Over $50 million paid for Words With Friends group Newtoy

Zynga spent $100m on studio acquisitions in 2010

Social games giant Zynga spent more than $100 million during a year-long studio buyout craze, new data reveals.

The company, which recently made a public offering of its stock, spent the bulk of that huge sum on one studio.

In November 2010, Zynga acquired Texas-based mobile game studio Newtoy for $53.3 million.

Newtoy, formed from the ashes of defunct group Ensemble, broke onto the scene with the popular mobile game Words With Friends.

Zynga said it also “acquired six additional companies” across 2010, though adds that each one is “not individually significant”.

“In the aggregate, the total purchase price for these acquisitions was $48.4 million,” the Farmville creator said.

Those six studios acquired in that period, according to Develop’s reports, include the Boston-based social studio Conduit Labs, the social web browser group Flock, Texas group Bonfire Studios, Chinese social gaming company XPD Media, German company Dextrose and another Texas studio, Challenge Games.

Zynga’s buyout craze has showed no signs of slowing, with company revealing it had already spent more than $10 million of further buyouts in the first quarter of calendar 2011.

Recent buyouts includes XPD in Beijing, Unoh Games in Tokyo, Market Zero in Texas, New York group New/Toy and Londoners Wonderland Software.

The biggest acquisition, Newtoy, had itself formed back in 2008, with its two founding brothers Paul and David Bettner having quietly released a casual iPhone title – Chess With Friends – under the group’s name.

Zynga said in financial documents that its mobile audience has soared since November 2010 acquisition of Newtoy. Under Zynga, Newtoy was able to double the daily active users for Words With Friends in the first four months after the acquisition.

The Farmville company recently filed a registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed public offering.

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