) and Hasbro (NYSE:
) have teamed up to turn FarmVille, Draw Something and other
popular online gaming franchises into physical toys. Is this a
brilliant business plan or another desperate attempt at survival?
Historically, Zynga has not been brilliant. The company has
it has had to
, leading many to question the company's
. Regardless, Zynga still leads the social gaming industry with
340 million monthly
worldwide. ChefVille and Zynga Slingo top the charts with more
than 48 million users each.
With so many consumers enthralled by Zynga's simplistic
) games, Hasbro could not resist the temptation to rebrand
several of its iconic toys. As a result, Hungry Hungry Hippos is
being marketed as
Hungry Hungry Herd
. CityVille is being given a
. Words With Friends may not be a complete rip-off of Scrabble,
but it is
While investors were initially intrigued by Monday's news,
they have since abandoned the stock and diminished all gains this
afternoon. Hasbro also experienced a minor decline in value.
Long-term, the Zynga/Hasbro alliance is unlikely to hurt
either company. In fact, it might add a small amount of revenue
to Zynga's bottom line. But it is unlikely to boost Hasbro's
profits by a significant margin, as the toy maker is known for
applying big licenses (such as Star Wars) to its existing line of
products. Most of them end up collecting dust in the clearance
sections of Wal-Mart (NYSE:
) and Target (NYSE:
By adding the FarmVille license, Hasbro might see an increase
in Hungry Hungry Hippos sales simply because the product is old
and dated and might attract a few new buyers.
The plan could also backfire. FarmVille may be a childish,
family-friendly game, but the majority of its players are
well over the age of 18
, and Hungry Hungry Herd is unlikely to appeal to that
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