Zynga, the once-dominant social gaming operator, did something in 2017 it hadn’t done in almost seven years…it turned a profit.
A profitable year is a small step forward for the company that practically invented social gaming in the early social media era, but has struggled to stay relevant in the age of mobile devices. That’s what makes this week’s report from company officials that profit for the whole year was $26.6 million on revenue of $861.4 million. That’s an uptick of $135 million over the previous year.
For Q4 2017, Zynga saw pulled in $233 million worth of revenue to make it its third consecutive profitable quarter. That’s a 22 percent improvement over that same period in 2016. In Q4 2016, Zynga actually lost around $35 million.
So how does a company like Zynga break a seven year itch of living in the red? For starters, it seems as though the company that made its bread and butter on Facebook games like Farmville has finally shifted its focus completely over to mobile gaming. Revenue from mobile apps was up 29 percent in 2017 and accounted for 86 percent of the company’s total profit.
Zynga Poker, the company’s flagship game, was also a big factor in bringing Zynga back into the black. Its mobile revenue was up 44 percent over the previous year and accounted for 22 percent of the company’s total gaming profits.
Since the dawn of the social media era, Zynga has seen its fortunes rise and fall as it struggled to find its place in a marketplace that seemed to be undergoing tectonic shifts. If current trends hold, it looks as though Zynga may have finally found its place in the world.