Zynga Acquires Merge Dragons! Creator For $250 Million

Just a little over a year after launching Words with Friends for Facebook's Messenger Instant Games platform, Zynga is back in the news following its acquisition of another mobile game developer, Gram Games, the studio responsible for some relatively big smartphone titles such as "Merge Dragons!" and, more recently, "Six!" In fact, Merge Dragons! is one of Zynga's primary reasons for making the acquisition, according to Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau, who says the series has the potential to be a "forever franchise" for the company. The acquisition itself is said to have been made for $250 million in cash, coupled with a three-year earnout period contingent on Gram Games' team of 77 developers being able to align with Zynga's long-term plans.

In the meantime, both companies have unsurprisingly expressed excitement about the prospects. Gram Games co-founder Kaan Karamanci said that the firm looks forward to seeing how operating under Zynga can bring a real-time social aspect to the types of games it makes. That's a sentiment backed up by Zynga's own CEO, with the executive hinting that the entertainment giant plans to bring those social aspects to the creative and innovative approach to game-making used by Gram Games. That seems to indicate that there may be updates on the way for some of the company's current titles. However, representatives of both have also already suggested that there are several new games in the works as well. Those appear to be planned for 2019 and further out.

The company has also made slight updates to its second-quarter 2018 results expectations following the purchase. However, Zynga doesn't expect Gram Games to be a big contributor in the short term and has made no adjustments at all to revenue expectations. As a result, it will be deferring any revenue created by the company through to the next quarter. For now, it also expects earnings to fall by around $8 million and overall increases in terms of short-term losses. Bearing that in mind, the quarter won't stick around for much longer and the company plans to be back on track once Gram Games' revenue begins to be factored in.

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