San Francisco-based developer Zynga is on a spending spree. The company, which is behind a slew of popular Facebook apps and mobile games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars, pulls in an estimated $600 million in annual revenue, and recently was said to have passed gaming behemoth Electronic Arts in market valuation.
Today, Zynga spent some of that capital by acquiring Texas-based developer Newtoy, maker of the popular Words With Friends series, which has received roughly 12 million downloads across mobile platforms. Newtoy will be rechristened as the Zynga With Friends studio–an appropriate name given how many new friends Zynga has made in the past year. While senior Zynga VP David Ko declined to comment on the financials of the Newtoy acquisition–the company’s seventh in about seven months–he also wouldn’t say whether its spending spree was finished.
“Stay tuned,” Ko only hinted.
Should Zynga start investing in an in-house M&A staff? Even with such impressive growth, the company doesn’t appear satisfied, still aggressively pushing into the mobile space. (Perhaps that’s why Newtoy’s acquisition was code-named “Jet Pack.”) After purchasing Conduit Labs, Unoh, and Challenge Games, Zynga now boasts more than 1300 employees–not including the 23 staffers coming aboard from Newtoy–and has clearly committed to growing beyond Facebook apps.
“Mobile is the next great frontier for social gaming,” Ko said.