Take-Two, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto and the 2K sports games, has announced that it is purchasing social media and mobile game developer Zynga for a whopping $12.7 billion. Zynga is best known for its Facebook and mobile games like Farmville and Words With Friends.
The announcement is just one in a long list of video-game takeovers in recent years. Microsoft is one of the companies that has been notably buying up studios. In the last few years, Microsoft has purchased ZeniMax, which included Bethesda, Double Fine Productions, Ninja Theory, Obsidian Entertainment, and Playground Games, to name a few. However, Take-Two’s purchase of Zynga blows those purchases out of the water. Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax and its subsidiaries was a low $7.5 billion in comparison to Zynga’s $12.7 billion. That purchase included a total of eight studios that were under ZeniMax’s umbrella at the time.
Zynga’s purchase price shows the staggering amount of money that mobile and social media games generate compared to AAA console and PC games. Although most gamers would scoff at the idea of a social media and mobile game company being worth $5 billion more than ZeniMax.
Take-Two announced the acquisition during its latest earnings call. During which Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said the company is excited to bring its franchises to mobile via the purchase of Zynga. Zelnick listed some of the company’s biggest franchises that could make the way to mobile because of the new acquisition. Zelnick said, “Our labels are home to some of the most iconic brands in the world, including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club, NBA 2K, BioShock, Borderlands, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Mafia, and Kerbal Space Program.”
It’s unlikely that gamers will see any of those franchises coming to mobile anytime soon. Whether there is an audience for those franchises on mobile is another question entirely.