Zynga said to be developing an advertising platform

AllThingsD reports that the struggling digital-game developer has a new plan for generating revenue.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
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Zynga General Manager Lo Toney talks about Zynga Poker earlier this year.
Zynga General Manager Lo Toney talks about Zynga Poker earlier this year. Zynga

With its stock hitting all-time lows, game developer Zynga is said to be creating an advertising platform to generate revenue and lure third-party developers.

AllThingsD reports that Zynga, which has seen its stock plunge as revenues fall and new games fail to match the success of early hits like FarmVille, is readying an ad platform that could launch later this year. (Zynga wouldn't comment.)

As the piece notes, Zynga has made a strong push into advertising this year, inserting sponsored content into Words With Friends and FarmVille, among other games. Ads already represent 12 percent of the company's revenue. Future efforts are likely to focus on mobile games and could include banners, interstitials and other ad formats.

Zynga will have to be careful in how it deploys its new advertising strategy -- users typically do not love ads, after all, and Zynga is having trouble retaining users already. Given its audience of nearly 300 million active monthly users, there's little doubt Zynga can make money in the advertising world. The real question is whether the company can still make money from its games.