Zynga, the company behind popular mobile gaming app Words with Friends, made a play to boost its mobile portfolio, snapping up gaming studio Gram Games for $250 million in cash.
The deal also includes a three-year earn out (or bonus) for employees based on the team’s ability to hit unspecified profitability goals.
Gram Games’ credit list includes puzzle game 1010 as well as Merge Dragons, a top-50 game on the US charts.
Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau said the acquisition fits with the company’s long-term growth plan: “By acquiring Gram Games, we’re expanding our portfolio of live game franchises, while also adding a number of exciting new starts to our pipeline of future games. In particular, we’re huge fans of Merge Dragons and believe it has the potential to be a new forever franchise for Zynga.”
The move comes as Zynga moves away from older titles such as Farmville in favour of new mobile gaming options which offer the potential for more advertising revenue. Late in 2017, Zynga bought mobile card game studio Peak Games for $100 million.
In addition to boosting its development pipeline, Zynga said the acquisition of Gram Games will increase its audience by 3 million mobile daily active users.