Zynga buys Clumsy Ninja & Backbreaker dev, NaturalMotion

Zynga has purchased NaturalMotion for $527 million, a developer best known for the Backbreaker football game and the free-to-play Clumsy Ninja for iOS.

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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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  • reply
    January 30, 2014 5:35 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Zynga buys Clumsy Ninja & Backbreaker dev, NaturalMotion.

    Zynga has purchased NaturalMotion for $527 million, a developer best known for the Backbreaker football game and the free-to-play Clumsy Ninja for iOS.

    • reply
      January 30, 2014 5:40 PM

      why...

    • reply
      January 30, 2014 6:47 PM

      And they seem to have liquidated their entire Seattle office.

    • reply
      January 30, 2014 7:01 PM

      So long Clumsy Ninja.

    • reply
      January 30, 2014 7:06 PM

      clumsy ninja is a huge hit. makes sense i suppose

      • reply
        January 30, 2014 7:07 PM

        is it really a big hit?

      • reply
        January 30, 2014 7:19 PM

        like Draw Something was?

        • reply
          January 30, 2014 7:36 PM

          not to that degree obviously but the natural motion tech is really cool. they could do a lot of neat things with it in the casual space. $527 million seems a bit ridiculous though

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            January 30, 2014 8:08 PM

            just doesn't seem like it necessitates half a billion purchase. License that shit like others have done and move on. Do they really think this tech is going to give them some sustainable advantage over other casual physics based games?

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      January 30, 2014 8:29 PM

      NaturalMotion had a lot of physics used by Rockstar

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      January 31, 2014 3:18 AM

      I hope they keep selling their tech because it's what makes GTA 4 and 5 so much fun. It's a great technology.

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