Zynga has acquired Oxford-based NaturalMotion for $527 million, with the social giant making its first major move in the market since former Microsoft man Don Mattrick took charge.
The announcement made via Zynga's latest quarterly results reveals the social giant paid $391 million in cash for the UK outfit, plus around 39.8 million shares.
"We believe that bringing Zynga and NaturalMotion together is the right step at the right time," detailed Mattrick.
"Our acquisition of NaturalMotion will allow us to significantly expand our creative pipeline, accelerate our mobile growth and bring next-generation technology and tools to Zynga that we believe will fast track our ability to deliver more hit games."
No clumsy move
Zynga claims NaturalMotion's portfolio "aligns perfectly" with the firm's strategy, handing Zynga "five top brands and capabilities in the farm, casino, words, racing and people categories."
"We are confident that we will build upon our market position with complementary strengths to generate long term value for our consumers, our employees and our shareholders," concluded Mattrick.
NaturalMotion is best known for CSR Racing and My Horse, with the firm's most recent release Clumsy Ninja having originally featured in Apple's iPhone 5 unveiling back in 2012.
It's not known what role current NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil will play in the company's future form, or indeed how the firm's operations in Oxford will be affected. NaturalMotion also owns Boss Alien, the Brighton-based studio run by Jason Avent.
"NaturalMotion set out to make games that wow millions of people, by being obsessed with quality, disrupting and creating genres, and using almost magical technology," said Reil of the deal.
"When we started talking to Don and his team, it quickly became clear that they shared this vision.
"Don's background in AAA games and Zynga's expertise in social game play and large-scale game operations will be invaluable to helping us grow our existing CSR and Clumsy Ninja franchises and maximize the breakout potential of our upcoming titles.
"We've reached our first milestones - creating #1 top-grossing and top-free titles - on our own. We can't wait to see what we can achieve together with Zynga."
Reil has previously told PocketGamer.biz that NaturalMotion's base in the UK is incredibly important, with Britain playing host to "some of the best talent in the world, especially for high-end 3D content."
Indeed, NaturalMotion's other major assets include Morpheme the firm's animation engine, utilised within many leading console releases during the last few years and AI tool Euphoria, which Zynga claims will feature in future releases.
We've reached out to NaturalMotion for more details on the merger and will update the story when possible.