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Zynga buys Newtoy, studio rebranded as Zynga With Friends

Mike Schramm
December 2, 2010
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Well how about this -- Facebook and social game giant Zynga has bought up iPhone developer Newtoy, makers of the popular Games with Friends apps, including Words with Friends and Chess with Friends. Newtoy has now been rebranded as Zynga With Friends, and will apparently be working on new titles for Zynga in their own style. There's no word on what kind of money changed hands, unfortunately, but Zynga is worth around $5.6 billion, so it has plenty to spend. This is that company's seventh such deal in as many months.

As deals for iPhone devs go, this is a big one -- Newtoy previously also worked on the We Rule title for Ngmoco, so the studio has extensive experience in social mobile gaming and monetizing those experiences. Zynga is the company behind Farmville, the most successful social game out there, with its own deep roots in the social gaming field. So this will be an interesting combination to be sure.

We just chatted with Newtoy's David Bettner at the Austin GDC a little while ago, and he'll be stepping into the position of studio director, with his brother Paul Bettner becoming a Zynga VP and GM of the new studio. Bettner also told us that the company was working on "at least three prototypes that were up and playable," but it's not clear whether those titles will continue to be made or whether Zynga will have their own products for the former Newtoy devs to work on. If nothing else, this is a big vote of confidence in the App Store yet again -- Words with Friends has been a runaway hit for Newtoy, and clearly Zynga sees potential in the "with Friends" brand.





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