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Zynga's HQ May Be More Valuable Than the Company

Building Zynga bought in 2012 for $228M may now be worth closer to $540M

(Newser) - As a publicly held company, Zynga, the gaming company perhaps best known for FarmVille and Words With Friends, isn't doing so hot. Its market value of $9 billion in oh-so-distant 2011 has dropped to $2 billion, and the blog Halting Problem says that after factoring in substantial cash reserves,... More »

Ousted Zynga Founder Rides Back in, Stock Craters

Mark Pincus takes CEO slot from guy hired to clean up his mess

(Newser) - The return of Zynga founder Mark Pincus as the digital game maker's CEO is bringing back bad memories about the problems that prompted him to step down nearly two years ago. Zynga's stock shed 43 cents, or nearly 15%, to $2.47 in today's trading as investors... More »

'Words With Friends' Sues 'Bang With Friends'

Zynga says hookup app infringes trademark

(Newser) - Zynga makes the popular apps "Words With Friends" and "Chess With Friends." But it does not make the popular app "Bang With Friends." The former are board games. The latter helps Facebook friends hook up for casual sex. Now the company is suing Bang With... More »

Zynga CEO Hands Power to Xbox Chief

Pincus steps aside as gaming firm flounders

(Newser) - After a disastrous year and a major round of layoffs , Zynga has decided its founding CEO is no longer the person for the job. The social gaming firm behind titles such as FarmVille has chosen Don Mattrick, the current chief of Microsoft's Xbox division, to replace Mark Pincus at... More »

Hard-Hit Zynga Laying Off 18% of Workers

FarmVille maker struggles with rise in mobile gaming

(Newser) - Hard times have hit Zynga, maker of hit social games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille—as well as numerous other now-closed duds . The company, which was blindsided by the steep rise in mobile gaming and corresponding desktop decline, is laying off 18% of its workforce, around 520 people, All Things... More »

Now, Hip Companies Have Formal Fridays

Because they're casual the rest of the time

(Newser) - Casual Friday is something of a non sequitur in the denim-clad offices of Silicon Valley and other modern American employers—every day is casual. So a select number of hip, nonconformist companies are going the other way, and encouraging everyone to dust off their suit, ties, and dresses ahead of... More »

Zynga Kills 11 Games After Terrible Year

Farewell to FishVille as battered firm cuts costs

(Newser) - Social media gaming titan Zynga has whacked Mafia Wars 2, put down PetVille, and fried FishVille as part of a cost-cutting drive. The company is shutting down a total of 11 games, closing offices, and laying off more than 100 employees as it seeks to recover from a disastrous year... More »

Zynga Is Trying to Get a Gambling License

Company files paperwork in Nevada

(Newser) - Papa needs a new pair of … cows? Zynga yesterday filed the first salvo of paperwork necessary to obtain an online gambling license in Nevada, the Wall Street Journal reports. But don't expect to be betting on Farmville (or more likely titles like Zynga Poker) anytime soon. The document... More »

Key Groupon Investors Ditch the Troubled Stock

Critics say big pre-IPO investments overvalued the company

(Newser) - With Groupon having lost three-quarters of its IPO value, several of its key early investors, including web icon Marc Andreessen, have left the building, reports the Wall Street Journal . Andreessen's firm, Andreessen Horowitz, invested $40 million of the $950 million pumped into Groupon in the months before it went... More »

Zynga Plummets, Points Finger at Facebook

Shares fall after 2nd quarter report

(Newser) - Yet another disappointing set of second-quarter financial results—this time from Zynga. The maker of social games, whose 2011 IPO was one of the Internet’s biggest ever , lost $22.8 million during the quarter, reported less-than-expected revenue of $332 million, and issued a very weak forecast for the... More »

Zynga Churns Out 3 More 'Ville' Titles

Gaming firm looks to restore stock price

(Newser) - Tired of FarmVille? Never fear: Amid reports of departing users, Zynga is releasing three new potential addictions. The Ville, by the guy who brought you CityVille and FarmVille, is a lot like the Sims doused in Facebook updates. ChefVille offers a restaurant environment, and FarmVille 2 takes the franchise 3-D,... More »

Zynga Blows $1.4M on CEO Security

With a decent chunk going to his own security company

(Newser) - Zynga CEO Mark Pincus must be a really important guy, because his company is spending a whopping $1.37 million on his personal security, the Wall Street Journal reports. Of that, $596,000 went to a company owned by—you guessed it—Pincus himself. In regulatory filings, the firm says... More »

'Words With Friends' Saves Man's Life

Smartphone game prompts medical discussion

(Newser) - A man in Australia is thanking his lucky stars his wife has a penchant for word games. A few years back, Georgie Fletcher began battling an international opponent she'd never met: Missouri resident Beth Legler. Chatting as they played, the two happened to discuss Fletcher's husband, who wasn'... More »

No Pop in Zynga's IPO

Opens at $11 a share, then sinks below IPO price of $10

(Newser) - Maybe it's not such a great day to live in Farmville after all. Zynga's much ballyhooed IPO took a turn for the negative this morning. Though things seemed encouraging out the gate—shares opened on Nasdaq a dollar above its $10 initial public offering price—they sank below... More »

Farmville Maker Zynga's IPO Pegs Value at $7B

Company sets shares at $10

(Newser) - Tomorrow should be a pretty good day to live in Farmville: Creator Zynga begins trading publicly on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker ZNGA, and the company has set the price for the 100 million shares being sold at $10, reports MarketWatch . That would peg the market value of Zynga... More »

Baldwin Apologizes to Passengers, Slams Airlines

Says industry using 9/11 as an excuse for lousy service

(Newser) - More fallout from Alec Baldwin's American Airlines incident : The actor has taken himself off Twitter. "Let’s play a game called Mass Unfollowing. I want to crash this acct and start again," he wrote before deactivating his account, according to the New York Post . But that doesn'... More »

IPO Values Zynga at $9B

Farmville firm to sell 11.1% stake

(Newser) - Online gaming company Zynga is preparing an IPO that values the company at between $7.7 billion and $9.04 billion. The Farmville firm is selling an 11.1% stake, with 100 million shares going for between $8.50 and $10 each. The figures put Zynga on track to raise... More »

Poker's Big Gamble —Dropping Gambling

Poker federation wants to change image into that of a 'mind sport'

(Newser) - The International Federation of Poker is making its biggest gamble yet—that poker can become a bigger game by getting rid of the gambling. “The fact is there are all these people who are attracted to poker but have stayed away from it because they didn’t want to... More »

Zynga to Workers: Can We Have That Stock Back?

Move could rock Silicon Valley model if successful

(Newser) - With what’s expected to be an almost $20 billion IPO looming, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus is starting to wish he hadn’t given out so much stock to attract early employees to his company. So he’s doing something unheard of: He’s demanding employees give their stock back... More »

Facebook Apps Actually Create Jobs—182K So Far

You waste time on them at work ... giving someone else a chance to work

(Newser) - Playing FarmVille may not make you an actual farmer—but it does help create some bona fide, albeit non-agricultural, jobs. A new study released today estimates that more than 182,000 jobs have been created because of Facebook applications. University of Maryland Business School researchers pegged the number of software-company... More »

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