What’s Zynga doing at E3, anyway?

As Zynga prepares to make its first appearance at E3 next month, the developer’s head of partner publishing Rob Dyer explains why the social game company decided to exhibit at the traditionally core-focused show.

Something was missing at last year’s E3.

While there were the usual big announcements and spectacle, the absence of Zynga – which was already one of the largest publishers in the industry – was a shadow hard to ignore. This year, though, the social games maker has reversed course – and will join the industry’s annual circus.

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Facebook’s anemic IPO takes heavy toll on Zynga

Shares of the social media site’s close ally Zynga briefly hit an all time low Friday and closed down precipitously. Editor at large Chris Morris looks at why investors fled – and what might lie ahead.

Through sheer force of will, Facebook managed to avoid closing at below its IPO price during its first day of trading on Wall Street. Unfortunately, that didn’t help its allies.

Zynga saw its stock lose roughly 14 percent of its value Friday – after briefly dropping to an all time low. Shares of the company closed at $7.12 following what can only be called an insane day of trading.

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Zynga stock plunges as Facebook shares begin trading

Not everyone is celebrating the launch of Facebook on Wall Street.

Shares of the social media site’s close ally Zynga nosedived when Facebook shares began trading Friday morning. The company saw its stock price fall more than 14 percent at one point during the day – with Nasdaq having to halt trading of shares twice due to those fluctuations.

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As IPO looms, Facebook confronts its game addiction

Five months after Zynga was center stage on Wall Street, Facebook is readying for its own IPO. And the parallels between the two companies are startling.

At the time (and since it began trading), FarmVille house Zynga was criticized for its over-reliance on the social media site. Investors grumbled that the offering was a dog and pony show — and investors would have no real say in the company’s operations, since the majority of shares remained controlled by Mark Pincus. And the company’s valuation seemed impossibly high.

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EA shares lowest since ’99 – is it now a takeover target?

With EA share prices at their lowest since July 1999, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris examines if one of game industry’s biggest players is a potential acquisition target.

Electronic Arts has been the rumor mill’s favorite grist for years — but in recent weeks, the company has found itself the subject of even more whispers than usual.

Reports that Nexon was planning a bid for the company proved to be a significant misunderstanding by a major news outlet, but with the company’s revelation Monday that subscribers to Star Wars: The Old Republic are leaving at an alarming pace and that the future earnings outlook is tepid, those takeover talks may be resurrected.

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King.com’s hard-fought battle for Facebook games’ second place

Now in its ninth year, King.com has rapidly become a social gaming powerhouse after pushing its games to Facebook. Amidst rumors of acquisitions and an IPO, Gamasutra speaks with the Bubble Witch house.

While it’s going to be a long while before anyone gets within striking distance of Zynga’s dominance when it comes to social games on Facebook, the fight for the number two position on that site is a fierce one, when it comes to daily active users.

Three companies are battling for the silver medal — Wooga, Electronic Arts and King.com. EA’s held the lead for a while, but earlier this month King.com broke away from the pack, largely on the strength of its Bubble Witch Saga game.

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Opinion: It’s time for Sony to consider a Vita price cut

A rapid price cut helped Nintendo save its 3DS handheld, and maybe it’s time for Sony to do the same with its PlayStation Vita, says Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris.

I feel bad for Kaz Hirai.

The new CEO of Sony has plenty on his plate these days. He recently announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs. He has the mighty task of reviving Sony’s once-powerful brand name. And he’s doing all of this as angry investors and skeptical analysts watch critically from the sidelines.

Analysis: Is Zynga’s spending out of control?

Zynga raised eyebrows with its $210 million acquisition of OMGPOP, and CEO Mark Pincus said there’s more high-dollar buyouts to come. Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris examines the spending frenzy.

Just under a month ago, the games world gasped when Zynga spent $180 million for Draw Something developer OMGPOP (plus a reported $30 million in employee retention payments). While the game was dominating the app store charts, that was still a shocking amount for a company with just one hit.

It turns out, though, that may have been just the beginning. In an interview with Bloomberg this week, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said he’s hoping to do “a few” more deals for that amount or higher. And that’s when the klaxons in people’s heads should have started sounding.

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Opinion: Despite Zelnick’s prediction, THQ not quite on life support

Take-Two’s CEO was blunt when he recently said THQ would be gone in six months. Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris argues it’ll still be around in 2012, but THQ needs to figure out a gameplan soon.

Industry watchers were treated to a rare bit of executive candor Thursday from Take-Two Interactive Software’s CEO.

Strauss Zelnick’s comment that “THQ won’t be around in six months” was shocking not so much because of his prediction, but because they seemed less like the contrived back-and-forth between Electronic Arts and Activision-Blizzard – and more honest opinion. The bigger question is: Was he right?

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Opinion: Apple’s shadow looms over next generation consoles

As the industry devours any scraps of gossip about the next Xbox or PlayStation, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris wonders if Microsoft and Sony are paying enough attention to Apple’s threat to the living room.

As the next generation of console systems looms, and the industry devours any scraps of gossip about the next Xbox or PlayStation, I’m starting to wonder if Microsoft and Sony are paying enough attention to Apple – and the threat it presents to their living room dominance.

While Steve Jobs never had a big interest in the gaming world, the app store quickly made the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch portable gaming powerhouses – albeit using a vastly different model than Nintendo and Sony. These days, Tim Cook is running the show – and he’s not an executive who’s going to ignore a $60 billion-plus industry.

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