Zynga - the company now lead by former Xbox One headman Don Mattrick - has acquired UK-based animation technology specialist NaturalMotion for $527 million. This is shortly after Zynga laid off some 300 of its own staff.
NaturalMotion was founded by Torsten Reil and has produced games such as Clumsy Ninja
, CSR Racing
and Backbreaker Football
. It has a staff of 260 people in Oxford, London, Brighton and San Francisco at the moment. Don Mattrick said of the deal:
“Our acquisition of NaturalMotion will allow us to significantly expand our creative pipeline, accelerate our mobile growth and bring next-generation technology and tools to Zynga that we believe will fast track our ability to deliver more hit games.
NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil commented, "Don’s background in AAA games and Zynga’s expertise in social game play and large-scale game operations will be invaluable to helping us grow our existing CSR and Clumsy Ninja franchises and maximize the breakout potential of our upcoming titles."
This must have come as fascinating news to the 315 people no longer at Zynga due to:
"Cost Reduction Plan
"Today Zynga announced a cost reduction plan expected to generate pre-tax savings in the range of $33 million to $35 million in 2014, excluding an estimated $15 million to $17 million pre-tax restructuring charge in Q1. As part of the plan, Zynga expects to complete a workforce reduction of approximately 314 employees or approximately 15% of its current workforce, and implement additional cost reduction measures, including lowering its spend on datacenter infrastructure."