Zynga, an American developer of social games, announced yesterday it has entered into an agreement to pay 560 million US dollars to acquire 80 per cent of the common stock of Small Giant Games, a mobile games studio based in Helsinki, Finland.
The transaction is expected to close on 1 January 2019.
The San Francisco-based game developer has also agreed to purchase the remaining 20 per cent of shares over the three next years, bringing the total value of the acquisition to roughly 700 million dollars, or 610 million euros, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
Small Giant Games was established by the core team behind Habbo Hotel in 2013. Its staff also includes ex-key personnel from games industry behemoths Rovio and Remedy. The game studio is known primarily for its massively popular role-playing franchise, Empires & Puzzles, which has been downloaded over 26 million times since its launch 18 months ago and has some 1.6 million active daily users.
“Small Giant has created an innovative game that delivers a unique player experience that engages over the long term,” commented Frank Gibeau, the CEO of Zynga.
Timo Soininen, the CEO of Small Giant Games, stated that the game developer will operate as a separate studio under its new ownership, thus maintaining its identity, culture and creative independence. The company will also continue to develop and market its games out of its offices in Helsinki.
“Our studio was founded on the idea that small, skilful teams teams can accomplish giant things, and I am confident that partnering with Zynga is the right step in our evolution,” he said.
Zynga’s best known titles to date include Cityville, Farmville and CSR Racing.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT