When the news hit earlier this month that Zynga had purchased iPhone developers Newtoy (after Ngmoco and Tapulous were also purchased this year), I immediately joked on Twitter that we should make odds on which iPhone developer gets acquired next. In all seriousness, however, Backflip Studios is actually a pretty good candidate to be acquired by a larger company. I heard Julian Farrior speak at GDC earlier this year, and Backflip shows all the signs of a healthy, growing developer: quite a few solid apps, lots of ways to generate revenue and a healthy knowledge of how to make apps popular and profitable. Backflip has one more juicy plum a prospective investor might want to pull: 20 million monthly active users.
Backflip is also claiming 2 million daily active users in its apps, and it's reportedly making over half a million dollars a month in ads alone. Farrior is a big fan of multiple revenue streams, though, so paid apps are probably a nice source of income for the company as well. Farrior also says Backflip is porting popular titles to iPad and the Android platform, and the company has some big plans in store for 2011.
Of course, as with all successful app developers on the App Store, the question is if Farrior even wants a partner in development. Lots of small studios that are doing well on Apple's platform probably aren't interested in bringing another partner on. But some of the investors shopping the App Store have some pretty deep pockets, and when a big traditional game publisher comes along offering a big check, lots of experience and infrastructure for marketing and development, it's hard to think that a studio like Backflip wouldn't be tempted.