has been known for developing mobile videogames. The company first made a name for itself on the back of
‘s success, with its Farmville hit, before expanding across mobile platforms. Now, Zynga executives are hoping to make the jump to traditional game consoles.
Early Wednesday, Zynga (ZNGA) said it was buying videogame studio Echtra Games, strengthening its ability to make titles for the Nintendo Switch and next-generation videogame consoles. Echtra’s team helped to make popular titles in the Diablo, The Sims, and Torchlight franchises.
Zynga didn’t disclose terms for the Echtra deal, because the price isn’t material to the company’s business, says Zynga Chief Operating Officer
Zynga is acquiring the San Francisco-based Echtra largely because of the cross-platform talent at the small company, Bromberg told Barron’s in an interview.
Last month, during a Nintendo (NTDOY) video presentation, Zynga announced Star Wars: Hunters, an action title set to launch on the Switch in 2021—a first for Zynga, which has previously stuck to mobile platforms such as iOS and Android, where Hunters will also launch this year. Now, Zynga is hoping to continue that success by bring Echtra’s talent in house.
“The only truly scarce commodity in videogaming is talent and experience,” Bromberg says. “The team at Echtra have both.”
Echtra was founded in 2016 and has 32 employees listed on LinkedIn.
Bromberg says that Zynga’s future lies in games that can be played wherever a player happens to be, on whatever device is most convenient. Epic Games’ Fornite, for instance, is played across platforms, from smartphones to tablets to PCs and consoles.
“It’s going to seem antiquated several years from now that we thought about game experiences based on platforms,” Bromberg says.
He says that the group of industry veterans at Echtra will bring both talent and proprietary technology that strengthens Zynga’s ability to produce cross-platform games. That will include games on next generation consoles produced by
(SNE), along with personal computers, and mobile devices.
Barron’s wrote positively about Zynga stock in October, arguing that the company stood to benefit from the global popularity of games. The company reported solid fourth-quarter results in February, days after
Electronic Arts (EA)
announced it planned to buy Zynga rival
Shares of Zynga have gained roughly 60% in the past year, while the S&P 500 is up 26%.
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