After Zynga acquired Draw Something developer OMGPOP for $180 Million that put nearly any high profile mobile developer, or at least ones that regular crack the top spots on the App Store, on watch. According to Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus, the publisher is looking for more “accomplished teams”, and plan to make another OMGPOP-size acquisition in the next 3-5 years.
Among those high profile developers that appear to be catching Zynga’s eye include ZeptoLab, developers of Cut the Rope. A perennial iPhone and Android favorite, Cut the Rope shows just as much promise as Draw Something, and might even have been a bigger success.
Part of what closed the Zynga/OMGPOP deal was the publisher’s willingness to let their developers flourish, to create the type of games they want. That might not have been communicated to all of OMGPOP’s employees — there was one holdout — but apparently it convinced enough OMGPOP members for the deal to go through.
One successful company, though, that Zynga will not be acquiring is Rovio Entertainment, creators of the ultimate mobile success story, Angry Birds. That isn’t to say that Zynga, and Electronic Arts, didn’t make offers to Rovio — Zynga once offered more than $2 Billion for the company — Rovio just wasn’t interested.
While Zynga laments the one that got away they will continue to look for more accomplished mobile developers to fill the space that was once occupied by FarmVille. Both Electronic Arts and Zynga hope to capture pieces of the mobile games market, and it’s safe to assume that they will run into each other again.
It’s interesting to consider how things might have gone differently for the Angry Birds developer if they had, in fact, been acquired by Zynga. Would titles like Angry Birds Rio or Angry Birds Space have been more expensive, subject to micro transactions, or not even released at all?
What major mobile developer do you think that Zynga will pursue next? Do you think that a ZeptoLab or a Rovio would be better served under Zynga?