Mark Pincus returned to Zynga as CEO in April, taking the reigns back from Don Mattrick, the executive he hired to replace himself in 2013.
Nearly five months later, Zynga is still struggling. Shares of the social game maker rose following its earnings report earlier this month, but many of the company's key games continue to lose players, and it's not clear that its planned successors will be able to pick up the slack.
But on Zynga's most recent earnings call, Pincus reiterated his commitment to the company and explained how he plans to turn around the troubled firm.
Go back to targeting casualsPincus built Zynga's business around casual players -- the sort of individuals who enjoy video games but may not have the time or interest to dedicate themselves to the engrossing, high-budget titles that dominate dedicated gaming consoles. Most of Zynga's early flagship games -- Words with Friends, FarmVille, Zynga Poker -- fit this mold, with simplistic graphics and accessible game play.
Under Mattrick, Zynga appeared to be headed in a slightly different direction. The former Xbox head didn't bring Zynga's titles to the living room but did appear to be in the process of reorientating the firm, shifting Zynga's focus to games that more closely resembled those found on consoles.
Under Mattrick, Zynga acquired NaturalMotion, a mobile developer known mostly for Clumsy Ninja, one of the best-looking games available on the iTunes app store, and Euphoria, the software engine that underpins it. Dawn of Titans, NaturalMotion's upcoming strategy game, is almost indistinguishable from a console title, and appears to be aimed at a more core audience.
Pincus isn't giving up onDawn of Titans(the game is slated to make its U.S. debut later this year) or NaturalMotion, but he intends to bring Zynga back to its original focus.
Put a greater emphasis on dataPincus also plans to put a greater emphasis on data. This isn't a radical departure from Zynga's business model as it stands -- the company has long been known for using data to influence its design decisions -- but Pincus emphasized a renewed focus on data during the earnings call.
Be more innovativeFinally, Pincus plans to place a greater emphasis on innovation. Admittedly this is something of a platitude, but he did offer a few concrete examples: last month, for example, Zynga launched Mountain Goat Mountain, a quirky, experimental mobile game developed by just a handful of Zynga's employees. Pincus acknowledged that the game wouldn't move the company forward but held it up as an example of the sort of culture he's hoping to build.
The article Mark Pincus Reveals His Plan to Save Zynga Inc originally appeared on Fool.com.
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