Zynga Inc. is the world's leading provider of social game services with more than 240 million monthly active users playing its games, which include: CityVille, Zynga Poker, Draw Something, Hidden Chronicles, FarmVille, CastleVille, Words With Friends, Empires & Allies, Scramble With Friends, Café World, The Pioneer Trail, Indiana Jones™ Adventure World and Mafia Wars. Zynga's games are available on a number of global platforms, including Facebook, Zynga.com, Google+, Tencent, Apple iOS and Google Android. Through Zynga.org, Zynga players have raised more than $10 million for world social causes.
How did Zynga manage to enter and successfully compete in the highly competitive social gaming industry against giants such as EA and Nintendo? Mark Pincus’ (CEO) approach was to start small, and hire 20 or more game developers to work interactively in teams of 10-15 members to continuously create, develop, and then perfect new games such as Farmville. By 2011, Zynga employed over 1,200 game developers and designers, and promoted a relaxed, university campus-like environment.
Mark Skaggs, Zynga’s Senior Vice President of product design, describes the company’s strategy toward game making as “fast, light, and right.” Zynga’s games take only a few weeks or months to design because the company’s developing teams work in self-managed groups that, today, may have up to 30 members.
Another aspect of strategy that works well for Zynga is its competency to continuously customize every game it develops to better appeal to the likes and dislikes of its users. Unlike other leading game-makers who cannot change their games after they have been released, much of Zynga’s game development takes place after a game is released. Zygna’s designers work around-the-clock to enhance content, correct errors, test new features, and constantly modify a new game based upon real-time feedback detailing how game players are “interacting” with the game. This allows...