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Zynga posts record mobile bookings of $341m in Q1 2019 thanks to Empires & Puzzles and Merge Dragons

However losses increased significantly due to the outperformance of these titles, resulting in bigger earnouts for Small Giant Games and Gram Games
Zynga posts record mobile bookings of $341m in Q1 2019 thanks to Empires & Puzzles and Merge Dragons

Zynga revenue increased 27 per cent year-on-year to $265 million during Q1 2019 thanks to the acquisitions of Small Giant Games and Gram Games.

In its latest financials, the publisher stated that bookings had shot up by 64 per cent to $359m during the quarter compared to the year prior.

The company had its best revenue and booking performance on mobile in its history, with sales rising 35 per cent to $246m and bookings up 77 per cent to $34m.

Mobile now accounts for 93 per cent of Zynga’s total revenue and 95 per cent of total bookings.

Mobile advertising also saw its best quarter with sales up 48 per cent year-on-year to $63m and bookings up 46 per cent to $63m.

New forever franchises

Net losses were considerably higher than expected for the quarter. The publisher had expected losses of $59m, but it actually reported a loss of just under $129m.

This was said to be due to the outperformance of Gram's Merge Dragons and Small Giants' Empires & Puzzles, which means Zynga now has to pay more for those acquisitions based on performance.

Merge Dragons revenue rose 91 per cent sequentially, with bookings also up 64 per cent.

Gram's hit represented 18 per cent of Zynga’s online bookings revenue for Q1 - making it the company’s single best-performing game for the quarter. Slots represented 14 per cent, Zynga Poker nine per cent, CSR nine per cent and other titles made up the rest (44 per cent).

It’s worth noting that Zynga also highlighted CSR2 as a top performer, with sales up 27 per cent and bookings up 16 per cent year-on-year. Words With Friends meanwhile has its best-ever Q1 with mobile revenue up 49 per cent and mobile bookings up 38 per cent year-on-year.

Revenue and bookings for Zynga Poker however fell 17 per cent and 22 per cent year-on-year respectively. The publisher claimed the game continues to recover from platform changes and adjustments to its in-game economy that began in mid-2018. Sequentially, revenue and bookings were down eight per cent and seven per cent.

Shrinking active user base

Despite the acquisitions of companies like Small Giant and Gram Games, the number of daily active users in Zynga’s portfolio actually declined year-on-year by two per cent to 22m.

The growth of these games was offset by the declines of players in Zynga Poker and Words With Friends.

The number of monthly active users also fell 12 per cent to 72m, which the company put down to drops in users for its mobile titles, chat games and Solitaire.

Guidance for the full year has been raised, with revenue forecast to increase 32 per cent to $1.2 billion and bookings to grow 50 per cent to $1.45 billion - the latter $100m higher than previously estimated.