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Makers of 'Clumsy Ninja' app acquired by Zynga for $527 million, and other news for January 31

Zynga has acquired the makers behind the popular Clumsy Ninja app for a reported US$527 million, according to MacRumors. Clumsy Ninja by NaturalMotion was spotlighted by Apple at the iPhone 5 launch event back in 2012 and released a little more than a year later in November 2013. The game allows users to manipulate a ninja who responds with life-like motion and movement. It has been widely praised for its level of interactive animation and motion capabilities. Announcing the buyout, Zynga CEO Don Mattrick said:

NaturalMotion expands Zynga's creative pipeline, accelerates our mobile growth, and brings next-generation technology and tools to Zynga that will fast-track our ability to deliver consumers more hit games. Bringing Zynga and NaturalMotion together is a bold step in the right direction at the right time.

Combining NaturalMotion's strengths with Zynga's ability to develop breakthrough social features while sustaining live games over time, offers us a huge opportunity to redefine the gaming industry and deliver consumers blockbuster entertainment experiences.

Zynga also laid off 15 percent of its workforce.

In other news:

  • The NFL has announced it is launching a new streaming-video service called NFL Now for mobile devices ahead of the 2014 season. The service will only be available in the US on Verizon due to its partnership with the NFL.
  • In what is sure to annoy users, The New York Times iOS app now limits non-paying subscribers to 10 articles per month. However, quality content means a publication needs to make revenue through subscription fees or ads, or else there will be no article to read, so hopefully more publications will follow the NYT's example.
  • OWC has announced that it is now selling 32 GB and 64 GB memory upgrade kits for Apple's new Mac Pro. The 32 GB kit costs US$449 and the 64 GB kit costs $859 -- a 10 percent and 31 percent savings over Apple's prices, respectively.

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