Take-Two, the publisher behind the massively popular Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K franchises, has announced a deal to purchase mobile game company Zynga for an unfathomable $12.7 billion. It’s unclear whether the sale will go through quite yet, but if it does, this will mark the biggest sale in video game history to date. Comparable deals include Tencent’s investment in SuperCell ($8.6 billion) and Microsoft’s buyout of Bethesda ($8.1 billion).
In a press release, Take-Two stated that the acquisition would make it “one of the largest and most diversified mobile game publishers in the industry,” as Zynga currently has over 183 million monthly active players across all of its mobile game titles. The company also mentioned that through utilizing Zynga’s expertise, Take-Two could further drive its free-to-play and cross-platform plans. Currently, Take-Two’s mobile titles include Monster Legends, Dragon City, Two Dots, Top Eleven, and WWE SuperCard. Zynga is the company behind culture-shifting casual titles like FarmVille and Words With Friends.
The CEO of Zynga, Frank Gibeau, will keep his position, while the management team of Take-Two will lead the company. Take-Two said that it expects mobile titles to comprise over half of its net bookings in the fiscal year 2023, a huge jump compared to the estimated 12 percent seen in 2022. Zynga has 45 days to accept a better offer, but at $12.7 billion, Take-Two is paying 64 percent over Zynga’s existing stock price.
CEO of Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick, provided a statement. “We are thrilled to announce our transformative transaction with Zynga, which significantly diversifies our business and establishes our leadership position in mobile, the fastest-growing segment of the interactive entertainment industry. This strategic combination brings together our best-in-class console and PC franchises, with a market-leading, diversified mobile publishing platform that has a rich history of innovation and creativity. Zynga also has a highly talented and deeply experienced team, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Take-Two family in the coming months.”