Zynga, the company that owns iPhone games like Words With Friends and Draw Something, is laying off 15 percent of its staff while at the same time buying NaturalMotion, the company behing Clumsy Ninja. The US$527 million deal also gives Zynga NaturalMotion's other iOS games including Icebreaker Hockey, CSR Racing, and Jenga.
Zynga buys Clumsy Ninja maker NaturalMotion
Zynga CEO Don Mattrick said,
Our acquisition of NaturalMotion will allow us to significantly expand our creative pipeline, accelerate our mobile growth and bring next-generation technology and tools to Zynga that we believe will fast track our ability to deliver more hit games.
iOS game fans generally aren't happy when they hear Zynga has picked up a new company, and often have little faith the titles that go along with the purchase will survive long term. While there isn't any reason to expect Zynga to drop production and support for ClumsyNinja, the fact that the company lost $37 million during its last fiscal quarter and is laying off over 300 employees isn't instilling much confidence in the iOS gaming community.
According to Zynga, cutting its staff by 15 percent will help save some $35 million in 2014. Mr. Mattrick called the cuts necessary to help the company "create a clearer, faster path to win."
Maybe the popularity of games like Clumsy Ninja will help, too.