Zynga Plans To Go On Web3 Acquisition Binge As It Zeroes In On NFT Gaming

Popular mobile game developer Zynga is shifting gears and moving to the blockchain after announcing it will develop NFT games amid a raft of planned Web3 acquisitions.
Image source: zynga.com

Quick take:

  • Zynga announced plans for Web3 acquisitions in 2022, launching its NFT gaming campaign.
  • The Farmville game developer smashed expectations in its most recent quarterly results released on Wednesday.
  • However, the stock remained relatively flat amid a pending acquisition by Take-Tow Interactive.

Social gaming company Zynga has officially lept into the new age of gaming, announcing it will develop NFT games. Farmville game maker said during its most recent quarterly conference call it plans to acquire Web3 companies in 2022.

The company outperformed analysts expectations on fourth-quarter sales but slightly missed on earnings. However, the stock remained relatively unmoved amid the pending acquisition by the global video game company Take-Two Interactive.

Zynga’s change of direction also comes after Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reportedly told investors in a recent conference call the company believes in rare goods, including collectibles and NFTs.

Pointing out the precautionary approach the company is taking on the new exciting gaming ecosystem, Zelnick said “We want to make sure that consumers always have a good experience every time they engage with our properties and losing money on speculation is not a good experience, so we’re going to stay away from speculation,” adding that the company is highly convinced there is “an opportunity for NFTs to fit with Take-Two’s offerings in the future.”

Take-Two’s new acquisition seems to be on the same boat regarding NFT gaming, Matt Wolf, Zynga vice president of blockchain gaming told Coindesk in an interview on Wednesday that the company was “fully tuned up to do acquisitions on the [Web 3] game publisher side.”

“We have to be really careful and actively listen and deeply understand who the cohort is that are consuming these blockchain games right now, who are collecting these NFTs,” Wolf added.

The company plans to build blockchain games from the ground up, rather than updating its current games like Farmville. However, Wolf maintained that some of its new blockchain games will be inspired by its existing intellectual properties (IPs) like Mafia Wars.

However, blockchain gaming experts think the transition may not be smooth. Pavel Bains, CEO of Bluzelle and Executive Producer of MixMob, who previously worked in the video game industry warns that Zynga could struggle to integrate itself into the blockchain community.

“The projects that will do well are from the talent that leaves the bigger publishers and fully immerses themselves into the world of crypto,” Bains told NFTgators in an exclusive comment.

Although Zynga plans to expand its blockchain gaming talent from 15 to 100 in an attempt to create a department fully dedicated to building NFT games, Bains still thinks it will be difficult to go the extra mile.

“I don’t think publicly traded companies like Take-Two and Zynga will want their staff to go all the way,” adding that the blockchain gaming world is not kind to those who approach with half-measures. You are either in, or out.

On the other hand, Ethan NG, Co-founder and CEO of WonderHero sees the influx of AAA games in the play-to-earn gaming sphere as a complementary move rather than a faint-hearted attempt to bring competition from the mainstream into the new gaming frontier.

“The attraction of AAA game studios is a testament to the potential of this exciting market, ultimately, users will get an abundance of games to enjoy playing,” NG told NFTgators in an exclusive comment.

He highlighted the evolution of the P2E model, a crucial process that has contributed to its mass adoption in the gaming market. 

“While the NFT game space is shaping up, there is a fairground for competition between game studios, new game asset models, innovative gameplay, new economic models and even players’ participation methods will undergo fundamental changes,” NG added.

Acknowledging the opportunity in the new gaming environment, Wolf also seems to agree with Bain’s views adding that although Zynga is a very successful mobile games publisher, “[the team does not] have any experience building Web 3 games,” adding that the company is humble about the opportunity.

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