Publisher Take-Two to buy Zynga’s mobile games for $ 12.7 billion

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The creators of FarmVille join those of the saga GTA. This is the biggest acquisition in the gaming industry.

The gangsters of the saga GTA and the nice farmers of Farmville will soon be part of the same family. The American publisher Take-Two, a specialist in console and PC games valued at $ 20 billion on Wall Street, announced on Monday that it had reached an agreement to buy the creator of mobile games Zynga. Estimated at $ 12.7 billion, it is the largest acquisition ever made in the world of video games after the takeover in 2016 for $ 10.2 billion of Supercell, another champion of mobile gaming, by Chinese Tencent. Last year, Microsoft had got hold of publisher Bethesda for $ 7.5 billion.

«We are delighted to announce this transaction with Zynga which will significantly diversify our activities and allow us to have a leading position in the mobile market, the most dynamic in the interactive entertainment industry.Said Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two. The Newzoo firm believes the mobile gaming market at 93 billion annual revenue, which is as much as that of console and PC games combined. Once the acquisition is completed, the mobile will represent more than half of Take-Two’s turnover, against 12% today. The new set will weigh $ 6 billion in annual revenue. That is three times more than the French Ubisoft.

Zynga renewal

Zynga had its heyday in the late 2000s, when Internet users were enthusiastically discovering video games on Facebook. Performed by tens of millions of people across the planet, the farm life simulation Farmville was the founding success of this American company. Zynga then went through a long period of turbulence, failing to anticipate the migration of so-called players “casualFrom Facebook to smartphones.

The studio has since caught up. It publishes mobile games still intended for the general public, with Farmville 3, Golf Rival, Words with Friends 2, Zynga Poker… It also operates the Game of Thrones and Harry Potter licenses. In 2020, Zynga achieved a turnover of 2 billion dollars, of which 1.6 billion comes from optional purchases made by Internet users to progress faster in their games. But the group recorded a net loss of $ 430 million. It also remains behind more powerful players in smartphone games such as SuperCell, King or the Chinese Tencent.

At the end of 2020, Zynga extended its catalog by acquiring 80% of the Turkish studio Rollic for 170 million dollars. Rollic is a specialist in so-called “hyper casual», Extremely simple mobile applications that only ask the user to press their screen to dodge obstacles, untie ropes, climb a tower, hit a ball … These games, which seek to occupy downtime of the day, are above all advertising media.

The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs GTA V

By purchasing Zynga, Take-Two completes its portfolio which is mainly geared towards console and PC games. The American is known for his sports games NBA 2K, WWE 2K and PGA Tour, and above all to edit productions from the renowned Rockstar studio. The latter is at the origin of the powerful saga Grand Theft Auto (GTA). The last opus, GTA V, has sold 155 million copies worldwide since its release in 2013. It includes online mode GTA Online, a real cash machine. In 2020, this game alone grossed Take-Two nearly $ 1 billion, or one-third of its annual revenue.

With the takeover of Zynga, Take-Two is structured like its direct rivals Activision and EA. The first had acquired the King mobile studio in 2015 (Candy Crush) for $ 5.9 billion. The second increased the number of mobile studio acquisitions in 2021 comme Playdemic ($ 1.4 billion) et Glu ($ 2.1 billion), in order to catch up on this market.

In its press release, Take-Two explains that Zynga’s know-how will make it possible to create mobile games derived from the licenses held by the American publisher. He also wants to leverage Zynga’s advertising platform, Chartboost, to improve new customer acquisition through mobile advertising. Finally, the two parties will share their knowledge in data analysis in order to improve the monetization of their video games. Or push players to spend even more on their favorite titles.


The most important acquisitions in video games, in terms of purchase price

  1. Zynga (mobile games) by Take-Two for $ 12.7 billion (2022)
  2. Supercell (mobile games) by Tencent for $ 10.2 billion in 2016
  3. Zenimax (console and PC games) by Microsoft for 7.5 billion dollars in 2021
  4. King (mobile games) by Activision for $ 5.9 billion in 2016
  5. Moonton (mobile games) by Bytedance for $ 4 billion in 2021

The creators of FarmVille join those of the saga GTA. This is the biggest acquisition in the gaming industry. The gangsters of the saga GTA and the nice farmers of Farmville will soon be part of the same family. The American publisher Take-Two, a specialist in console and PC games…

The creators of FarmVille join those of the saga GTA. This is the biggest acquisition in the gaming industry. The gangsters of the saga GTA and the nice farmers of Farmville will soon be part of the same family. The American publisher Take-Two, a specialist in console and PC games…

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