Zynga reports fewer players of its online games, shares drop

Zynga Inc said on Wednesday the number of people playing its online games dropped dramatically in the first quarter, a development that overshadowed better-than-expected revenue figures and sent its stock tumbling in after-hours trade.

Shares fell 10 percent to $2.99 in extended trading.

The San Francisco-based publisher behind games like "FarmVille" and "Words With Friends" said its number of monthly players continued its decline to 253 million, the lowest figure since the number peaked at 331 million at the end of the third quarter of 2012.

The company has struggled to keep users, who once flocked to its games on Facebook Inc's website. In recent months, Zynga and Facebook have revised their business partnership, as Zynga has sought to establish itself as a more independent gaming network.

The company reported revenues of $263.6 million, down 18 percent from the year-ago quarter but above Wall Street's depressed expectations as the online game maker wrung more sales out of its shrinking user base.

Zynga's quarterly bookings of $229.8 million also topped estimates but represented a 30 percent decline from a year ago.

(Reporting By Gerry Shih; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)