Zynga acquires StarLark studio and Golf Rival game for $525M

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Zynga has agreed to obtain StarLark, a Chinese game developer, and the mobile golf title Golf Rival from Betta Games for $525 million in money and stock.

Golf Rival is the second-biggest mobile golf game behind Playdemic’s Golf Clash, and Electronic Arts is in the method of purchasing that studio for $1.4 billion.

The San Francisco-based Zynga has been on an extraordinary purchasing spree below CEO Frank Gibeau, and the complete game sector has been consolidating more not too long ago. Zynga’s acquisition spree below Gibeau began with the 2017 buy of casual card games from Turkey’s Peak Games for $one hundred million. In May 2018, Zynga purchased Gram Games for $250 million, followed by the late 2018 acquisition of Empires &amp Puzzles maker Small Giant Games for (what was then) $560 million.

Image Credit: Starlark/Zynga

The major one came in June 2020 as Zynga acquired all of Peak Games for $1.8 billion. In October 2020, Zynga purchased hypercasual game maker Rollic for $180 million. It took a step into the Computer market place with the acquisition of Echtra Games, which the makers of the Torchlight series founded. And today it closed the acquisition of Chartboost for $200 million.


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Zynga’s most current acquisition nets a development group with the established capability to make a worldwide hit. StarLark has added projects in early development.

“Golf Rival is a casual player-versus-player (PvP) experience. It’s kind of Words with Friends with golf clubs,” stated Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau in an interview. “It has fantasy courses, and it’s highly social. It has just started to hit its growth curve. We really love the quality of the game. We think it’s got tremendous growth in front of us. And I think it’s the fastest growing golf game right now.”

The Beijing-based studio also expands Zynga’s international presence by finding a foothold in China, with access to the region’s talent base.

“This is a team that is is super talented, they’re really young, they’re hungry,” Gibeau stated. “Part of our strategy start to build out Asia. So for a lot of reasons, we really like what we’ve got here.”

A prime 2 golf game

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Image Credit: Starlark/Zynga

In Golf Rival, players compete in actual-time player-vs.-player matches, like multiplayer tournaments with customizable gear. StarLark claims Golf Rival has develop into the second-biggest mobile golf game in the world with six million downloads in 2021 alone. Gibeau believes the providers can develop Golf Rival more quickly collectively.

Henry You, the founder and common manager of StarLark, stated in a statement that the aim of joining with Zynga is to accelerate Golf Rival’s development into a “forever franchise, or one that keeps producing substantial earnings for years. Gibeau agreed it could be such a game, which by Zynga’s requirements generates more than $one hundred million a year for 5 years or more.

He stated that if you look at the (undisclosed) income and earnings of Golf Rival, Zynga is finding it for a great value.

“The underlying metrics, the daily active users, the conversions to paying, are all very strong,” he stated. “It’s a good business from multiple standpoints.”

Asked if it was a clone of Golf Clash, Gibeau disagreed.

“They’re both golf games, but this is in line more with the social mission we have at Zynga,” Gibeau stated. “It’s a social game, more focused on fun player-versus-player (PvP) and fantasy courses. We believe it is a lot more accessible and a little bit less hardcore.”

The deal will give Zynga the StarLark development studio and Golf Rival franchise for about $525 million, comprising about $315 million of money and about $210 million of Zynga typical stock (issued at the typical closing value per share more than the thirty-day trading period ended August 2). The final closing consideration will also contain customary closing adjustments and is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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Image Credit: Starlark/Zynga

Meanwhile, Zynga has closed last quarter’s major deal, the $250 million acquisition of Chartboost, a mobile programmatic marketing and monetization platform. Chartboost is a unified marketing platform that involves a demand-side platform (DSP) as properly as provide-side platform (SSP) and mediation capabilities delivered via an computer software development kit (SDK) resolution.

And Zynga stated that its Rollic division has now surpassed a billion downloads worldwide. Rollic tends to make hypercasual games, or these that can be played in a minute or so. The major hits contain Hair Challenge, High Heels, and Tangle Master 3D. Each of these titles have generated more than one hundred million downloads.

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz