It's fair to say that the world was quite pleased when they heard the news that the world's biggest social gaming provider Zynga was going into the real-money market for poker. Many hoped that this would bring the boost of recreational players that the industry so desperately needed, especially the Bwin.Party network.
Zynga's real money gaming never became a success in any way, not even close. They were simply not good enough at converting their social gamers to the real-money platform, they couldn't attract existing players from other networks and they were not very good at marketing themselves.
Add this to the fact that the biggest percentage of their player-base was under the age of 18 and being from regions which were not allowed to create accounts under the UK laws that Zynga was under, it may have seemed like a decision which was not fully thought through by Zynga.
The fact is that Zynga is closing down their real-money services due to a lack in results and with no immediate change coming, it was just time to cut their losses. Players were informed about the decision late last week, when Zynga sent out an email stating:
“We are very sorry to announce that ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino will be closing shortly. If you have a balance please log in to withdraw it."
It seems that the social gaming industry is just too far away from the real-money industry and that they are extremely difficult to try and convert to each other. Social gaming players could without a doubt give a massive boost to the struggling poker industry, but it will take years of work to be able to convert them over and keep them there.