Take-Two hint at GTA and Red Dead mobile games after $12.7 billion Zynga buyout

If you wondered where all that money from GTA was going, Take-Two has just paid over £9 billion for the maker of Words With Friends.

When Microsoft bought Bethesda for a cool $7.5 billion (£5.54bn), back in 2020, a lot of people questioned whether the maker of Skyrim and Fallout was really worth all that money. Compared to the $12.7 billion (£9.38bn) that Take-Two has just paid for Zynga though, it seems like an absolute bargain.

Zynga rose to fame with FarmVille and similar casual games and while it almost didn’t survive the transition away from relying on Facebook it subsequently found success with the likes of Words With Friends and Monster Legends.

The company is not exactly a favourite of hardcore gamers but from Take-Two’s point of view they are provenly successful mobile and casual developer. And now they may end up making GTA games…

Take-Two does already have its own smartphone business, called T2 Mobile Games, but the two companies will now be merged together – with Zynga’s brand taking over for everything.

Two Zynga execs will also join Take-Two’s board of directors, bringing the total up to 10 and giving them input into all of the company’s businesses.

If you’re asking ‘why’ to all this, it’s because Take-Two wants mobile gaming to account for 50% of its business in 2023, which is quite the leap from the 12% it’s expected to be in 2022.

Overall, the purchase is likely to be of little interest to console and PC gamers, except for the fact that Take-Two says it wants to bring many of its existing home titles to mobile via Zynga.

Take-Two didn’t announce any games specifically, but did name check a number of major franchises which it believes are ripe for a new mobile game, including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Borderlands, Civilization, BioShock, Mafia, NBA 2K, Midnight Club, Kerbal Space Program.

It might be nothing but mentioning Rockstar’s Midnight Club is surprising, considering there hasn’t been a new entry in the franchise since 2009. A new mobile entry could be the prelude to a new home title, although that’s probably jumping the gun a bit at the moment.

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