Oh, Zynga, it has been almost 30 days since your last acquisition. Surely, you could not let the month of September go by without an acquisition.
And the answer is, of course not! As reported by Inside Social Games, Zynga has acquired German company Dextrose for an undisclosed sum.
Dextrose AG sounds like it is related to an artificial sweetener product, but they actually have released a development platform called Aves which is an HTML 5 game engine for 2D and 2.5 D graphics.
As Chris Morrison points out, this may not sound sexy but this could be a very strategic investment for Zynga. So far, the most success Zynga has had crossing the streams of Facebook with iPhone was its 10 minutes of fame when they demo’ed FarmVille for iPhone on stage with Steve Jobs at the iPad launch presentation. Since then, nada.
This acquisition could change everything in that it could allow Zynga to more easily launch new games simultaneously on the iPhone and Facebook (and Zynga Live?).
Just as important, the looming battle for casual games will be based on programming language: Flash versus HTML 5. Right now, Flash is the online standard though hamstringed on mobile by Apple. What’s interesting is that both Apple and Google are both committed to making the entire Web (computer and mobile) move to HTML 5.0. Facebook has not weighed in, but based on all we know about Mark Zuckerberg, I would bet Facebook is going to take a lead in moving to HTML 5.0 as well.
Zynga is placing a small bet that HTML 5.0 will be a significant language for their games in the future across all platforms. They are being language agnostic. They have the flash wizards, now they have the HTML 5 experts in their arsenal.
I know it’s not as exciting as purchasing a social games studio that is about to go belly under and pretend that it’s a win for all, but this is actually a great buy if the technology works. If it turns out Zynga hasn’t vetted the company and has bought vaporware (let the record show, I have been at a company that just did that), then its no big loss (yet not a big gain either).
Dextrose is based in Germany and will now be known as Zynga Germany. Based on my theory that a criteria for Zynga Corporate Development is to buy a company in every other country around the world so that they will have a cool global map with pins arranged perfectly symmetrical across, this means that Germany is now officially off limits.
If you are a German company that wants to be bought by Zynga, my suggestion is to move to France, Chile, Israel, or Turkey. These are countries Zynga has yet to acquire a presence in.