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Zynga scraps new Mafia Wars mobile title

Soft-launched game canned after just three months as publisher didn't believe it would be “a successful forever franchise”

Casual games giant Zynga has decided to cancel all work on an upcoming reimagining of Mafia Wars.

Based on an earlier Zynga hit, the new Mafia Wars was a 4X title with revamped mechanics and monetisation better suited to today's market. It soft launched in Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Canada back in April.

However, Zynga has announced it will no longer continue development on the title, Pocket Gamer reports. The company was unsatisfied with the game's performance during soft launch, where the highest chart placement it managed was No.42 in Indonesia. The next highest was No.212 in Canada, while the lowest was No.1,208 in Taiwan.

A statement from Zynga reads: "As a team, we're being deliberate about our new starts and going after the categories where we believe we can win.

"We have a high bar for our new releases and didn't believe the game had the potential to be a successful forever franchise for us."

Examples of the type of 'forever franchises' Zynga is trying to create include decade-old titles like Words With Friends and Zynga Poker.

Zynga has had a rough decade, initially struggling with the shift away from Facebook games to mobile but has now established a mobile-first publishing model. The firm saw net losses of more than $108m in 2016, but CEO Frank Gibeau told us earlier this year he expects the company to be "profitable in the very near future."

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006