New York studioâ??s co-founder Kevin Slavin departs

Zynga acquires Area/Code

Facebook games giant Zynga has completed its ninth studio acquisition in eight months after buying the New York developer Area/Code.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Area/Code studio will lose its original name and work under a new brand; Zynga New York.

Studio co-founder Kevin Slavin has left the company, according to a carefully-worded statement by the studio which said he “remains nearby but focused on other new ventures”. Frank Lantz will stay on as creative director, and Demetri Detsaridis will keep his general manager role.

The newly-purchased studio said Zynga “is the undisputed leader of an industry in the midst of an important transition”.

Area/Code has been developing on social platforms and browsers for several years, and the group made a breakthrough in the mobile space with its debut iPhone puzzle game Drop 7.

It isn’t clear if Zynga has acquired the studio as part of its latest move to invade the smartphone games business.

Late last year Zynga acquired the mobile specialist Newtoy in what it deemed to be the start of its expansion into that sector.

Area/Code said its studio has for five years “been inventing new ways to play”.

A statement from the studio added: “From the earliest days in a tiny downtown office, we’ve been experimenting with novel combinations of technology and media, creating games that overlap with the real world in surprising ways.

”Every time a new mode of interaction emerged – whether it was cameraphones, GPS, broadcast co-viewing, or the Facebook API – we took every opportunity to use what we found to push the boundaries of where we play, when we play, and who we play with.”

[Image: Area/Code]

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