Zynga was right about Turkey. What’s next for the acquisition boom? | Pocket Gamer.biz

When Zynga acquired casual puzzle game developer Peak Games, it did so in two parts: the first half of its portfolio for $100 million in cash in 2017, and the next half for $1.8. billion just three years later.

Bernard Kim, President of Publishing at Zynga, said, “I remember in early discussions with [Peak founder] Sidar Şahin told me that he was going to put Istanbul and Turkey on the map of the mobile games industry. These discussions go back only six years, and he was absolutely right, Turkey is hot. »

Unsurprisingly, Kim is optimistic about Zynga’s central involvement in investing, acquiring and supporting the Turkish mobile games industry, and the importance of this support has not gone unnoticed: the subsidiaries from Zynga, Peak, Rollic and Gram Games, have been listed in Fast Company’s top 100. highest-earning internet companies in the country, occupying 12 positionsand13andand 14and respectively.

“I’ve bought many companies, both at Zynga and previously at Electronic Arts, but we’re extremely proud of our M&A record over the past six years. These companies impressed us culturally, and their spirit – competitive, player-focused – only grew stronger after the acquisition.

Right now, it’s a hot industry with a ton of people wanting to work in it. In any hot industry, talent moves

Bernard Kim

But Kim insists that Zynga’s influence is, for the most part, quiet: while subsidiaries can opt in to support on AU and product management, as well as use the toolkits and Zynga’s dashboards, he said that “we’re keeping it pretty low-key when it comes to deep integration. Sharing best practices and using our biggest publishing platform can be beneficial, their day-to-day hasn’t changed that much. “.

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The global games industry is also experiencing a skills shortage and with such an explosion of interest in Turkey has undoubtedly created a deeply competitive space – mobile game companies other than Zynga Good Job Games, Gamegoes and Narcade were also placed on Fast Company’s Top 100 list. . Unsurprisingly, Kim turns on the side of optimism.

“We are very optimistic about the future of mobile gaming. We see this as an overabundance of opportunity – right now it’s a booming industry with a ton of people wanting to work in it. In any hot industry, talent moves.

“If people choose to leave their post, that’s up to them. But we want to prioritize our own culture and create as many opportunities within the larger Zynga framework. That’s why I think we’ve had less attrition than some of our competitors.


Unsurprisingly, each of Zynga’s Turkish subsidiaries has grown since then, with Rollic itself making four acquisitions under Zynga ownership. As the industry is well aware, 2022 continued the dramatic rise in mergers and acquisitions, with the first quarter of 2022 already eclipsing deals completed throughout 2021.

A few years ago, we were one of the major buyers in the mobile industry. Now we have a lot of competition

Bernard Kim

Perpetual growth is an industrial dream, but there are also concerns about consolidation and sustainability of growth. However, Kim remains optimistic.

“Our mantra is ‘grow faster together’. One of the pillars of Zynga’s growth is mergers and acquisitions, and like the rest of the industry, I don’t think that’s going to slow down. I knew that, if anything, acquisition was going to ramp up in the wake of the pandemic.

“Is it going to slow down now? I don’t know the answer to that, but it definitely won’t happen in the next two years.”

Zynga guessed right with Turkey, and the industry is acutely aware of the need to explore new regions. But Kim wasn’t about to share any trade secrets about where Zynga had been aiming for the next potential Turkey.

“I think I’ll refrain from answering this now: a few years ago we were one of the major buyers in the mobile industry. Now we have a lot of competition.

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