A rumor floated by TechCrunch this weekend speculates, with the aid of “multiple sources,” that Google has invested somewhere between $100 and $200 million in Zynga, makers of online games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars.
The investment was apparently made from Google itself and not its venture capital arm, Google Ventures, which suggests Google’s interest is perhaps more predatory than merely financial. TechCrunch says Zynga will become the “cornerstone” of Google Games when it launches later this year. The deal would be part of a new strategy from Google that takes on Facebook in several ways, including the rumored new social networking site, Google Me. The rumors of Google Me have been gaining steam–check out our latest post on the subject for more info.
Zynga largely came to fame through Facebook, a partnership recently renewed for another five years. The gaming company has been doing exceedingly well, showing huge profits–the same sources from which this rumor comes estimate Zynga’s 2010 revenues at $350 million.
TechCrunch also notes the existence of a job posting for “Project Management Leader, Games” at Google’s Mountain View campus, which may (or may not, of course) indicate a further push into gaming.
This is all unconfirmed for now–Google has yet to respond to requests for comment–but we’ll keep you updated if and when we hear more.