We all know about Zynga’s struggles as social gaming moves from Facebook to mobile.
The publisher has lost hundreds of thousands of players, laid off scores of employees, and shut down games. While it beat expectations in its most recent earnings report, the firm’s stock price remains a shadow of what it was after its 2012 initial public offering.
You might want to add a perception problem to that list.
Today, Zynga launched a new game, Duck Dynasty Slots. The publisher has moved aggressively into the booming social-casino game segment, a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry and one in which mobile is becoming a bigger share of the revenue. But it’s now also promoting a game that includes a homophobe: Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty patriarch whom A&E suspended from the show — the network later backpedaled and relented — for his anti-gay comments.
GamesBeat contacted Zynga about Robertson’s inclusion. It confirmed that Robertson is in the game. This virtual slot machine focuses on things that happened in the series. None of his controversial comments appears in it.
It also affirmed its support of LGBT people and universal equality.
Zynga is committed to supporting diversity and the rights of our players and employees, including the LGBT community. As a company, we recently took a stance on gay rights by taking part in filing amicus briefings before the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the discriminatory actions of DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] and Proposition 8 [California’s ballot measure banning gay marriage]. Zynga’s Duck Dynasty Slots is based on the television show and does not reflect the personal beliefs of one individual. We are deeply committed to fostering a community built on respect and equality and we will be listening to our players to incorporate their feedback into our games in order to create the best possible experience.
Zynga joined a number of companies in amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court in cases against the DOMA and Prop. 8.
This isn’t Duck Dynasty‘s first appearance in a Zynga game. The show is also in Zynga’s Hit It Rich slots offering.