Zynga Buys Newtoy to Expand Mobile Efforts

Zynga hosted a press conference this morning to announce that it has acquired Texas-based Newtoy, a two-year-old mobile games company to help expand its games onto all mobile devices.

Terms of the deal, which marks the company’s seventh acquisition in seven months, were not disclosed.

David Ko, Zynga’s new head of mobile and former Yahoo executive, said Newtoy has been successful with such hits as “Words with Friends” and “Chess with Friends.”

The Newtoy offices will become “Zynga with Friends Studio,” and will be headed by the two founding brothers, Paul and David Bettner.

Ko: “Mobile is the next great frontier for social gaming. In only five months, Farmville has been downloaded seven million times, and we have more than 10 million people a month accessing Zynga games on a mobile phone. Our goal is to have Zynga games available to anyone anywhere, on any device.”

Newtoy’s hit title “Words with Friends” has been downloaded 12 million time across iPhone, iPod and iPad.

While the acquisition is being announced today, the two companies have been working together for some time under the code name Jet Pack. One of the two brothers said during the call that the name represented how the two will “move even faster toward our shared goal of connecting the world with shared games.”

Newtoy does not generate revenue today like Zynga, which relies on selling virtual goods. Rather, it’s focused on experimenting with paid and ad-supported models.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work