If you’re an avid online gamer, you must have heard of the global leader in interactive entertainment, Zynga, at some point. In fact, a report from Venturebeat states that their revenue went up again in the first quarter of 2021; this time by a staggering 69%, compared to the usual 40% to 45%. That pretty impressive growth allowed them to catch the attention of a well-known name in the gaming space. The company has recently made a new acquisition.
While much of it is due to the growing interest in online games during the pandemic, a lot of the activity is also because of the company’s many great games. According to a online social poker guide by Poker.org, Zynga owns the most popular play money platform to date – Zynga Poker. It currently boasts more than 38 million players worldwide, and the numbers are increasing every year. Zynga also owns Toy Blast, which is a matching puzzle game that has over 4 million downloads on the App and Play Store. And of course, they’re well-known within the mobile space for a ton of different games.
These successful licenses have only encouraged the company to improve its existing games and even expand its titles. This year, they’ve decided to acquire Echtra Games – the brilliant minds behind popular action RPGs like Torchlight.
Who is Echtra Games?
Echtra Games is a small San Francisco-based gaming company that was formed by Max Schaefer and other experienced game developers back in 2016. Schaefer was one of the co-founders of Runic Games – the developer of the award-winning Torchlight series. Therefore, Echtra Games carried over Schaefer’s work on Torchlight, but not without taking major portions of the work invested in the hit game Diablo.
Many of the developers that work for the company have also played key roles in other cross-platform games like The Sims 4, State of Decay, and Apex Legends. This is why Zynga is looking forward to leveraging not only the veteran team’s graphical prowess on Unreal Engine but their extensive cross-platform play experience as well.
Speaking about the change, the developer was pretty clear about their hopefulness for the future. “This acquisition will be instrumental in growing our iconic licenses and brands from mobile to PCs and consoles while helping to further expand Zynga’s total addressable market,” says Frank Gibeau, the Chief Executive Officer of Zynga. “I’m excited to welcome the Echtra Games team into the Zynga family.”
What about the future?
As for the future, the plans seem to be to expand into more niche titles big and small. In recent years, Zynga has been pushing to publish games across multiple platforms in an effort to expand its market. This was clearly seen when they announced Star Wars: Hunters for both PC and console back in February.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Zynga’s foray into PC and Console to facilitate truly platform-agnostic game development,” stated Max Schaefer, the Chief Executive Officer of Echtra Games. “We share Zynga’s vision that cross-platform play is an essential part of the future of RPGs and interactive entertainment and are eager to apply our vast experience and talents to this effort.”
The games continue to get churned out at the developer, and they seem to be in a bit of a holding pattern between named announcements. The team at Echtra won’t be sitting idle during that time. The Echtra alums have teamed up with another Zynga-owned company, NaturalMotion, to work on a new game. NaturalMotion is mostly known for the hyper-realistic racer CSR Racing. The two studios are working on an a currently unannounced project.