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Zynga acquires Backbreaker football developer NaturalMotion


Social gaming giant Zynga announced the purchase of mobile game developer NaturalMotion today, TechCrunch reports. Zynga purchased the Oxford-based company for $527 million, composed of $391 million in cash and roughly 39.8 million shares of Zynga's stock.

NaturalMotion's body of work includes mobile games like Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing as well as Backbreaker, the developer's unlicensed football game based on its Euphoria engine. Published by 505 Games, Backbreaker launched in June 2010 on Xbox 360 and PS3 after its iOS and Android counterparts. The game received a sequel in Backbreaker 2: Vengeance, which was one of the first games to come from NaturalMotion's publishing division. The developer announced its move to publish digital games in November 2010.

The acquisition is accompanied by news that Zynga is also laying off 15 percent of its workforce, which amounts to about 314 employees.

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