The New York Times seems to have caught onto something that we've known for a long time -- Zynga is kind of a big deal. In the past month, The Grey Lady saw fit to review FrontierVille and write up the FarmVille advertising-based promotion with Cascadian Farms, which allows farmers to plant and harvest organic blueberries.
In today's issue of the Times, a new article poses the question: Is Zynga the next Google? Rather, will Zynga be to online games what Google is to search? If you consider the fact that Zynga is predicted to bring in $500 million this year from its 100 million users, the article says it looks like this Silicon Valley startup might reach Google-esque proportions.
"So far, he seems on track. The Zynga Game Network, as the company is officially called, is the hottest start-up to emerge from Silicon Valley since Twitter and, before that, Facebook. Unlike Twitter, which has meager revenue, Zynga is on a path to pocket as much as $500 million in revenue this year, according to the Inside Network, which tracks Facebook apps.
While Facebook needed four and a half years to reach 100 million users, Zynga crossed that mark after just two and a half years"
The article gives a good overview of Zynga -- a worthwhile read if you're not familiar with the company responsible for Farmville, FrontierVille and some of your other favorite games on Facebook.
If you are, the article is pretty much a mash-up of the popular news surrounding the company over the past two years: How they make money selling virtual goods, the 'ScamVille' scandal, how CEO Mark Pincus' bravado gets him into hot water and how the recent drop in FarmVille's monthly active users hasn't led to a big drop in revenue.
"Asked how big Zynga can become, Mr. Pincus has a difficult time hiding his ambition.
'I am drinking the Kool-Aid more than anyone,' he says."
Probably the only new tidbits in this article: Pincus admits that he considers FarmVille and other Zynga games to be goofy and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says if he started his career over, he'd want to be just like Pincus. Hard to blame the Zynga CEO for a swelled head after getting such high praise from a Hollywood muckity muck. Hmm...maybe that squelched Mafia Wars movie rumor still has some life after all.
Read the entire New York Times article >
Image courtesy of wallyg on Flickr.