Zynga Plans First NFT Games, Web 3 Acquisitions in 2022

The mobile gaming giant expects to announce partnerships with, and possible purchases of, blockchain firms by the end of the second quarter.

AccessTimeIconFeb 9, 2022 at 9:59 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 9, 2022 at 10:16 p.m. UTC

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

After announcing its blockchain gaming push late last year by partnering with blockchain infrastructure company Forte, mobile gaming giant Zynga is building out its team and readying the launch of its first non-fungible token (NFT) games.

The growth will also include more alliances, partnerships and potential acquisitions that will be announced before the end of this year’s second quarter, Matt Wolf, Zynga vice president of blockchain gaming, told CoinDesk in an interview.

“We’re fully tuned up to do acquisitions on the [Web 3] game publisher side,” said Wolf, who took over the blockchain gaming reins at Zynga in November, without specifying potential acquisition targets. “We’ve got a long history of growth through acquisition.”

Zynga initially gained name recognition through popular Facebook-based social games like Farmville. The move into blockchain gaming offers “future proofing” for the company, said Wolf. However, Zynga wants to make sure it’s fully prepared while making the leap.

“We know that in order for us to go fast, and be responsible to our company and our consumers and employees, we need to surround ourselves with capability, which we can get very quickly through alliances and partnerships,” said Wolf.

“We have to be really careful and actively listen and deeply understand who the cohort is that are consuming these blockchain games right now, who are collecting these NFTs,” Wolf continued.

Using Zynga’s IP

Wolf said it “makes sense” for Zynga to build original blockchain games from the ground up rather than update an existing title like Farmville. But some gameplay in the NFT titles will be inspired by Zynga intellectual property. “Probably not Farmville right away, more along the lines of Mafia Wars,” said Wolf, referring to Zynga’s once-popular social network game where players assume the roles of gangsters and build a crime organization.

“But to be inspired by that title, then build something that’s bespoke and purpose-built to this particular cohort that’s used to playing in a certain way, that’s our short-term strategy,” said Wolf.

'We're humble about this'

Zynga plans to expand the blockchain gaming team from the current 15 people to as many as 100, including filling out senior roles such as creative director and lead producer.

“We are taking our community building seriously. We are ramping up that team deeply. When we ignite the community, we will be actively engaged with that community, myself included,” said Wolf.

“We’re humble about this,” added Wolf. “Yes, we’re a very successful mobile games publisher. But we don’t have any experience building Web 3 games. We’re getting it. We’re not learning until we’re publishing in that market.”

The blockchain push isn’t the only big potential transition for Zynga. Last month, video game giant Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) announced plans to acquire Zynga for $12.7 billion, but the deal has yet to close.

Game publishers entering the crypto space have met with mixed reactions from gamers so far. Late last year, Ubisoft drew some backlash after announcing plans to roll out in-game NFTs.

Read more about


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.


CoinDesk - Unknown
First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Rebounds Past $20K; China’s Blockchain Revolution Is Missing On-Chain Data

Ether and most other major altcoins regain ground they'd lost in last week's downturn; China companies seem unconvinced by blockchain technology.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
NFT Platforms Should Be Caught by EU Money-Laundering Overhaul, Lawmakers Say

Unhosted wallets and decentralized finance were left largely unscathed by two landmark crypto laws agreed to last week, but left-wing lawmakers may seek another go as they discuss dirty-money rules.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bitcoin se recupera y supera los $19K; Nomura advierte de una recesión en EE. UU. y Reino Unido

Nomura escribió acerca de una recesión en la eurozona, el Reino Unido y Asia Pacífico, lo que podría influir en los precios de las criptomonedas.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Argentinos se refugian en stablecoins durante el fin de semana tras dimisión del ministro de Economía

Los principales exchanges del país informaron que los usuarios compraron hasta tres veces más criptomonedas estables que durante un fin de semana normal, en medio una crisis económica en ciernes.

CoinDesk - Unknown