Zynga built its fame with casual games like FarmVille and Words With Friends, but it has recently shifted its focus to blockchain-based [NFT] games. The firm announced that gaming giant Take-Two Interactive would acquire it in a deal valued at $12.7 billion.
Rockstar Games and 2K Games, which represent enormous titles like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, NBA 2K, and Borderlands, are owned by Take-Two Interactive.
Last year, Zynga made a pair of announcements that hinted at a transition toward blockchain-backed games powered by NFTs.In November, Matt Wolf was hired as Zynga's vice president of blockchain gaming with intentions to integrate NFTs into the company's existing IP and create new crypto-fueled games from the ground up. In December, the company partnered with blockchain gaming infrastructure developer Forte to bring those aspirations to fruition. The first blockchain-powered games from Zynga are yet to be announced.
Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau later spoke further about the company's view on NFT projects.
"In terms of NFTs, it's very early days," said Gibeau. "It's a process that I think conceptually we have a lot of faith and belief in—the idea that players will play-to-earn or play-to-own is a very compelling idea that we think will have legs as the industry develops."
In recent months, traditional video game firms have shown increased interest in the crypto area. In December, Ubisoft released Tezos-powered in-game items for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, while Square Enix confirmed plans to develop NFT-powered games. Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson termed NFTs "a vital element of our industry's future."
However, video game players have reacted negatively to such actions. Ubisoft faced opposition to introducing its NFT platform but decided to stick to its long-term ambitions.