Zynga Closes $180M Acquisition of Rollic, Marks Company Entrance Into ‘Hyper-Casual’ Games

Posted on: October 3, 2020, 12:04h. 

Last updated on: October 2, 2020, 01:59h.

Zynga continues its acquisition spree, as the San Francisco-based social gaming giant has purchased a majority position in Rollic Games, a hyper-casual mobile game developer and publisher.

Zynga Rollic social games hyper-casual
Rollic Games Founder Burak Vardal (pictured) has agreed to a takeover by Zynga. (Image: Rollic Games)

Zynga announced in a press released that it’s spending approximately $180 million in cash to acquire an 80 percent stake in Rollic. Zynga will acquire the remaining 20 percent over the next three years in equal installments based on Rollic’s performance.

Rollic was founded in December of 2018, and is headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey.

Rollic brings Zynga into the world of hyper-casual, which is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing mobile gaming categories. Rollic’s large and diversified audience base will also be valuable for Zynga as the mobile games and advertising landscape continues to grow,” said Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau.

Zynga’s takeover of Rollic comes on the heels of buying another Turkish mobile game developer. In June, Zynga announced it was buying competitor Peak in a deal worth $1.8 billion.

Hyper What?

You might call it an oxymoron, but the term “hyper-casual” is one of the buzz-worthiest entries currently in the social gaming lexicon.

Hyper-casual games are typically free and easy to play. They tend to have basic designs, graphics, and user interfaces. Successful games are highly addictive, and can often be played while multitasking.

Rollic’s portfolio consists of many time-wasters. “Build Roads” players pour concrete and pavement, level the road, and can paint the street different colors.

In “Tangle Master,” players are tasked with untying a series of knots. In “Car Restoration,” users repair vehicles, including changing tires, smoothing dents, and fixing lights. The app comes with instructions to help players make the fixes.

So, how does Rollic make revenue? Users can spend $2.99 to remove ads from the games. Some of the games additionally offer in-app purchases.

On “Picker 3D,” a game that challenges players to scoop as many balls as possible, the app offers a $14.49 per month VIP Membership that delivers VIP levels, exclusive “pickers,” and more.

Mobile Gaming Revenue

Being a privately held company, Rollic hasn’t revealed what sort of revenue it’s generating from its hyper-casual games. That will change under Zynga’s control, as the company is a publicly traded corporation on NASDAQ.

Zynga says COVID-19 is pushing more people to social gaming. During the company’s most recent financial earnings results, Zynga announced it was raising its 2020 guidance by $110 million to $1.8 billion.

With more people staying at home, we saw heightened levels of player engagement, social connection, and monetization in our portfolio,” Gibeau told investors. “Increased player engagement in our live services drove our exceptional Q2 results, including record revenue and bookings performances, and our best operating cash flow in more than eight years.”

Zynga stock has weathered the coronavirus storm well. In early February, shares were trading around $6. They closed this week at $9.32, a 55 percent increase.