Zynga hasn't forgotten about a next version of FarmVille, but has largely set its 2013 pipeline and concedes the hit game is "an important franchise for us."
Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Technology Media and Telecom conference today, Zynga CFO Dave Wehner was asked about an updated version of FarmVille. Here's what he said, according to a transcript:
We haven't announced anything about an updated version of FarmVille. Clearly, that's an important franchise for us and it's an important category for our users, and we'll want to continue to serve that category well but we haven't announced anything specific.
The follow-up for Wehner revolved around the game pipeline in 2013 and 2014. Wehner noted:
For 2013, we've got a pretty good idea of what the pipeline looks like. But when you look out beyond that, it's not as clear. But we've got ideas that we are already starting on. It could be going that far out. If you recall the investment required to build these games is generally single-digit millions of dollars, and what that means is you don't necessarily need to work on them for five years. So it's a shorter development cycle than what you'd see in traditional video games or certainly what you would see in MMOs where you've got five years of investment and hundreds of millions of dollars.
Obviously, the questions indicated that Wall Street bigwigs cared about the financial pop FarmVille could provide. The next question focused on whether the Zynga pipeline would include new games or sequels.
Wehner said Zynga will launch new games and refresh existing franchises.
I think we're going to be doing things that are both new and innovative and adjustments to kind of existing games. CastleVille is a good example. Is that a new game? Yes, it's a new game but it's obviously built on our core "Ville" engine, but introduced a lot of new features. It's a different thematic, so we'll continue to innovate in games like that that I think are going to be familiar to our users but not necessarily a sequel or something like that.
If you connect the dots here, it sounds like another FarmVille is quite possible no matter how coy Zynga is about it.