Zynga skyrocketed itself into gaming fame with Farmville, which was released on Facebook in 2009. Thanks to the success of that game, Zynga was able to build a thriving mobile gaming ecosystem, churning out hits like Words With Friends and its follow up apps, Gems With Friends, Hanging With Friends, and Matching With Friends.
Last year, Zynga experienced serious troubles, leading to the loss of several executives. As a result, Zynga downsized, shutting down its poorly performing games shifting its focus to mobile gaming, a move that has brought a slight rebound for the company.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Zynga president Steve Chiang spoke about the company’s shift towards mobile, and revealed that he believes that tablets, like Apple’s iPad, are becoming “the ultimate game platform.”
I think the tablet’s becoming almost the ultimate game platform. I play before I go to bed, and when I wake up, I play on my tablet. Imagine FarmVille 2 on a tablet, you can see the detail on a bigger farm and be able to manipulate things, getting a full experience on a tablet.
Chiang went on to say that Farmville 2 is coming to tablets, and that he expects a number of Zynga’s popular ’Ville games, like ChefVille, CityVille, and YoVille, to be available on the iPad in the coming months.
Mobile gaming is currently responsible for 30 percent of Zynga’s revenue, but that figure may increase in the future. According to Chiang, Zynga’s top developers were working on Facebook games, which are now finishing up. As a result, those developers will be focusing on mobile games in 2013.
We just got out of a product review, and it was a really awe-inspiring product review. We’ve got a number of really cool titles coming. That’s when you’ll really see what our mobile’s going to look like; a lot of that was started in the middle of last year.
Chiang emphasizes his belief that mobile games are the future several times throughout the interview, noting that Zynga’s userbase is moving onto mobile. “Like me, I barely use a PC except at work,” he says. “Outside of work, I’m all handset and tablet.”
Zynga fans can also expect more high quality games from the studio in the future, as the company is now focusing on “fewer, better” games, many of which are mobile. “Right now, there’s a land grab in mobile and everybody’s getting in,” he says. “We really want to establish Zynga with game quality for our players.”
As the studio that famously copied hit Nimblebit game Tiny Tower, Zynga will need to work hard to convince potential gamers that its freemium titles are quality games.
Earlier today, Omgpop and Zynga revealed one hit the company is working on - Draw Something 2. Though it does not yet have a release date, Draw Something 2, which will focus heavily on the social experience, is expected later this year.