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Zynga files for an IPO

Zynga IPO to come this week
Why did E3 suddenly avoid any mention of casual games such as FarmVille, which recently announced its upcoming debut on the iPhone, or Mafia Wars? Maybe because old-fashioned consoles and handhelds can't compete. We'd still love to see more free/cheap and socially-connected games spread across the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo universe, but right now the only company that seems close to being capable is Microsoft, and they have their hands too deep in Kinect. Zynga

(CBS) - Add social gaming company Zynga to the list (along with LinkedIn, Groupon and Pandora) of Internet-related companies that recently filed for an initial public offering (IPO).

Pictures: Dot-com flops after huge IPOs

The San Francisco, Calif.-based firm that brought us addictive games FarmVille and Mafia Wars, just filed its S-1 with the SEC to go public.

Although Zynga says it plans to raise $1 billion, TechCrunch believes that number might just be a placeholder. CNBC reports that Zynga can raise up to $1.5 billion to $2 billion, which would value the company at between $15 billion to $20 billion.

Underwriters include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Barclays Capital, JP Morgan and Allen and Company.

Complete coverage of IPOs on Tech Talk

"According to research from GreenCrest Capital LLC, Zynga is expected to see roughly $1.46 billion in revenue this year - roughly 80% of which will come from the sale of virtual goods in its games and credits, and about 20% from online advertising," says the Wall Street Journal.

Currently, Zynga has 250 million people playing its games monthly. Metrics provider AppData says CityVille alone has 88.2 million monthly users, while Farmville has 38.6 million. Its new game, Empires & Allies, which launched less than a month ago, already has 43.2 million monthly users.

Not too shabby for a company that builds cartoon-y worlds where real people buy fake money to play pixelated games.

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