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Zynga loses half of its active users, drops plans for real money gambling

Zynga loses half of its active users, drops plans for real money gambling

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Actual gambling won't be coming to your favorite -Ville anytime soon. Despite launching an online gambling initiative in the UK just four months ago, Zynga has announced that it no longer views betting with real money as a major opportunity. It'll continue to operate its test market of casino games in the UK for now, but it won't try to acquire the necessary licences to move them into the United States. The company now says that it will continue to focus on free-to-play games, as it has done in the past.

Zynga suggested real money gambling would turn things around

However that strategy hasn't been entirely successful of late. In its quarterly financial earnings, Zynga revealed today that it's lost nearly half of its daily active users over the last year, falling from 72 million in the second quarter of 2012 to 39 million in the second quarter of 2013. The company also took a $15.8 million loss on $230 million in revenue, with revenue falling 31 percent year-over-year. While Zynga had suggested that real money gambling could be a way to recover from its declining earning, the developer may not have been eager to enter what would likely have been an arduous process to be cleared for operation in the US.

The big change comes less than a month after instating a new CEO. Zynga has brought on Don Mattrick, who previously led Microsoft's Xbox division, and it appears that Mattrick is interested in refocusing the struggling studio on the type of social games that it became known for. "We need to get back to basics and take a longer term view on our products and business," Mattrick said in a statement. Mattrick also noted that he believed the free-to-play gaming space will see "phenomenal growth" over the next few years — naturally, he wants Zynga to be at the head of it.