'FarmVille' creator Zynga's bookings get a lift from mobile gaming demand

The Zynga logo is pictured at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Zynga Inc (ZNGA.O) beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly net bookings on Monday, fueled by demand for its popular franchise "FarmVille" and contribution from the acquisition of mobile game developer Rollic.

Net bookings rose 6% to $668 million in the third quarter, beating analysts' average estimate of $666 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Zynga, which said "FarmVille 3" is off to a great start since its launch last week, however, forecast current-quarter net bookings of $715 million, compared with estimates of $715.4 million.

The company is also taking a "little bit more of a conservative stance on how the advertising business is going to perform in the fourth quarter," Chief Executive Officer Frank Gibeau told Reuters.

Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) recent privacy changes to its operating system that make it hard for third-play apps to track iPhone users without their consent have prompted warnings from several social media firms, including Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O) and Snap Inc .

Zynga has been a prolific acquirer. It bought mobile game ad network Chartboost to bring advertising in-house, while bolstering its mobile game portfolio by snapping up Peak, Rollic and Echtra Games.

A pandemic winner, the company is also contending with more gamers stepping outside following COVID-19 vaccinations and the easing of restrictions.

"We have seen a drop in DAUs (Daily Active Users) because people have kind of gone from being sheltered at home and moved back to jobs, school and wherever else. So, we have seen a drop in demand for games versus the peak COVID quarters," Gibeau said.

Total revenue rose 40% to $704.7 million.

Zynga's quarterly net loss narrowed to $41.7 million, or 4 cents per share, from $122.2 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.

Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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