May 15, 2012
Zynga, the well-known San Francisco-based social gaming giant, has brought yet another gaming startup to its fold. As reported by TechCrunch, the purchased firm this time is a small company called Wild Needle Games. Wild Needle is a female-oriented casual gaming company that counted Playdom co-founder Rick Thompson among its backers. Founded in 2010, it didn't get to release its first game, Shoptown Hero, until March of this year. By no means a smash hit, Shoptown Hero was a free-to-play shop management game for iOS reminiscent of Recettear. The game, whose launch trailer is shown below, involved running shops and haggling with customers in order to save the eponymous town from a greedy business tycoon named Fat Ralph. Ahead of the acquisition of its developer, the game was pulled from the App Store a few weeks ago. If you can't see the video embedded above, please click here. "Attention Shoppers! We hope that you have enjoyed playing Shoptown as much as we have enjoyed working on it. Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to support Shoptown in the App Store," said Wild Needle in a Facebook post last April 26, making no mention of the then imminent acquisition. Neither Wild Needle nor Zynga has disclosed the cost of the deal, but VentureBeat estimates it at $3.8 million. Just like its recent $200 million acquisition of Draw Something developer OMGPOP, Zynga's Wild Needle purchase constitutes a talent-sized transaction. Zynga sure is on a shopping spree. Whatever is next on its shopping list, I wonder?