Zynga Buys Game-Maker NaturalMotion, Cuts Staff

Social gaming company Zynga has announced it is buying NaturalMotion, the company behind the hit mobile games CSR Racing and Clumsy Ninja, while cutting 15% of its staff in a turnaround effort.

Turnaround measures

ZyngaThe company moved up the release of its fourth-quarter earnings results to coincide with the announcement of the $527 million acquisition and the layoffs.

Zynga has been cutting jobs and reporting profit losses, as game players increasingly turn to tablets and smartphones.

The company’s biggest hits before, Farmville and Mafia Wards, have mostly been played on desktop and laptop computers.

A risky bet?

As the company made the announcement of the acquisition, it also reported a loss of $25 million for the fourth quarter.

“We believe that bringing Zynga and NaturalMotion together is the right step at the right time,” Zynga Chief Executive Don Mattrick said in a press statement.

In a note to employees, on the other hand, Mattrick highlighted that with the deal, the company will now have the top five gaming brands, including Farmville, Casino, and more.