Zynga is spending $527 million, to purchase NaturalMotion, developers of the hit CSR Racing franchise and the critically acclaimed Clumsy Ninja (well, we liked it).

NaturalMotion was founded by Torsten Reil, who utilized his PhD work at Oxford’s zoology department to create incredibly realistic and highly well-animated and lifelike mobile games, whether it be for horses, cars, or ninjas.

NaturalMotion brings pretty highly-coveted, high quality mobile franchises, filling a huge hole in Zynga’s current mobile roster (which a cynic would criticize as being derivative). It’s a good, but very expensive buy.



NaturalMotion’s CSR Racing


Which may explain the other news coming out of Zynga HQ today.  Zynga announced layoffs of 15% of its workforce.  This is in addition to 18% cut from last year, which puts Zynga’s headcount at 2000, still high compared to rivals Supercell or King’s hundreds of employees whose games are consistently Top of the Pops for both the AppStore and Google Play.

[via Techcrunch]