One of the biggest mergers in gaming history was signed off Monday, as Take-Two Interactive have officially completed the deal to acquire mobile gaming giant Zynga. The deal got shareholder approval last week, and will see Take-Two spend roughly $12.7B to buy all outstanding shares.
Zynga joins a long list of publishers already under Take-Two's banner, which includes Grand Theft Auto makers Rockstar Games, as well as 2K Games, known for the BioShock, Borderlands, and 2K sports franchises. Zynga are famous for making titles such as Farmville and Words With Friends, but have also faced controversy over claims they copied other titles.
The deal will also see a new subsidiary company called T2 Mobile Games work under the Zynga banner. There may be some hiccups in the early months though, with Zynga CEO Frank Gibea and president of publishing Bernard Kim due to lead the integration. Kim himself is set to leave Zynga at the end of May to take up a new role as CEO of Match.com.
A time to sell, EA might be next
GamesIndustryBiz quotes Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick, who said "We are thrilled to complete our combination with Zynga." He went on "As we bring together our exceptional talent, exciting pipelines of games, and industry-leading technologies and capabilities, we believe that we can take our portfolio to another level of creativity, innovation, and quality.”
Take-Two might not be the only company looking to push this sort of deal over the line, as EA Games may also be looking for a buyer. The FIFA publishers have had a tricky few months that eventually led to them losing their license to make FIFA games, and reports have suggested they are exploring a potential deal with Disney, Apple, Amazon, or NBC.
Activision themselves have benefitted hugely from their deal with King, the mobile gaming arm of the Activision-Blizzard-King group that has made so many negative headlines in recent months. As the two big game publishers Activision and Blizzard have struggled, King has continued to thrive, remaining the most popular part of their overall business in terms of monthly active users, and the least scandal-hit.