Earnings numbers are in for Facebook playground Zynga, and holy cow, they're profitable even post-IPO disaster. But under the surface, they're dying. Quickly. People are fleeing FarmVille by the millions.
The bad numbers: daily active users (DAUs) are down to 52 million from 65 million the previous year, and monthly active users (MAUs) plummeted around 50 million, from 300 to 250. That's a profound drop off, and as AllThingsD's Mike Isaac notes:
That indicates these cartoon simulators were fad games all along, and the fad is cooling off in a hurry. Some of the decrease is from shuttered games, but those games were axed because no one was playing them in the first place, so it can't account for much.
Either way, the implosion keeps on imploding, and as we said two years ago, building a public company around Farmville might not've ever been wise. VentureBeat points out Zynga's recent interest in online gambling as opposed to colorful sim games, so the developers behind those former hits should be sweating bullets right now. It's pretty easy to code a virtual slot machine.
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