Two big stories popped about Zynga in the last 24 hours. Businessweek says Zynga will do $450 million in revenue in 2010, which is actually less than some of the higher end speculation about the company, and quotes sources saying that Zynga spends between $5 million and $8 million per month on Facebook advertising (we have previously reported that Zynga was Facebook’s largest advertiser in 2009, and certainly remains at the top or near the top of the list).
CEO Mark Pincus remains the center of attention, though, and he certainly doesn’t mind speaking his mind. In a Details Magazine article with an apparently alcohol-fueled interview, Pincus manages to slight Twitter – “They think it’s cool that the State Department asked them to keep the servers running during the Iranian protests” and then showed anger over the media’s coverage of him and Zynga over donations to Haiti: “It’s really reprehensible. I feel morally offended that we get attacked by the media for doing something good and no one else is outraged when these people are wrong,”
There’s also a hint of insecurity and a cry for attention – “A little gratitude might be nice, he adds. “We invented social gaming. We were the first ones to figure out virtual goods and social pay, and we’ve helped the whole industry. They haven’t thanked us for it.””
Pincus also gloats over his Crunchie award as CEO of the year, suggesting that people who criticized him over Scamville, and in particular the “horrible things” video, wanted to “kiss the ring” now that he’s on top:
Pincus was named CEO of the Year by TechCrunch, startlingly enough, voted in by the very readers who savaged him a few months before. One person, at least, wasn’t surprised: “The same people who called you an idiot will kiss the ring,” Pincus says, downing the last of the sake. “Because we have the chance to make history.”
Pincus seems to be a man who manages to take both criticism and praise poorly. But there’s no denying that these annoyingly addictive games are making money hand over fist. Silicon Valley has a history of brash and sometimes flawed entrepreneurs doing great things. Sometimes it’s those flaws that drive them to success. So I’ll continue to kiss the Mark Pincus ring, even though he seems to piss everyone off around him every time he opens his mouth.