Zynga today acquired NaturalMotion, the company that developed the Clumsy Ninja app, for a total of $527 million in cash and stock. Clumsy Ninja, which was released in November of 2013 after a long development period, was highlighted by Apple during the iPhone 5 media event in September of 2012.
Following its initial debut, the app and the company behind it received a lot of attention for the natural movement styles of the ragdoll ninja character.
Founded by Torsten Reil, a former evolutionary biologist, NaturalMotion specializes in high quality games that use realistic animations, which is a bit of a departure from Zynga's typical game style.
Along with Clumsy Ninja, NaturalMotion has also released several other iOS apps, including Jenga, Icebreaker Hockey, and CSR Racing. According to Zynga CEO Don Mattrick, NaturalMotion will expand Zynga's creative pipeline and bring next-generation tools to the company.
NaturalMotion expands Zynga's creative pipeline, accelerates our mobile growth, and brings next-generation technology and tools to Zynga that will fast-track our ability to deliver consumers more hit games. Bringing Zynga and NaturalMotion together is a bold step in the right direction at the right time.
Combining NaturalMotion's strengths with Zynga's ability to develop breakthrough social features while sustaining live games over time, offers us a huge opportunity to redefine the gaming industry and deliver consumers blockbuster entertainment experiences.
Alongside the acquisition of NaturalMotion, Zynga also announced that it is laying off a total of 314 employees, or 15 percent of its workforce, as part of a cost reduction plan that is expected to save the company up to $35 million. During 2013, Zynga saw $873.3 million in revenue, but ultimately had a net loss of $37 million.
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Not to mention that Don Mattrick left the Xbox One division for Zynga, which is sort of like jumping out of the Hindenburg and landing on the Titanic.