Why Yahoo or Amazon will buy Zynga:
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Zynga!
Now that the Words with Friends founders have quit so Zynga's future hopes in mobile are reduced, and $ZNGA is barely worth more than the cash it has in the bank, it's time for a buyer to swoop in.
Pincus has a majority of voting shares so he needs to approve the deal.
Apple, Facebook, or Google could buy Zynga but they don't need Zynga?
Who needs Zynga? Yahoo and Amazon.
Yahoo could use Zynga to jumpstart its social engagement.
Minus the cash it has in the bank, Zynga can be bought for a few hundred million dollars right now.
The only reason not to buy Zynga right now is that it probably will be cheaper in the future.
But MARK my words: Pincus will find his grace-saving exit, in preparation for his next career as a venture capitalist.
You think he'll be a VC? I still think Zynga is a "success" in terms of economic value and JOBS creation; however, I don't play their games at all.
Amazon or Google purchase make sense under your logic, since both now manufactur tablets -- and google manufactures phones under Motorola mobility.
What about EA, GREE, or even someone like Nintendo? Other possible purchasers.
Interesting thoughts on Zynga here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4620890
Here's a question for you smart folks: Adam, Christina, Greg, Chris Yeh -- a company that has more cash in the bank than its value , what should they do?
In Zynga's case it should decide if it has good use for the money.
If it does, do that. If not, find an acquirer.
I don't think gaming companies want any of the games Zynga has. Their main value is that they're social, not that they're good games.
And yes, he'll become a VC. He'll probably be good at it, too.
Nintendo is soon to enter the ... interesting phase; so that could inspire them to make an offer, plus Zynga Japan seems to make more "typical" video games.
What would you do if you were zynga? I wonder how it is to work there right now? Since its such a metrics driven company, that's a double-edged sword; everybody should know just exactly how the company is doing.
Problem with acquisition is inevitable brain drain; since they made so many acquisitions, it doesn't seem that folks working there have a ton of loyalty to the mothership -- at least that's the perception.
If your company is worth less than cash on hand, you need to ask yourself a question: Is the market correctly valuing my company?
It may be that you believe the market is wrong (as it often is), and you should continue to build your business.
If you believe the market is right, its still not clear what you should do. The best thing for shareholders is a massive dividend, but shutting down a company isn't easy; a controlled wind down takes some resources.
Everything I've heard from Zynga says they believe the market is wrong and they should continue to build their business.
A controlled wind down can happen only if the major stakeholders are willing to take a significant loss on their investment.
What I want to know is who bought ZNGA shares since it went public a year ago? Those are the people who are now holding the bag alongside any original shares that have not been cashed out.
I'd love to have an inside look at how people at Zynga feel about things right now. When I left they were still near their peak, and had only started their long, slow decline. But it was already a tense time, especially for management. God knows what it's like now.
Zynga seems like a great acquisition for Yahoo. They should fire all the managers from the various studios of course, but they'd be getting an army of devs ready to ditch their shitty, floundering games and work on new ones for Yahoo! Games.
The question is whether it would appeal to Marissa Mayer. I think there's still lots of money to be made in social/casual games, it's just that Zynga's methods in particular weren't sustainable.