Zynga has acquired a free-to-play social casino game firm called Rising Tide Games. Former Zynga and Playtika executives founded the acquired company, says a report from GamesBeat. The monetary terms of the deal have been kept secret.
Zynga’s 2013 acquisition of Spooky Cool Labs has already helped it build a big social casino slots business, and now by acquiring Rising Tide Games, the firm wants to make sure it stays ahead of rivals. Between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015, the game maker has increased its slots franchise bookings by 274%. As per estimates by Eilers Research, the social casino game market will be worth $3.5 billion in 2015 and $4 billion in 2016.
“We are excited to welcome the deeply talented Rising Tide Games team to Zynga, as we continue to expand our Social Casino game offerings,” CEO Mark Pincus said in a blog post.
When it comes to the social casino space, Zynga is one of the pioneers as its Zynga Poker is still the biggest free poker game globally, and going forward, the game maker expects its poker and slots teams to continue to “deliver games that delight our players.”
Bringing former employees back
This move from Zynga suggests that Pincus is determined to bring back Zynga executives who left the firm under previous CEO Don Mattrick. Rising Tide Games is headed by former Zynga executive Maytal Olsha and casino slot game veteran Stuart Zoble. Apart from these two, other founders of Rising Tide Games are Andrew Sega, and Peter Franco, and all of them will be joining Zynga. Rising Tide Games has offices in New York and Austin, Texas.
Before leaving, Olsha worked at Zynga for two years. Initially, she was the chief operating officer for new markets, including social slots. Olsha was primarily hired to push the company’s efforts in real money gambling, but once the game maker hit the blocks after its initial public offering in 2011, it changed course.
After the legalization of real money gambling hit political bumps, Zynga changed its strategy and focused on virtual goods-based social casino games such as Hit It Rich Casino Slots and Zynga Poker. After the shift in focus, Olsha was given the social slots business, which included popular games like Duck Dynasty Slots and Hit It Rich Casino Slots.