There's a lot of consolidation happening, a lot of new products coming, new ways to engage customers, whether it's subscription or AR or VR. It's exciting," he commented.

"I love where our company is positioned. Our focus on mass-market social is far from its full potential. When I look at what Zynga's capable of and how that vision is more relevant now than it's ever been in the company's history, I'm excited about where we're at as a company and as a market."

App Annie recently forecast that the mobile games business will grow to more than $100 billion by 2020, grabbing about 55% of the worldwide mobile apps market. That's a huge pie and Zynga hopes it can begin taking a larger share of that than competitors like Supercell, King, EA and Machine Zone.

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James Brightman avatar
James Brightman: James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.
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