Talent aquisitions are nothing unusual for Zynga, but the unconfirmed purchase of mobile startup Wild Needle may nonetheless turn heads.
The startup – focused on casual games for women – was backed by Playdom co-founder Rick Thompson, and included a unique price negotiation mechanic in its virtual store game Shoptown Hero that didn’t so much break the mold for virtual goods as ignore it.
Though Wild Needle sought funding in 2010, the developers didn’t release Shoptown, it’s first game, until March of this year.
The game offered a spin on the traditional casual sim by forcing players to negotiate with customers to sell the virtual goods in their shop and turn a profit.
The iOS game was never a chartbuster, and was pulled from the App Store two weeks ago.
The deal, as reported by TechCrunch, looks to be a talent grab, and is just the latest in a string of buyouts.
Zynga has made headlines with its aquisitions this year, from the 180 million dollar cash deal to buy OMGPOP to the more recent purchase of GameDoctors.
Zynga has not commented on the deal, but some employees have already changed their Linkedin profiles.