Zynga buys studio founded by Age of Empires creators, original games incoming

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Zynga Dallas
Zynga announced today that it has gobbled up yet another US game developer, Dallas-based Bonfire Studios. Formed in 2008 by members of the defunct Ensemble Studios--creators of the Age of Empires series and Halo Wars--the developer is now officially Zynga Dallas.

Heading the FarmVille creator's Lone Star stronghold will be Bonfire's three founders, David Rippy, Bill Jackson and Scott Winsett, who will become general manager, creative director and senior art director (similar positions to what they held at Bonfire), respectively. While most of Zynga's big purchases have been of web game studios, this is the first major game studio to be welcomed into the social gaming empire.

This move is strangely brilliant considering members of the studio have created one of the most critically acclaimed real-time strategy series in recent years with Age of Empires, yet Bonfire Studios has zero experience with Facebook games. After saying to TechCrunch that they will allow Zynga Dallas to "continue to develop new IP across multiple platforms," Zynga must be on to something huge whether it be on a console or on Facebook. Though, we doubt the company would turn away from one of the most profitable platforms, currently.

With the recent trend of Facebook strategy games like Kingdoms of Camelot and Monster World and the Bonfire team's obvious experience in that genre, it's possible that Zynga is looking towards this genre to innovate with Zynga Dallas "developing original IP for the company," according to the Zynga blog. Then again, the developer could just as easily be working on a clone. Hey, it's not as if Zynga hasn't before. Regardless, we're hopeful that if Zynga were to buy serious talent, it would use it seriously.

[Via TechCrunch]

What do you think will come of Zynga Dallas? Will the company create another clone or will Zynga use this chance to make something that truly blows its other games out of the water? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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