It was a busy day for game maker Zynga, the company reported earnings and laid of 15 % of their workforce. Then they announced the acquisition of Natural Motion for $527 million.
Zynga has long been famous (or infamous?) for its data-driven approach to game design. The company never focused on building strong character IP, or intellectual property, in favor of releasing games that had been thoroughly funnel-tested.
But now that founding CEO Mark Pincus has stepped aside and let Xbox executive Don Mattrick take the reins, perhaps the company is going in a totally new direction.
Mattrick is sending a big signal on that front today with a $527 million deal to acquire NaturalMotion, the Oxford, U.K.-based gaming company behind franchises like CSR Racing and Clumsy Ninja. The deal involves $391 million in cash and about 39.8 million shares of Zynga stock at yesterday’s price, leaving Zynga with about $1.2 billion in cash and marketable securities on hand.
About Natural Motion from Crunchbase
NaturalMotion Ltd is a leading games and technology company based in Oxford, London, San Francisco, and Brighton. Its high-end mobile games label, NaturalMotion Games, is one of the most successful and fastest growing mobile gaming companies in the UK. The company creates ultra-high quality free-to-play games that combine polished gameplay with high-end 3D graphics.
After hours the stock jumped roughly 18 % to $4.20