It’s hard to overstate how much Zynga has collapsed in recent years and it’s struggling to regain its past glory. Since 2008, Zynga has lost nearly $1 billion and had only one profitable year (2010).
Over the course of 2015, the quarterly average daily average users (DAU) declined steadily from 25 million in the first quarter to 18 million in the fourth quarter. By comparison, Zynga DAU peaked at 72 million in the second quarter of 2012.
So what will the tenacious San Francisco startup do next? Founder Mark Pincus has been impeached again, according to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He returned as CEO for the second time in April 2015. On March 7, the job will go to Electronic Arts veteran Frank Gibeau. – and he will be paid handsomely for it. Gibeau’s minimum salary will be $1 million and a “guaranteed minimum annual bonus equal to 100% of his annual base salary, prorated for the number of days he works for Zynga in 2016.”
According to the company’s own annual report, released last month:
In addition, our mobile games generally generate less revenue than our web-based games and we may fail to generate more revenue from mobile games. If we cannot offset the decline in our web-based games with bookings of our mobile games, our revenue and financial performance will suffer.
We are also a relatively new player in the mobile games market and therefore have a relatively short history of developing and launching mobile games. As a result, we may have difficulty predicting a new game’s development schedule and bookings for a game.
Ars covered the rise and fall of Zynga in a major feature film in September 2013.