Zynga Needs a Hit, Man

Turns out Draw Something didn't solve all the company's problems.

Plotting? (Photo: flickr.com/joi)

Today, Zynga is hosting the press (and their dogs) at its San Francisco HQ for something called “Unleashed,” where the company will presumably be “unleashing” some new games. Let’s hope they’re a little more entertaining than that pun, because, as the New York Times points out, the company could use some help.

It’s not like Zynga’s woes are a secret: Shares are currently at $6.07, having debuted at $10 and spent time under $5. More people are gaming on mobile devices, and Facebook’s growth is slowing. The company shelled out $180 million for Draw Something, which is currently cratering. That just goes to show you how quickly games fall out of fashion, which makes planning awfully hard.

Also, just yesterday, EA launched the open beta of its social take on SimCity, which was previously announced with a trailer proclaiming “more city, less ville,” to the sounds of Best Coast’s “The Only Place.” Ouch, guys.

Nevertheless, CEO Mark Pincus comes off as pretty carefree in his remarks to the Times, insisting he wasn’t worried about the stock price and claiming, “We’re focused on inventing a new consumer industry and looking to build that over the long term.” He also disagrees that gamers are a fickle, flighty bunch: “The vast majority of our games have grown steadily over time and then seen slow decline after they peaked, but they maintain player engagement.”

Nor would Mr. Pincus give up any details in advance of today’s splashy event. But–and this sounds like a hint–he doesn’t seem to see any limit to the expansion of the Ville franchise:

“We focus on evergreen categories and brands and game types,” Mr. Pincus said. “We think that the Ville games are fun, and as long as we keep making the game play fun, social and accessible, people will continue to want to engage with each other through those games.”

So expect a series of increasingly more ludicrous concepts, we guess? Here, we’ve got one for you: BubbleVille. Zynga Needs a Hit, Man