Zynga’s acquisition of Chartboost, a mobile gaming platform, was a major step toward improving its mobile gaming presence and growing its user base.
When Take-Two, a leading publisher of interactive entertainment, later purchased Zynga, they became the mainstay in the industry.
This article will explore the significance of the ChartBoost acquisition in terms of what it meant for Zynga, mobile gaming, and the industry at large.
Why Zynga Bought Chartboost, Then Was Bought By Take-Two
Chartboost is a California-based mobile marketing and analytics software company that was founded in 2011. The company’s platform provides app publishers with data-driven insights, services, and tools to maximise their mobile advertising efforts. It also offers in-app Offer Wall Ads, CPA Optimization, Direct Deals Marketplace, IAB Fraud Detection System, Programmatic Buying Tools, and more. Chartboost has acquired five companies since its establishment: We Heart It (April 2018), Gamer Maker Studios (April 2018), AdColony (May 2018), Motive.io (October 2019), and Swrve Mobile Analytics (April 2020).
In February 2021, Chartboost was acquired by video game publishing giant Take-Two Interactive for an undisclosed amount. As part of the acquisition agreement , the companies announced that Zynga would make a strategic minority investment in Chartboost and become a shareholder in Take-Two Interactive. This strategic investment would give Zynga access to the data-driven products of both companies, enabling them to do joint collaborations on their games in the future. In addition, the acquisition of Chartboost is expected to provide Zynga with new knowledge that can be used to further optimise its mobile gaming experience with better monetization performance and broader audience reach.
Why Zynga Bought Chartboost
In February 2020, gaming giant Zynga announced the purchase of mobile advertising and analytics company Chartboost for a reported $250 million. The acquisition was widely seen as a sign of the shift in focus for Zynga away from its core gaming business and into mobile advertising, analytics, and platform services.
The acquisition also gave Zynga access to Chartboost’s impressive portfolio of mobile apps and games, including some of the industry’s most successful titles. In addition, it also gave Zynga access to Chartboost’s cutting-edge technology, which enabled it to measure effectiveness and analyse user behaviour across platforms like iOS and Android.
Zynga likely purchased Chartboost because it wanted to capitalise on Chartboost’s already impressive market share with mid-market customers. By leveraging Chartboosts sophisticated platform tools, that allowed partners to leverage real-time optimization so they can react quickly to consumer trends, change strategies faster than traditional methods allow, drive higher ROI for campaigns more easily; and gain even greater insights about their end users – Zynga was able to do more with their money faster than ever seen before. Additionally, key personnel from Chartboost have now joined Zynga’s ranks, bringing a wealth of valuable knowledge and expertise with them, further amplifying Zynga’s opportunities granted by this purchase.
Only time will tell what effect this acquisition will have on Take Two – the parent company that bought Zynga in November 2020 – but given its track record, it is safe to say that Zynga has made a wise move when snagging up Chartboost. Though come the end of 2021, it remains uncertain whether or not this strategic manoeuvre will pay off, all signs point towards yes!
In February 2021, Zynga announced that it had acquired Chartboost for $250 million. Chartboost is a mobile advertising and user acquisition platform.
This move represented a bold move from Zynga, signalling the company’s intent to expand into mobile gaming.
In this article, we’ll discuss why Zynga bought Chartboost, and then was bought by Take-Two.
Benefits of the Acquisition
When the online gaming company Zynga purchased Chartboost in 2019, the move was viewed by many as a sign of their ambition to become a leader in mobile game publishing. While the purchase price was not disclosed, it is thought to have been around $250 million. This acquisition enabled Zynga to acquire all of Chartboost’s user-acquisition technology and platform features, which included its efficient and effective self-serve ad-buying system. In addition, after the purchase, Chartboost’s technology was integrated into Zynga’s game-publishing network, enabling them to reach new levels of growth.
The acquisition also gave Zynga access to Chartboost’s proprietary marketing platform that provided budget optimization metrics, helping it reach peak user acquisition performance at a fraction of the cost experienced before adoption. Another benefit for Zynga was that this access led them to understand how other gaming publishers were spending their budgets on online ads – giving them an insight into what could work in their games campaigns. This access also enabled them to connect with partners they would have otherwise not had exposure to.
The acquisition allowed Zynga additional exposure through its partnership with Google Play Games (GPG), which means they now benefit from worldwide portfolio visibility across Google Play app store inventory – a list that includes some 4 million applications worldwide and 10 billion downloads per month. Additionally, GPG exposure allows for more creativity when targeting the best audiences – allowing developers greater segmentation flexibility and better control over ad campaigns post-launch by accessing detailed tracking metrics for further optimization opportunities. Finally, as one of just 14 globally selected Chartboost partners for GPG integration, this gave Zynga added prominence among peers seeking similar partnerships under Google’s umbrella.
In conclusion, the significance of this acquisition lies in its ability to provide a diverse range of advances towards user-acquisition technology and improve levels of growth by leveraging budget optimization metrics from its partners such as Google Play Games (GPG) – giving Zynga a differentiated edge over potential competitors within the mobile gaming space amidst highly competitive markets.
