Grand Theft Auto parent Take-Two has said that its just-announced acquisition of social games giant Zynga will help bring its existing game franchises to mobile.
The Rockstar Games and Private Division parent announced on Monday that it plans to acquire Farmville creator Zynga in a $12.7 billion deal.
Once completed, the deal will see the combination of Take-Two’s blockbuster console and PC franchises including GTA, Borderlands, NBA 2K and BioShock, with Zynga’s hugely popular social gaming brands including FarmVille and Words With Friends.
Speaking in an investor call following the deal’s announcement, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said that Zynga’s expertise could help it drive its free-to-play and cross-platform ambitions, and help it bring Take-Two’s console/PC properties to mobile and add new game modes.
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“Perhaps most importantly we have the ability together, from both a development and a publishing point of view, to optimise the creation of new titles based on Take-Two’s core intellectual property,” he said.
“We believe we have the best collection of console and PC intellectual property in the interactive entertainment business and it’s basically nearly entirely un-exploited from mobile and free-to-play around the world.
“Zynga’s best-in-class studios can help us develop that property. Their best-in-class free-to-play mobile publishing operations can bring that to consumers, delight those consumers and create recurrent consumer spending along the way.
“The list is endless and it’s early days. We’re just thrilled to have this opportunity to be able to work together and create what we’re certain will be of extraordinary value going forward.”
In its announcement, the IP Take-Two specifically highlighted includes Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club, NBA 2K, BioShock, Borderlands, Civilization, Mafia, and Kerbal Space Program. Most of these series have no significant mobile presence.
Take-Two’s existing mobile offerings include Dragon City, Monster Legends, Top Eleven, Two Dots, and WWE SuperCard.
Take-Two expects the Zynga acquisition to complete during the first quarter of its next fiscal year, which covers April 1 to June 30, 2022. After this point, Zelnick said the company hopes to bring its first core franchise to mobile “relatively soon”.
“In terms of development, we need to make sure that we identify the right studio and that we observe the creative process. But as you know, mobile development is not the same as console development,” he said.
“We are already in the mobile development business, Zynga is incredibly expert in mobile development, and we would hope to be able to bring properties to market relatively soon.”
Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau added: “I think we’re going to take it one step at a time, work collaboratively and really identify which ideas have the highest potential, the opportunity for the largest audiences.”
He continued: “On the mobile platforms some of the fastest growing franchises recently have been what have been traditionally defined as core franchises, if you look at the emergence of the shooter category for example, or action adventure.
“So from our perspective, by partnering with Take-Two we’ve got the opportunity to work collaboratively against new categories with new opportunities to create franchises, and potentially bring existing franchises to the mobile platform.”