Google's Got Game, Buys Slide for $228 Million
The deal follows closely on the heels of Google's investment of at least $100 million -- Business Insider says it's double that figure -- in Zynga, creator of such wildly popular Facebook games as FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Google's strategy of purchasing or investing in game developers is seen as part of an expected assault on the burgeoning social-networking world centered around Facebook and its 500 million members. Conveniently, Zynga appears to have had a falling-out with Facebook, leaving an opening for Google. Some 60 million Facebook members play Zynga's games and they spend real-world cash to do so -- the company projects $1 billion in revenue next year.
TechCrunch recently said that Zynga "will be the cornerstone of a new Google Games to launch later this year." The Wall Street Journal also recently reported that Google is cultivating relationships with online game developers such as Zynga, Playdom, Electronic Arts (ERTS) and others to incorporate their games into its forthcoming game service, part of a broader effort to compete with Facebook. Playdom itself was snapped up by Walt Disney (DIS) for for $563.2 million last week, raising the hopes of game developers everywhere.