Zynga announced today that they’ve acquired Austin-based social game company Challange Games. Zynga is one of the fastest growing gaming companies in history, and are the creators of the most popular facebook games including Mafia Wars and Farmville. Challenge Games was founded by serial entrepreneur Andrew Busey, who had previously founded companies such as iChat, Living.com, Question.com, and Pluck.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but given the ability of Challenge Games to attract top tier venture investors, we can only assume that this was a strategic acquisition. Challenge Games’ Co-Founder CEO, Andrew Busey, will become Zynga’s general manager and vice president of the Austin studio. The Challenge Games team of 35 employees will be immediately integrated into Zynga’s workforce. This deal will make the company the Austin-based game studio for Zynga, adding to operations in San Francisco, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Bangalore, and Beijing.
“Austin is an ideal location to extend our studio operations with its rich talent in the games business,” said Mike Verdu, senior vice president of Games at Zynga. “We look forward to building out our Zynga Austin studio with the best and brightest in the industry as we continue to bring social games to more users worldwide.”
Challenge Games, backed by Sequoia Capital and Globespan Capital Partners, launched in 2007 to focus on immersive Web game development built on a virtual goods business model. Two of the company’s most popular games, Warstorm, a collectible card game set in a fantasy universe, and Ponzi, a tycoon game, will be further developed by the Zynga team.