International edition
September 28, 2020

YoVille to close amid falling user numbers

Zynga release Plus Poker real-money on Facebook

(UK).-Social game developer Zynga has launched its real-money online poker product on Facebook’s users in the UK. Zynga has also announced the closure of its YoVille game, effective March 31. At its peak in 2009, YoVille counted nearly 20m monthly average users, but that figure has since plummeted – much like Zynga’s post-IPO stock price – to just 354k.

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Zynga representative told Inside Social Games that YoVille’s closure was a “tough decision” but necessary to enable the company to “put more time and energy into developing new games for our players.” Zynga has undergone a significant contraction in game titles, employee ranks and studio offices over the past 12 months, during which time its daily active user ranks have fallen 50%.

Last July, Zynga announced its plan to make a real-money version of its popular free-play online poker product available on the social network. The move comes despite the fact that the UK-facing real-money Zynga Plus poker and casino collaboration withBwin.party digital entertainment failed to make much of an impression when it launched last April, as well as the fact that Zynga has abandoned plans to pursue real-money online gambling opportunities in the United States.

Speculation has it that Zynga believes its once-loyal Facebook following was too bone-idle to take the extra step outside the social network in order to access its real-money games. While the new real-money Zynga Plus Poker app eliminates the need for a downloadable client, it essentially remains a rebranded PartyPoker skin, something with which real-money poker players in the UK are likely already well familiar, meaning don’t expect any earthshaking liquidity surge. Facebook officially popped its real-money gambling cherry in August 2012 via the launch of Gamesys’ Bingo & Slots Friendzy app.

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