Bloomberg Business Week is reporting that a Microsoft acquisition of CrowdStar may only be weeks away, or so say two anonymous sources close to the deal. According to Bloomberg, the popular Facebook developer responsible for such games as Happy Aquarium and Know-it-All Trivia was recently valued at $200 million — roughly half of what publishing giant Electronic Arts paid for CrowdStar competitor Playfish. Microsoft is one of several companies supposedly in talks to make the acquisition.
Like most business deals, this one appears to be about more than just money. According to one anonymous source, CrowdStar is considering seeking investment from a private equity firm. This would allow them to remain independent in the face of acquisition offers.
If the claims of Microsoft`s involvement are true, this is far from their first attempt to get involved in social gaming in recent months. Last October saw the addition of Facebook and Twitter to their Xbox Live gaming service, and earlier this month Microsoft added the popular Facebook game FarmVille to its MSN Games portal.
Representatives from both Microsoft and CrowdStar have declined to comment on the possible acquisition talks. Regardless, it seems as though EA’s purchase of Playfish may have just been the start of a new trend in the social gaming landscape.