Zynga Is Trying A New Gaming Style, Which Could Help Revive The Business

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Photo: Flickr / Fortune Live Media

Zynga is working on a “hardcore” style of game that’s devoted toward a more masculine audience, we’ve learned from several sources close to the company.As Zynga’s stock price, and business, collapse, it is pulling out all the stops to figure out something to save itself. We’ve previously reported on its plans to revamp its mobile game lineup, as well as the potential for online gambling.

Moving into “hardcore gaming” is another attempt at finding a way to get more users and more revenue.

Hardcore games are designed to be more competitive and are more like traditional games. They’re geared toward young males, who as a market are more competitive, and typically monetise better than normal games because of the audience.

Zynga has traditionally focused on “casual” games like Farmville. That game appeals to a broader audience, but it doesn’t monetise as well as the hardcore games.

Kixeye, a startup focused on hardcore gamers, tells us six per cent to nine per cent of its players end up as paying customers. That compares to Zynga, which only monetizes about two per cent of its players.

The hardcore audience is more competitive, and tend to be more willing to pay to become better at the game. By matching highly competitive players against each other regularly, you can fish out a paying customer more efficiently.

If this audience is so much more lucrative than the casual group, why is Zynga only going after them now? Because, it’s more of a niche. It’s a smaller group. But, if Zynga can scale the audience through Facebook, then it can make even more money. Or, for Zynga, it would help to have another revenue stream.

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