Zynga dominates social games market with 38 percent share

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Zynga Monopoly ManSurprised? If Zynga were a person, he'd probably be Daddy Warbucks, or maybe even Uncle Pennybags. IHS Screen Digest reports that Zynga, who brought in $554 million in revenue in 2010, now holds 38.1 percent of the overall social games market share. That's almost a 5 percent increase from the previous year's 33.9 percent. This means that not only is the creator of FarmVille and CityVille filthy rich (it's estimated to be worth $9 to $10 billion), it's also very, very powerful. At least when it comes to social games, anyway.

According to PCMag, the report goes on to reveal that EA, the second place social game publisher and owner of Playfish, recorded a mere estimated $90 million in revenue, or 6.5 percent of the market. And the third place publisher and developer team, Disney and Playdom, hold just 5.5 percent of the market with an estimated $77 million in revenue.

But Zynga's power isn't just it's money, but what that money allows it to do. When it wants to enter a new market, create a game with a new feature or on a new platform, it just buys companies with an existing presence or expertise there. Regardless of whether its methods are 'borrowed' from weaker companies, when Zynga introduces a relatively new feature to its games, the entire industry takes notes.

Just look at the questing system first released by Zynga through FrontierVille. Sure, it could have been picked up from another company, but look at every single social game you play now. (Does it have quests? We thought so.) While we're all looking for innovation from these smaller, more fearless social game companies, it's Zynga that will bring that innovation to the forefront regardless of where it comes from, legitimate or not.

How do you think Zynga's massive majority share will affect social games in the future? Do you think any company has a chance of rising up against it? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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