Challenges of the Acquisition
One of the main challenges around Zynga’s acquisition of Chartboost was that a large buyout usually creates tension when control of a company is sold to an outside party. Initially, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) was planning to become the majority shareholder in Zynga, owning up to 30% of the company’s stock by buying over 100 million shares at $2.75 each before taxes and fees. But after news broke out that TTWO is planning on purchasing all outstanding shares in Chartboost, stock prices dropped, and investors got skittish with the overall situation, and this caused a slowdown in both negotiations.
Apart from investor response, other obstacles posed by the acquisition are related to integrating Chartboost services with Zynga’s gaming platform infrastructure, given that different platforms involve different server architectures and methodologies for data management. This can be further compounded by several third-party providers being affected due to the complexity of integrated access control (IAM) between available resources and integration with existing payment processing systems in use by each respective platform for, for example, subscription-based monetization models like premium game levels.
Finally, there is also an intent for scaling their ad network through unified delivery networks for both mobile ads over cellular networks or router-based wifi connections to enable universal ad reach across multiple countries through Chartboost’s global deployments, which could prove difficult if either side fails to set up evaluation testing pipelines properly or lack access criteria setups required towards ensuring data privacy laws are not violated throughout all parties involved in delivering server infrastructures & services per required jurisdictions needed per specified scenarios within any given mobile application experience or gameplay environment.
After its Chartboost acquisition, Zynga gained access to a larger network of mobile gamers and developers and expanded its reach into mobile gaming further.
Later, Zynga was itself acquired by Take-Two Interactive, a major player in the video game industry.
As we will see, the acquisition of Chartboost helped cement Zynga’s place in the mobile gaming market and enabled them to become a larger part of Take-Two’s portfolio.
Let’s explore the significance of this acquisition.
Take-Two’s Acquisition of Zynga
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the parent company of video game giant Rockstar Games, bought the mobile game maker Zynga in 2016. The move marked Take-Two’s first foray into mobile gaming and came at a time when the mobile gaming market was booming. To maximise its presence in the lucrative sector, Take-Two sought out a partner that could help with player acquisition, engagement, and retention—all critical elements for success in the industry. It is believed that Take-Two’s acquisition of Zynga included an agreement to licence Chartboost’s technology.
Chartboost is a San Francisco-based mobile ad network specialising in user acquisition, re-engagement, monetization, and analytics for games on iOS and Android devices. According to reports, Zynga has been using Chartboost services since early 2013. With the advantage of Chartboost’s platform supporting user engagement tools such as their Defender service (which helps redistribute users acquired from promotional campaigns back into organic channels) as well as their Rebound product which focuses on returning unengaged players who might otherwise be lost forever, it makes sense why Take-Two would want to cement this relationship when it bought Zynga.
With ads being one of the main sources of revenue for a gaming company like Take-Two or its subsidiaries like Rockstar Games and Zynga, owning Chartboost was no doubt a big benefit for them all through this acquisition process. Not only did they acquire Chartboost’s technology platform, but they also got access to hundreds of millions of users already active in the mobile games arena — one more key element in driving greater relevance and exposure towards their owned properties while continuing to provide users one clear option regarding where they can obtain and play their favourite titles on any device or platform they choose; thus taking gaming immersion further than ever before with unprecedented control over data and information sharing quality control between entities all simultaneously elevating possibilities by creative fuel gameplay features unthinkable only a couple years prior. In addition, it greatly levels how experiences are delivered at virtually every touch point across web/mobile platforms compatible with Android/iOS devices, creating an unimaginable level field for everyone involved unlocking modalities unimaginable so far not too long ago thanks to unified system access.
Impact of the Acquisition on Chartboost
The Chartboost acquisition gave Zynga access to mobile ad optimization and mediation technology, adding value to its already vast portfolio of mobile games. As a result, Zynga increased its presence in the mobile gaming market by leveraging Chartboost’s marketing and monetization solutions. Besides, it allowed the company to establish a comprehensive platform for the marketing and distributing its games and third-party titles.
Additionally, Chartboost enabled Zynga to provide real-time reporting for the performance of ads, which would allow for informed decisions about optimization strategies and strategies for better user engagement. The acquisition allowed Zynga to consolidate overall user acquisition costs while improving game performance metrics such as time spent per game and the number of levels completed. Furthermore, Chartboost provided valuable insights into players’ performance profiles by analysing gameplay behaviour, thus helping develop efficient targeting campaigns tailored to various segments within the player base.
On the other hand, with this new growth engine at its disposal in tandem with a well-crafted strategy focusing on both growth of existing users in terms of spending as well as marketing new customers more efficiently via chartered charting tool sets like adjusted bids and bid floors – Zynga gained the upper hand against their competition (with regards to distribution channels). In other words – by balancing a clever yet cost-effective advertising strategy that also supports internal development talent – one not only employed user-level analysis but could also drive creative targeting across regions so that the most impactful ads were pushed out when necessary.
Overall it can be seen that the Chartboost acquisition enabled Zynga to leverage revaluation at scale and push for further creativity to engage players and drive conversion from within the platform while keeping expenditures low, ultimately benefiting from overall healthier return on investments within playable ads space in addition to better engagement metrics from within their own titles.