Zynga, creator of the hit games FarmVille and CityVille, has acquired the indie game studio Area/Code for an undisclosed price.
The deal is Zynga’s ninth acquisition in eight months, and its second in the past three weeks. The deal gives Zynga a base of operations in New York City, where it can recruit talent from the many game makers in the area. The deal is one more example of how Zynga feels that it’s in a gold rush and has to lock up as much talent for making social games as it can.
Area/Code has made games on both Facebook and mobile phones, including the recent CSI: Crime City for Ubisoft. It also made Parking Wars and Drop7 for the iPhone. The latter game is a cool and addictive puzzle.
Area/Code will become Zynga New York, led by the studio’s executives Demetri Detsaridis and Frank Lantz, who will be general manager and creative director respectively.
Zynga’s past acquisitions include XPD in Beijing, Challenge Games in Austin, Unoh Games in Tokyo, Conduit Labs in Boston, Dextrose AG in Frankfurt, Bonfire Studios in Dallas, Newtoy in McKinney, Texas; and the team from Flock. Zynga has well beyond 1,200 employees now.
Zynga has more than 297 million monthly active users for its Facebook games alone. It gives away the games for free and charges players small amounts of real money for virtual goods, such as fuel for tractors in FarmVille. That has generated big revenues for the company, boosting its value and allowing it to raise a lot of money. Zynga thus has a huge arsenal of both cash and stock to acquire game developers.