The social games company that Facebook made a household name is pushing into the mobile market.
Zynga, which most people know as the name behind Farmville, has just taken control of an open-source iPhone development tool called Cocos2d. It’s one of the company’s sweeping list of acquisitions over the past couple years, and has given it a lot of cred in the smartphone arena.
Armed with a whole bunch of new hires focused on the mobile side of things – including Ricardo Quesada and Rolando Abarca as part of its latest acquisition – Zynga wants to become as much of a front-page name on app stores as it is on Facebook.
This is by no means a new endeavor for Zynga. It already has iPhone and Android versions of some of its most popular titles, including Farmville (of course). But for whatever reason, smartphone owners aren’t flocking to Zynga games the same way Facebook users are. It’s a different market.
Zynga’s latest moves seem to suggest the company plans to break off its mobile division so it can creatively function on its own. While there will certainly still be connectivity between mobile and Facebook, I wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing fresh, original Zynga games for the iPhone and Android.
In fact, down the road it wouldn’t be out of the question for Zynga to develop the next Angry Birds – the next mobile smash hit – and then translate that into a Facebook experience, as opposed to the other way around.
As for the latest acquisition, Zynga notes it has “long been an advocate of the open source community and we are excited to have Ricardo and Rolando continue to support and contribute to cocos2d for iPhone while in their new roles at Zynga.”