Zynga raises full-year bookings forecast, buys another Turkish game-maker
Aug 5 (Reuters) - Zynga Inc ZNGA.O raised its full-year bookings forecast after topping quarterly estimates on Wednesday, encouraged by strong engagement from stuck-at-home players and its recent acquisition of Turkish mobile-game maker Peak.
The company said it would also acquire an 80% stake in Istanbul-based hyper-casual game maker Rollic for $168 million in cash, about two months after its $1.8 billion acquisition of Peak, the maker of games like "Toon Blast" and "Toy Blast".
"It is a great way to acquire users," Zynga Chief Executive Officer Frank Gibeau told Reuters, noting that hyper-casual is the fastest growing category on mobile right now.
Rollic, known for games like "Go Knots 3D" and "Tangle Master 3D", will also add to Zynga's ad sales. The mobile game maker said it would acquire the remaining 20% of Rollic at valuations based on specific profitability goals over the next three years.
The "FarmVille"-maker has been strengthening its hold on the fast-growing mobile gaming market through a slew of acquisitions and licensing agreements with media outlets to publish themed games of popular franchises.
Besides games like "Empires & Puzzles" and "Merge Dragons!", Zynga is also known for its portfolio of social casino games like "Game of Thrones Slots Casino".
User spending on mobile games surged in the past few months along with broader videogame sales, as people turned to games to keep themselves entertained and connect virtually with friends while under coronavirus-led lockdowns.
Global mobile gaming revenue surged 27% to $19.3 billion in the second quarter, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower, with user spending peaking in May. (https://bit.ly/2DqfRFV)
Zynga raised its full-year 2020 bookings to $2.2 billion from $1.8 billion, above analysts' estimate of $1.85 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
It reported bookings of $518.1 million for the second quarter ended June 30, beating estimates of $503.2 million.
(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
((Ayanti.Bera@thomsonreuters.com; 646 223 8780 - 3401;))