There’s a reason I have a screenshot of a “Words With Friends” game move on my iPhone 5 that the app rejected and wouldn’t allow me to play.
“Sorry, Irish is not an acceptable word,” it reads. Come on, man! It thinks “Irish” isn’t really a word? In whose dictionary? Ah yes, that quirky “Words With Friends” world, whereby words we use in everyday language aren’t acceptable in that Zynga world.
But even with rejections like the aforementioned one, I will continue to play on. My father-in-law just nudge me to “get a move on” it since it’s my turn and all, plus, I probably owe my husband a move in the game – or rather, he owe me one.
It’s that irascible yet fun-loving gaming app that has caused people to take to the “Words With Friends” in droves, the addicting and intelligent game that forces some people to continue playing even after the flight attendants have warned them to put their Smartphones in airplane mode. (I’m looking at you, Mr. Alec Baldwin.)
However, simply because a game is popular doesn’t make it profitable, nor able to escape Wall Street woes. Perhaps it’s due to the way the app has structured those annoying (and entertaining) ads that pop up during the free version, some that you can’t get rid of if that “close this out X” doesn’t appear in a timely manner, or at all.
I also love the way the video ads display that “Continue” button quite a while after you’ve watched the thing – and those who aren’t adept enough at their Smartphone’s functioning that they click their home buttons and swipe the game closed right away must suffer through watching.
Zynga’s recent stock announcement
Speaking of Zynga, the company is experiencing certain aspects of good news combined with disappointing news as tech stocks like Amazon, Microsoft and Zynga announce their earnings today – the latter being the company that Electronic Arts head Frank Gibeausays “blew it” in becoming a gaming firm strictly focused on the Facebook platform.
Perhaps he’s right, seeing as though shares of the gaming firm are up 5 cents – but that news comes combined with the warning from months ago that their third quarter results would fall short of what Wall Street had forecast for the company.
Pundits predicted losses as great as 4 cents of revenue of $142.7 million, capping off a hard year for the company, which came to fame with FarmVille and “Online Poker,” after giving up on plans to create an online gambling social game that used real money as bait to draw even more legions of fans.
Zynga withdrew their online poker license in Nevada, choosing to focus on games that are free for their fans to play. The company has experienced layoffs in an effort to focus their attention on new mobile quests. Their CEO, Don Mattrick, said that they planned to see plenty of changes in their business that would last well into the third and fourth quarters of 2013, as well as into the first and second quarters of 2014.
How this volatility will affect beloved games like FarmVille, Words With Friends and any other new potentially addictive games that the company thinks up next remains to be seen, but in the meantime, here’s hoping the company can urge the developers to include a lot more proper names inside their app for word lovers. Perhaps it would help ease the frustration and make even more people want to play and challenge their friends and family to a mental duel – and maybe Zynga can find a better way to monetize their games and improve their bottom line in the end.