Zynga CEO Mark Pincus on New Horizons for Social Gaming

Interviews with people who shape our culture.
July 26 2012 5:52 PM

Does Zynga Need a New Game Plan?

CEO Mark Pincus on why FarmVille and social gaming need to thrive outside of Facebook.

Mark Pincus.
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus

Photograph by Larry Busacca/Getty Images.

There’s little joy in FarmVille or CityVille following a disappointing earnings report from Zynga. The social-games maker announced losses of almost $23 million during the second quarter, and that triggered a 40 percent drop in its stock price. 

Among other things, Zynga officials cited “a more challenging environment” on Facebook, which saw its stock hit all-time lows in after-hours trading Thursday following the release of its first earnings report since going public in May. 

For Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, the disappointing earnings confirm what he already knew: His company needs to move aggressively beyond Facebook into mobile gaming and other horizons. To that end, Pincus announced Wednesday the company plans to get into real-money gambling games in 2013. And as he told Slate’s Jacob Weisberg in a recent interview, the future success of social gaming depends on a rather simple principle: lowering the barriers to play.

In the days ahead, look for more of our interview with Pincus, including his take on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.