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Zynga CEO Says Company Is Not For Sale

by Jeff Cork on Nov 23, 2010 at 05:23 AM

As Zynga prepares its latest Facebook game, CityVille, for release, people are wondering what the future holds for the developer. Google is a major investor in the company, having poured between $100-200 million into Zynga back in July. Some say a logical step for Google would be purchasing the FarmVille studio outright – an idea that Zynga CEO Mark Pincus dismisses.

“Zynga is not for sale,” he told the Telegraph in an interview. “That is not my goal. I want to build an international treasure; an entity which lasts in peoples’ lives for a long time.

“I cannot say Zynga will never be up for sale, but we are more likely to IPO [go public] rather than be sold,” he added. “Being sold is not my ambition. Going public makes it easier for investors to monetize your product.”

CityVille is the latest of its “Ville” games, joining releases such as FishVille, FrontierVille, and PetVille. The company’s games are ubiquitous on Facebook, which is something Pincus clearly revels in. “I want ‘Zynga’ to be become to a verb, like ‘to Google’ has. I want people to ‘Zynga’ each other and for the word to become completely aligned with gaming.”

Good luck with that. You don’t just choose to have your brand name join the lexicon, as others have discovered.

Meanwhile, FarmVille, the company's flagship game, has at least temporarily moved out the number one slot for the top Facebook apps. According to the independent tracking firm AppData, the quote-generating app Phrases had 54.4 million active users compared to FarmVille's 53.9 million. With numbers like that, second place isn't exactly slumming it.