Take-Two, parent company of 'Grand Theft Auto' developers Rockstar Games and general gaming titan, has acquired another major gaming company in the form of mobile gaming company Zynga.
The deal, which is worth $12.7 billion dollars (€11.2 billion Euro) reflects Take-Two's growing power in the industry, which already encompasses the makers of 'Grand Theft Auto' and 'Red Dead Redemption' as well as 2K games, the company behind the 'NBA 2K' games, as well as the 'Bioshock' and 'Borderlands' games.
The acquisition of Zynga represents TakeTwo's desire to expand into the highly lucrative world of mobile gaming, of which Zynga are the biggest company in the sphere.
Take-Two's acquisition of Zynga now stands as the biggest acquisition in video game history, beating the record held by Chinese company TenCent acquiring 'Clash Of Clans' developer Supercell for $8.6 billion dollars in 2016.
Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax for $7.5 billion dollars in late 2021 was seen as one of the most audacious and unexpected buyouts in video game history, but the combined might of Rockstar and Zynga working under the same roof will create a juggernaut unlike anything seen in gaming history.
Zynga's portfolio of games include 'Words With Friends', 'Farmville' and 'Zynga Poker'.
In a statement, Take-Two said the acquisition of Zynga Would establish it as “one of the largest and most diversified mobile game publishers in the industry”.
“We are thrilled to announce our transformative transaction with Zynga, which significantly diversifies our business and establishes our leadership position in mobile, the fastest-growing segment of the interactive entertainment industry,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two.
“This strategic combination brings together our best-in-class console and PC franchises, with a market-leading, diversified mobile publishing platform that has a rich history of innovation and creativity."
"Zynga also has a highly talented and deeply experienced team, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Take-Two family in the coming months," he added.
Frank Gibeau, CEO of Zynga said "Combining Zynga’s expertise in mobile and next-generation platforms with Take-Two’s best-in-class capabilities and intellectual property will enable us to further advance our mission to connect the world through games while achieving significant growth together."
Take-Two's ownership of 2K has proven controversial within the gaming industry, with their 'NBA 2K' games, in particular, being widely decried for having extensive in-game purchases to the detriment of the player and at the expense of the traditional style of gameplay where players progress and unlock content simply by playing the game.
Zynga were one of the pioneers of the "Freemium" style of game, where the base game was free but in order to level up faster, players are encouraged and tempted to spend real-world money to gain progress in the game.
“With this transformative transaction, we begin a new journey which will allow us to create even better games, reach larger audiences and achieve significant growth as a leader in the next era of gaming", Gibeau added.
Both companies have seen strong recent revenue earnings, with TakeTwo pulling in over $3.3 billion in revenue in 2021, while Zynga's revenues were a healthy $2.7 billion.
The deal has not been fully completed, but the Wall Street Journal has said the deal is expected to close between April and June.