Why is Zynga Grabbing These Mobile Gaming Brains?

Zynga’s (NASDAQ:ZNGA) big attempt at moving more and more into mobile gaming has received another boost with its reported acquisition of Wild Needle, a developer of titles aimed at female game-players. Though the terms of the deal were not undisclosed, Zynga is reportedly in the deal more for Wild Needle’s engineering talent than its games.

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Wild Needle had originally been founded by the co-founder of Disney’s (NASDAQ:DIS) Playdom Rick Thompson. The Mountain View, California-based company released its first game, Shoptown Hero, in March for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS devices, but the title was pulled from the App Store last month.

Rob Coneybeer, a venture capitalist at Shasta Ventures, which invested in Wild Needle, told Wall Street Journal that Zynga made the move several weeks ago. He said Zynga executives were “rapid in their decision making and they made an offer that was easy to say yes to.”

In March, the San Francisco-based Zynga acquired OMGPOP, the maker of the popular Draw Something mobile game, for around $180 million, though some reports suggest the game’s popularity is now waning. Zynga has also recently acquired GameDoctors, which made ZombieSmash, as well as Page44 Studios, HipLogic, and Astro Ape Studio.

“Zynga can’t afford to miss the next big hit,” Coneybeer added. “Games have a shelf life so Zynga by definition will have to be a voracious acquirer.”

Zynga first gained massively in popularity after launching games on Facebook’s platform, but has recently made attempts to move to its own web platform as well as to mobile devices.

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