Zynga is taking the mobile space seriously, as it has just announced that it has acquired the mobile game developer Newtoy.
Newtoy is probably best known for the mobile game Words with Friends. It’s a really nice Scrabble clone that has made our list of must-play iPad games. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
“The Games With Friends franchise is the best social game experience available on mobile today and we are excited to welcome the Newtoy team to the Zynga family,” said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “The Zynga With Friends Studio will continue to invent great mobile social game experiences for Zynga users everywhere.”
The social gaming company has been able to make boatloads of cash by bringing addictive games like Mafia Wars and Farmville to Facebook and it has become the clear leader in the social gaming space. But the future of computing appears to be smartphones and connected mobile devices and it doesn’t want to be left behind.
The company has been dipping its toes in the mobile space by testing SMS integration with some of its games. It will also be making a big push to bring apps directly to mobile users, as it has already released Farmville on iOS and it will be making a big push with Android.
Mobile gaming is already big but adding a social element to this could be a massive market and Zynga wants in on the ground floor before the competition gets stiffer.
The mobile gaming company ngmoco was a big hit on the iPhone with its game and it was recently acquired for more than $400 million by DeNA. It is expected to become a major player in the mobile social gaming space.
The Angry Birds publisher Chillingo was also recently acquired by Electronic Arts and this should also make raise the stakes in the mobile gaming space.