The Zynga Inc. Farmville 2 game is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPad in this arranged photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Zynga Wants to Know If Fans Will Pay to Play Its Games

(Bloomberg) -- Zynga Inc., the pioneer in free-to-play mobile games, is considering offering monthly subscriptions to popular titles such as Words With Friends as a way to boost revenue.

Chief Executive Officer Frank Gibeau said Wednesday in an interview that customers who sign up would get extra content. He also sees a role for Zynga titles in the online gaming platforms being rolled out by companies such as Google and Apple Inc.

“Streaming as a distribution technology is going to be here and it’s going to be big, whether it’s subscription or free-to-play,” he said.

Zynga Wants to Know If Fans Will Pay to Play Its Games

Zynga, based in San Francisco, reported first-quarter sales grew to $265.4 million, ahead of Wall Street projections of $242.4 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation and amortization totaled $75.5 million and also beat analysts’ estimates.

Shares of Zynga rose as much as 11 percent to $6.13 in extended trading. The stock was up 40 percent this year through Wednesday’s close.

The company lifted its full-year revenue guidance by $50 million to $1.2 billion due to the strength of recently acquired games such as Empires & Puzzles and Merge Dragons!, Gibeau said.

Zynga expects second-quarter sales of $280 million, above Wall Street forecasts, and adjusted Ebitda of $62 million, compared with analysts’ estimates of $56.4 million.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.