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Zynga COO Matt Bromberg joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how the company is faring after releasing its latest earnings report and break down the future of mobile gaming amid pandemic.
JULIE HYMAN: Well, If you have played a game on your phone, you may know, our next guest, although not necessarily the name of the company. Zynga is the company that shares are up 3% today. This is a video game maker better known perhaps for things like "Farmville," "Words with Friends." Matt Bromberg, the Zynga chief operating officer, is joining us.
Now, you guys just reported revenue rising 52%. Obviously, a lot of folks are playing games on their phones right now. When you look at the popularity of the games, where are you looking to grow in the coming year? Is it going to be more people playing the games that you have? Is it going to be new games coming online, acquisitions, et cetera. Where is that growth going to come from?
MATT BROMBERG: Good morning. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, 2020 was really kind of an unprecedented year for all of us, obviously, and a really difficult one, but one of the things that have also come out of this year is that more people than ever of turn to games for a sense of community and connection, and we see so many more people playing our games, and that's been true of the industry in general.
We did have an unbelievable quarter, our highest quarterly annual revenue and bookings in history, and that growth came across our business, with our growth and our live services, growth in recent acquisitions. Our Global X North American revenue was up more than 50%. So we saw strength across the board.
MYLES UDLAND: You know, Matt, I want to ask specifically about words with friends. You guys note that it was the best quarter you've ever seen, the best year, I guess, for that brand, and it's one of the stalwarts in the mobile gaming space. I'm curious how you kind of keep that momentum going.
You know, anecdotally, I know a number of people who probably hadn't thought about "Words with Friends" since college, all the sudden had multiple games going with multiple different people, some of whom they were like only tangentially friends with. So how does that momentum fit into, again, kind of a tent pole franchise?
MATT BROMBERG: Yeah. We were so excited just to be able to play a part in helping connect people through this difficult time. And as I mentioned, that's been a big part of what our games are all about. They're social. They're mobile. Anybody can get into them, and they really provide an opportunity for people to create a community for themselves.
From a business perspective, what you just outlined is sort of the heart of our business strategy. We have a wide variety of games, a big portfolio. "Words with Friends," as you point out, is more than a 10-year-old game and just had the best quarter in its history.
And what we do is we focus on putting new, fresh content, exciting things to do in these games on a regular basis, regardless of how old they are, and make sure that players are deeply engaged and really enjoying it, and people just come back. They connect with one another. They ask their friends to come back and play, and it's really been driving our business forward.
BRIAN SOZZI: Matt, how large an impact to your advertising business will come about because of the new iOS 14 update?
MATT BROMBERG: Yeah, look, we have looked really carefully at this, And. There's been a lot written about it. The fact is that, our advertising business, we had a record in the fourth quarter. The business will continue to grow. It will grow next year. We've got lots of puts and takes in our business. This is one of them, but we don't expect it to be a major issue for us at all.
JULIE HYMAN: And Matt, we've been talking to people this morning about how they're thinking about their workforce right now as well. You guys being a tech company, obviously a lot of your peers in the Valley are also talking about keeping people at home, how that's going to look. You're the chief operating officer, so I'm sure you're thinking about through these issues. How are you approaching work from home? Are all your folks still home? Are they going to be for the foreseeable future? And how are you supporting them right now?
MATT BROMBERG: Yeah. For everyone running a business or really any large organization, it's been a pretty incredible time. I will certainly never forget that day in March when overnight we sent almost 2,200 employees home, and we just started working the next day. We've been really, really proud of our teams. Everybody has been working from home since that day in March now almost a year ago. And we'll continue to do that until we feel like it's safe for everybody to come back. We're a company that is spread throughout the globe, and so there are lots of situations in each locality that are a little bit different. But by and large, we are completely at home and will remain so until it's safe.
In terms of the future, we're working through that like everybody else. I think the one thing that's clear for all of us is that the future will look different than the past, and work from home will be a much bigger part of what we do going forward.
BRIAN SOZZI: Matt, is Zynga ready yet to start accepting Bitcoin for micro-transactions and for game downloads?
MATT BROMBERG: We don't have any plans to accept Bitcoin at this time, no. And keep in mind that our games are principally operated through Google and Apple stores, so that would probably be something that you'd want to ask them.
JULIE HYMAN: All right. Matt, thank you very much. I appreciate your time this morning. Zynga COO, Matt Bromberg.