This would be a massive blow for the casual gaming world: rumor has it that Google invested anything between 100 and 200 million dollars in Zynga, the creator of Facebook hits like FarmVille, FrontierVille or Mafia Wars. For now, the story was not confirmed by neither parts, but it completely makes sense.
According to Tech Crunch, Google invested such a huge amount of money in the social games developer prior to the launch of their own social gaming platform, Google Games. Apparently, Zynga and their games will be a major part of the Google Games. Here’s the report from Tech Crunch:
“The investment was made by Google itself, not Google Ventures, say our sources, and it’s a highly strategic deal. Zynga will be the cornerstone of a new Google Games to launch later this year, say multiple sources. Not only will Zynga’s games give Google Games a solid base of social games to build on, but it will also give Google the beginning of a true social graph as users log into Google to play the games. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see PayPal being replaced with Google Checkout as the primary payment option. Zynga is supposedly PayPal’s biggest single customer, and Google is always looking for ways to make Google Checkout relevant.
Zynga continues to work on high level strategic business development deals. The reason these deals are so attractive to companies like Yahoo and now Google is this – Zynga allows them to rebuild the massive social graph, currently controlled by Facebook. For whatever reason people love to play these games and get passionately addicted to them, coming back day after day. That’s helped Facebook become what it is today. Google, Yahoo and others want some of that magic to rub off on them, too.”