Zynga Acquires Area/Code, Opens New York Studio

Social Game Developer Zynga continues its rapid pace of acquisitions, completing today its ninth in the past eight months.

Today, it announced it has acquired New York City-based Area/Code, which is a game maker for both Facebook and mobile platforms. Most recently, it built CSI: Crime City with partner Ubisoft for Facebook, and Parking Wars and Drop7 for the iPhone.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but clearly the acquisition is for talent since it also marks Zynga’s New York office opening. Frank Lantz will continue to serve as creative director, and Demetri Detsaridis will continue to hold the role of general manager. However, co-founder Kevin Slavin will move on to new ventures.

Zynga has a presence in several locations–in addition to its bursting headquarters in San Francisco, it has offices in Boston and Beijing, as well as a tiny office just getting off the ground in Seattle.

In an Area/Code blog post, the six-year-old company said that it’s willing to throw everything it’s got into social-gaming frenzy: “Zynga is smart. They know you can’t just optimize on what stands, that you also have to push forward and explore new ideas….Six years after we started from nothing, we are just as ready to roll up our sleeves, step into the center of the storm, and discover how to make great games for the most people on the biggest platform in the world.”

This is Zynga’s second acquisition this month. It acquired Flock, which was building a social web browser, earlier in January, and bought Newtoy–a McKinney, Texas, mobile-game maker–in December.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik