Zynga continues march on mid-core with November Software acquisition

Studio working on F2P mobile action title

Date Type Companies involved Size
November 9th, 2012 acquisition November Software
Not disclosed
Zynga continues march on mid-core with November Software acquisition
As part of its ongoing effort to appeal to mid-core mobile gamers, Zynga has acquired four-man studio November Software for an undisclosed amount.

Formed back in January 2011, November Software is made up of a team whose previous experience includes working on LucasArts' Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series.

Now, the team is hard at work on Battlestone, a free-to-play action RPG that's built on November's own cross-platform 3D engine – created from the ground up to allow for 60 frames per second capability on mobile devices and on-demand content streaming.

Open but deep

The team's being assisted by Zynga's Justin Cinicolo and Jon-Paul Dumont – part of the original team behind Mafia Wars – to ensure Battlestone delivers the blend of accessibility and depth that characterises the mid-core genre.

This isn't the first Zynga acquisition that's designed to strengthen its hand in the mid-core market.

In September 2012, the social gaming giant bought Californian developer A Bit Lucky for an undisclosed sum.

The studio joined Zynga's San Francisco division and is currently helping the team expand Zynga's product offering to include mid-core titles – which typically attract a higher ARPU than casual and social games.

Evidence of Zynga's desire to move away from strictly social gaming could also be seen in its decision to publish Horn, Phosphor Games' graphically impressive single-player adventure game.

The game was priced at $6.99, and featured Infinity Blade-style battles and a lengthy narrative.


"As we were creating the initial specs for our game, Zynga caught our attention with its insights and passion for improving the experience of our game and their strengths in social and free-to-play games," explained November Software's tech specialist Szymon Swistun.

"Speaking with the folks at Zynga, we were immediately blown away with the conviction and energy they had about making kick-ass mobile games that leave a strong, memorable impression on players.

"We realised we could accelerate game development by combining our team's expertise building blockbuster console games and Zynga's strength in building social games on a massive scale."

As Zynga continues to expand in the west, however, so its operations in Japan appear to be winding down, with recent reports suggesting both its Tokyo office and key games are to be closed before the end of 2012.

[source: Zynga]

Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013