Game maker Grand Theft Auto Take-Two buys Farmville developer Zynga for $ 12.7 billion


Video game giant Take-Two is acquisition of the mobile games company Zynga in a cash and stock deal that the company says will turn the maker of Grand Theft Auto into a mobile gaming powerhouse. The deal is valued at around $ 12.7 billion, or $ 9.86 per Zynga share.

CEO of Take-Two Strauss Zelnick said the deal would benefit both companies, giving Zynga access to the top-selling game franchises Take-Two is known for, while also giving Take-Two access to player analytics, to the advertising and mobile game creation technology it lacked until now. “What we have found is that great entertainment wins,” he said in an interview on Monday. “It’s really hard to build organically. “

Zynga publishes major social games like FarmCity and words with friends. Take-Two already owns game publishers Rockstar, which is behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, and 2K, known for BioShock, Borderlands, Civilization and NBA 2K.

Take-Two’s Grand Theft Auto V from 2013 is one of the best-selling games of all time.

rock star games

Zelnick declined to discuss details of future plans, noting that the deal would not close until mid-year, but said a key opportunity for the two companies lies in what the industry calls the cross play, where people can play part or the same full titles. on a phone, video game console, or PC. Titles like Epic Games’ Fortnite and Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty Warfare have grown in popularity dramatically in part because of this feature.

“At the end of the day, consumers vote,” Zelnick said.

The move marks the latest example of a major game maker acquiring companies with expertise in mobile and social networks to help it expand its lineup. Activision Blizzard has acquired the creator of Candy Crush King in 2015 for around $ 6 billion, and Electronic Arts has paid nearly $ 5 billion over the past decade to buy a series of social, mobile, and casual game companies, including Playdemic, Glu Mobile and PopCap Games, creator of plants against zombies.

The acquisition also highlights the challenges both companies face in the evolving entertainment industry. Take-Two often turned to outside developers to help make games work on mobile devices, with mixed success. Meanwhile, Zynga was recently hit with a brace of easing of pandemic restrictions, which left less time for people to play games, and Apple’s changes in marketing technology, which made it more difficult to track users for targeted ads.

In addition to combining two companies with different capabilities, Zelnick said the acquisition of Zynga would also help Take-Two assess emerging Web3 technologies, including NFT and cryptocurrency.

“As long as we improve the overall entertainment experience, this is potentially exciting,” Zelnick added.

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