Zynga slightly exceeded analysts’ expectations in its first quarter 2012 earnings and revenue figures, which it posted earlier today (April 26).

The social gaming giant reported a loss of $85.4 million, compared with a profit of $16.8 million the previous year. Revenue jumped 32 percent year-over-year, however, to $321 million. Zynga also posted bookings of $329 million, which is up 15 percent year-over-year.

See Zynga’s most recent price here [ZNGA].

Zynga said that the Q1 adjusted EBITDA being down 23 percent year-over-year (at $87 million) was driven primarily by increased investment in new game development. Zynga added six games during the first quarter of 2012: Scramble with Friends, Dream PetHouse, Dream Heights, Draw Something (which Zynga acquired in March 2012), and two web-based titles, Hidden Chronicles and Zynga Slingo.

As of March 31, Zynga held eight of the top ten games on Facebook, based on average daily users, including CastleVille and Hidden Chronicles.

The company also launched the Zynga Platform, which includes the beta release of its own destination for social games.

“We’re pleased with the progress that Zynga has made in the first quarter growing our audience reach 25 percent year over year and nearly 20 percent quarter over quarter. Our team did a great job launching 5 new games across mobile and web including new hits like Hidden Chronicles, Slingo and Scramble with Friends,” said Mark Pincus, CEO and founder of Zynga.

Related links:

Zynga – media summary

Wall Street Journal – Zynga Swings to Loss as Costs Surge

CNN Money – Zynga ‘draws’ up a good earnings report

CNBC – Zynga’s Earnings and User Growth Higher Than Expected

Inside Social Games – Zynga reports highest ever bookings for Q1 at $329M

Forbes – Zynga Q1 Earnings Just Top Estimates, Shares Up

MarketWatch – Zynga posts loss; narrowly beats estimates