Zynga acquires New York developer Area/Code

Creator of Drop7 for iPhone and Facebook’s CSI: Crime City joins social giant

Social games giant Zynga has acquired New York developer Area/Code, renaming the studio Zynga New York.

The team has created games such as Drop7 for iPhone and CSI: Crime City for Facebook, and will remain under the leadership of general manager Demetri Detsaridis and creative director Frank Lantz, although co-founder Kevin Slavin is leaving the company.

Writing on the company blog, Area/Code said is has always been attracted to new technology and business opportunities in the videogame sector, and the acquisition is part of the evolution of the studio.

"Area/Code began 18 months before the Wii hit the shelves, a few years before the first social game on Facebook, years before a phone with an App Store attached to it. Every time a new mode of interaction emerged – whether it was cameraphones, GPS, broadcast co-viewing, or the Facebook API – we took every opportunity to use what we found to push the boundaries of where we play, when we play, and who we play with.

"While we were working hard, so was everyone else; the 'videogame industry' bears little resemblance to what it looked like when we started. The way to get a game in the hands of a million people years ago is quite different from today's landscape of 600 million Facebook users.

"This is the number one reason the studio is evolving: we want to make great games on a large scale. Our ambition is to contribute in a major way to the evolution of games on social networks, to make games in this space that are deeper and more interesting, games that reward the time and attention of the millions of people who play them with complex, meaningful experiences. We believe our best shot at doing this is working with Zynga, the biggest, most successful company in this space."

Area/Code said the acquisition was helped in part by advisors Creative Artists Agency and Evolution Media Capital.

Area/Code created Parking Wars, an early social games success on Facebook, and it was also responsible for the UK's Department of Transport MMO Code of Everand, as well as projects for Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.

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