Zynga buys Clumsy Ninja & Backbreaker dev, NaturalMotion

By Andrew Yoon, Jan 30, 2014 5:35pm PST

Beleaguered social gaming giant Zynga has completed yet another acquisition. The company has purchased NaturalMotion, a developer best known for the Backbreaker football series and the free-to-play Clumsy Ninja for iOS.

For the sake of Zynga, it needs to be more successful than their disastrous takeover of OMGPOP, developers of the once-popular Draw Something. The purchase will also be a test for new CEO Don Mattrick, as this is the first major acquisition for the company under his leadership.

According to TechCrunch, the deal will cost $527 million in combined cash and stock. NaturalMotion brings with them a new ethos, one that isn't entirely focused on data and monetization. "We want to get the game right. We want to make people laugh and smile. We don't want to design it to be a hard-core monetizing game. It has to be a delightful, wholesome experience," NaturalMotion's Torsten Reil said.

The acquisition will give Zynga ownership of NaturalMotion's catalog of games, and Euphoria--the company's animation tech found in games as large as Grand Theft Auto 5.

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