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From Farmville to Westeros: Zynga’s new path includes ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Game of Thrones’

Zynga Inc. has struggled almost from the moment it became a publicly traded company, largely failing to recreate the success it had developing “Farmville” into a social-gaming phenomenon in the early days of Facebook Inc.

Instead of continuing to start from scratch with game ideas, the San Francisco videogame publisher has instead decided to capitalize on names that have already found a following — such as “Game of Thrones.”

Zynga ZNGA, -0.82% announced a series of new games Wednesday thanks to licensing deals with large media companies for globally known brands, adding to the first big deal of that kind the company managed to land in August, with the Walt Disney Co.

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