Ever since the spring, reports have pegged profitable social games maker Zynga with all sorts of 2009 revenues — from $100 million to $200 million.
This morning, the startup finally disclosed some revenue figures itself.
Zynga announced today that, selling special virtual goods in its FarmVille game over the past three weeks, it raised $427,000 for children in Haiti.
The way FarmVille works is, players get a plot of land and some seeds to cultivate it. When the crops grow, the players sell the harvest and get FarmVille money to spend on more seeds and land. Players plant those seeds on more land, grow more crops to sell for more money to by more seeds and land. Zynga makes money off FarmVille by allowing users speed their progress by putting real money into the game in order to buy land and seeds faster.
Zynga raised money for Haitian children by selling users “Sweet Seeds for Haiti” along with the normal seeds and then donating half the proceeds.
So OK, Zynga hasn’t helped us figure out whether their revenues are $100 million, $150 million, or $200 million with this announcement.
But by telling us that some of its 59 million monthly FarmVille users spent $854,000 on just one product of the many available in just three weeks (annualized, the number is $14.8 million), Zynga is sending a very clear message: Yo! People really are spending lots of money in our games.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said FarmVille users spent $427,000 on “Sweet Seeds for Haiti.” Since Zynga said it was donating half its proceeds, clearly users spent $854,000 (an even more impressive number).
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