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Zynga buys Mark Pincus' incubator for $1

SuperLabs' team will join Zynga for 1.1 million shares apiece

Zynga has acquired the incubator started by CEO Mark Pincus for the handsome sum of a single dollar.

Pincus founded SuperLabs in November 2014, six months after he handed leadership of the company to Don Mattrick, and five months before he returned as CEO. According to an SEC filing released yesterday, Pincus invested $2.2 million of his own money in the project.

The acquisition is effectively a talent deal, with much of the value tied to Zynga's stock. Superlabs' nine employees will all be given just over 1.1 million shares in the company should they agree to work there. At present, Zynga's shares are trading at just under $3 each.

"The transaction provides an opportunity to acquire the services of up to nine skilled technical personnel in a competitive market for talent acquisition," the filing stated.

The transaction was approved by an independent committee of Zynga's directors, with Pincus recusing himself from the process. As well as paying $1 for SuperLabs, Zynga has assumed liabilities of around $365,000. The deal also includes the rights to the technology and IPs being created at Superlabs.

Former Xbox boss Don Mattrick left Zynga in April after two years as its CEO. Any hope for a turnaround in the company's performance failed to materialise during Mattrick's tenure. In May, the company announced plans to cut 18 per cent of its global workforce.

Thanks Re/code.

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Latest comments (8)

Rolf Klischewski Founder & CEO, gameslocalization.com5 years ago
By the time they're able to sell those shares, they'll have turned into $1 in total, too.
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up5 years ago
Investors money going around in circles.
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Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist / UI/UX Designer / Game Designer, Flea Ranch Games5 years ago
Prediction: Within a year, Zynga will go through another cost cutting measure and the folks from SuperLabs will be nuked.
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up5 years ago
It looks like he wants the team from superlabs in zynga to turn around fortunes, but if you fire and then try and rehire them, there is less chance you get your team and team moral intact. They'll move for a big incentive though. Nice earner for them.
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Bill Young Head of Strategic Partnerships & Sponsorships, esports, Twitch5 years ago
Wouldn't a more accurate headline be "Zynga Buys Superlabs For Roughly $30MM in Stock?"

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Bill Young on 16th June 2015 5:59pm

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Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist / UI/UX Designer / Game Designer, Flea Ranch Games5 years ago
@Bill
"Superlabs' nine employees will all be given just over 1.1 million shares in the company should they agree to work there."

Don't know if that is 1.1m each or 1.1m split between all of them.

@Sandy
Look what Zynga did to OMGPop. Bought them for over $200m, had the team sit around for a year keeping an eye on Draw Something, then bye, bye.
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Aaron Brown BA Computer Science Student, Carnegie Mellon University5 years ago
@Gary
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1439404/000119312515223478/d942581d8k.htm

^^
"The transaction provides an opportunity to acquire the services of up to nine (9) skilled technical personnel in a competitive market for talent acquisition. Pursuant to the Agreement, Zynga will grant to those individuals who accept employment with Zynga an aggregate of up to 1,130,000 ZSUs. It also allows Zynga to secure rights in technologies, and related IP, that may be beneficial to the Company in the future."

Looks like its a split. So the acquisition cost 30mm.
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Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist / UI/UX Designer / Game Designer, Flea Ranch Games5 years ago
@Aaron
Thanks for the info.

Cheers.
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