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Game On Or Game Over? Zynga Opens Above IPO Price But Then Drops

The long-awaited IPO of social games giant Zynga has finally arrived, but those hoping for quick, early flips of the stock may end up having their bubble burst today: its shares opened above its initial offer price range, before quickly dipping down again.

The early volatility, and the fact that the price has not been consistently high, could be signs that investors have some skepticism about the longer-term prospects for the company, which has made a killing mainly through its social games available via Facebook. Although it has also more recently moved significantly into offering its games as standalone offerings, such as through mobile phone apps, some 95 percent of its revenue comes from Facebook.

The company is already working on a “plan B” to Facebook which it calls “Project Z“, independent of any third-party platform.

In its favor, Zynga is already profitable, and Reuters points out that investors saw being so reliant on distribution on one platform was a positive rather than a negative, given how huge and growing Facebook is.

The conservative trading could be an indication that as far as public offerings go, the tech bubble may be over. Groupon (NSDQ: GRPN) and LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) are two other recent IPOs that failed to live up to their initial offer prices.

Zynga this morning initially opened at $11 — above its expected range of $8.50-$10, before trading down as low as $9.48. The latter price is still within the initial offer range, but Zynga at this rate does not look like it will be the next “Google” in terms of the first, post-IPO valuation, which saw the search giant raise $1.7 billion in its IPO. Zynga will still likely raise $1 billion.

At the time of this writing, the stock was trading at $9.53 per share.

Updated: Zynga closed down 5 percent on the day, at $9.50.