Zynga is a name that has become synonymous with online gaming. A behemoth in the gaming industry, the company, headed by CEO Mark Pincus, is a case study for all those who want to make it big in this highly promising sector.
The Zynga success story is one of great interest. Based on a largely-free business model, the company had a lot of detractors in the beginning who scoffed at the idea of a free gaming service that could still rake in the profits. Pincus’ approach to gaming was that anybody, anywhere could play free quality games, with the exception of paying a small fee to better his/her results. This visionary outlook was viewed as ‘deranged’ at the outset, with numerous people even stating that Zynga was not a ‘real gaming company’.
Mark Pincus founded Zynga as an entrepreneur who had absolutely no experience in the highly-competitive gaming industry. During the early days of Zynga, he’d approached gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) to invest in the company, only to be laughed at for his free-for-play model. Given that EA followed the traditional pay-for-play system of gaming to rake in the money, this was no surprise.
Despite the several setbacks Mark Pincus experienced at the outset, he remained undeterred, which eventually worked wonders for him. This was because he struck up fruitful relationships with people like Bing Gordon, a gaming veteran, gaming designers Brian Reynolds and Mark Skaggs, and Owen Van Natta of Facebook. Skaggs and Reynolds in particular were instrumental in making Zynga rise above the clutter with their addictive, innovative gaming styles no one had ever experienced before.
In its short five-year history, Zynga has already earned well over $1.5 billion in revenues and consistently bagged the top six spots in the ‘most popular Facebook games’ list. Mark Pincus took things further by way of a public offering (IPO) for the company, the value of which is estimated to be approximately $8.9 billion.