Zynga: Advertising and mobile sectors propel company to a record quarter

Zynga reported $212 million in mobile revenue for Q3 2018.

Zynga has released its quarterly earnings report, and the numbers boast record revenue for the company’s stable of mobile games. Largely driven by Words With Friends, Q3 2018 saw Zynga’s best-ever mobile game performance with a revenue of $212 million. In all, Zynga brought in $233 million in Q3. According to the report, mobile now represents 91 percent of the entirety of Zynga’s revenue.

It’s not just mobile games that helped boost Zynga to a 4 percent year-over-year increase in revenue--mobile advertising sales jumped by an enormous 45 percent over last year as well. This number is mostly thanks to player engagement in Words With Friends, Zynga’s Scrabble-esque puzzler. Profits from the game increased by 42 percent over the last year.

Recently, Zynga has been focusing on it’s live-service games, and now the company feels that they have reached a level of profitability that will allow for the creation of new IPs. “Our focus on growing our forever franchises...has improved our player experiences and enabled us to surpass our near-term margin goal in Q3,” the earnings report reads. “Now that we have established a strong foundation of live services, we’re excited to start layering in a compelling pipeline of new games to drive bookings and profitability over the coming years.”

Those new properties will include mobile games set in the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones universes and will adhere to genres that have been historically lucrative for Zynga. The Harry Potter tie-in will be a match-three puzzle game, for example, while the Game of Thrones game will feature casino-style slots. Also on the docket is a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory match-three title and a Star Wars-themed mobile game.

While there is certainly a place in the gaming landscape for story-driven single-player games, there is no denying how profitable the games-as-a-service and mobile sector is. Zynga has made its nut on microtranscation-laden titles such as FarmVille and Zynga Poker, and with mobile games racking up record numbers there’s no reason to expect a decrease in mobile-focused business models.

Sam has been freelancing since 2016, and has bylines at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, and Unwinnable. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at sdesatoff@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter.