Zynga begins trading today, Dec. 16. The social gaming goliath has set its highly anticipated initial public offering at $10 per share, an amount at the high end of its planned price range and one the company expects to raise the nice round number of $1 billion.

To reach that figure, Zynga is offering 100 million shares of Class A common stock.

The money would go a long way toward creating new games, something chief executive officer Mark Pincus has told investors the company is already doing. It also will give Zynga the ability to address two other areas of potential concern: only about 3 percent of people playing its games ever pay for anything, and there is some AppData evidence that its recent release, CastleVille, cannibalized players from other Zynga games rather than attract new ones.

With nearly 230 million monthly active users, Zynga is the largest publisher of Facebook games, with Zynga Poker, Words With Friends, Mafia Wars and the “Ville” franchise that includes FarmVille and CityVille leading the pack. Its games also are on Google+, Tencent, Apple iOS and Google Android. The company is profitable, with recorded earnings of $30.7 million for the first nine months of this year on revenue of $828.9 million.

Zynga shares will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol ZNGA (you can make up your own Sheldon Cooper joke).

Related links:

Reuters – Zynga prices IPO at top end of range

Bloomberg – Zynga Said to Price 100M Shares at $10 in IPO

Marketwatch – A Zynga Christmas Carol

Associated Press – ‘FarmVille’ creator Zynga seeks sweet harvest with initial public offering of $10 per share

NY Times’ Dealbook – Zynga’s Value, at $7 Billion, Is Milestone for Social Gaming

The Guardian [UK] – Zynga IPO could challenge Google’s high score

Los Angeles Times – Social gaming firm Zynga prices IPO at $10 a share