<< Google has quietly (secretly, one might say) invested somewhere between $100 million and $200 million in social gaming behemoth Zynga, we’ve confirmed from multiple sources. The company has raised somewhere around half a billion dollars in venture capital in the last year alone, including $150 million from Softbank Capital last month and $180 million late last year from Digital Sky Technologies, Tiger Global, Institutional Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. The Softbank announcement was never officially confirmed by the company, however, and the Google investment was likely part of that deal as well.
The investment part of the deal closed a month ago or so. A larger strategic partnership is still in process.
The investment was made by Google itself, not Google Ventures, say our sources, and it’s a highly strategic deal. Zynga will be the cornerstone of a new Google Games to launch later this year, say multiple sources. Not only will Zynga’s games give Google Games a solid base of social games to build on, but it will also give Google the beginning of a true social graph as users log into Google to play the games. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see PayPal being replaced with Google Checkout as the primary payment option. Zynga is supposedly PayPal’s biggest single customer, and Google is always looking for ways to make Google Checkout relevant. >>
Google Games? Wasn't Lively fail enough?
<<Google Games? Wasn't Lively fail enough?>>
> Wasn't Lively fail enough?
Hey, they made up for that when they ran Pacman on the home page :)
I don't think Google has the right DNA to succeed with a games site, unless they let Zynga do things their way. Kind of like how Google Video faltered, but YouTube thrived.
Did they buy googlescam.com ?
I thought Zynga was officially criminal?
That's an interesting link, Tadeusz. I had always wondered what was the business model behind all those ads to download the zwinky toolbar.
I hate Zynga and all of their products so much that it is seriously distressing to think that Google might have anything to do with them. Although, if Google can do something to make Zynga less EVIL, it might be OK. Because Zynga is VERY EVIL.
I play the Zynga poker and Scramble (word game) apps on my iPhone sometimes, ignoring the silly offers to get more points or stuff by doing annoying stuff. I ignore invites to participate in other games of theirs like Farmville which I find pointless.
It might be too close to be true since this guy changes his profile recently to become Google Games advocate.
Here's the LinkedIn profile...
Mark DeLoura’s Experience
Developer Advocate, Games
(Public Company; GOOG; Internet industry)
April 2010 — Present (4 months)