Zynga, best known for publishing social mobile games, is looking to expand into the console and PC space with the acquisition of Echtra Games. It will look to leverage Echtra’s cross-platform expertise to grow its iconic licenses and brands.
The Torchlight 3 developer has only produced one game to date. However, Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau believes that the team at Echtra Games has been “responsible for some of the most legendary properties ever created” in gaming. He also emphasizes that Echtra are experts in the action-RPG genre.
I have to agree with him on both points. Max Schaefer, the founder of Echtra Games, previously worked on the first two Diablo games before moving on to the Torchlight series. Diablo II was such a hit with fans that Blizzard decided to finally give it the remaster treatment. Diablo II: Resurrected was recently announced at BlizzConline 2021.
Echtra Games and Zynga light the way forward
The first thing on Echtra Games’ to-do list after the acquisition by Zynga is make a new cross-platform RPG. Details for the RPG are yet to be announced. However, we know that Echtra will collaborate with another Zynga studio, NaturalMotion, on the project.
NaturalMotion has developed two mobile games, CSR Racing 2 and Dawn of Titans. However, the studio’s most notable contribution to gaming has to be the development of Euphoria, a game animation middleware. Euphoria has been used in Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – just to name a few.
Zynga confirmed that there would be no layoffs at Echtra Games resulting from the acquisition. Everything should be business as usual for the developer. Zynga also revealed that it may not be done acquiring game studios and tech companies. Zynga’s president of publishing, Bernard Kim, said that the publisher would continue to remain “aggressive and inquisitive” in the market.