Zynga acquires Challenge Games; expands social gaming footprint

Zynga, makers of FarmVille and Mafia Wars, have announced the acquisition of Austin-based social game company Challenge Games.

Zynga, the makers of popular Facebook blight, er, social games FarmVille and Mafia Wars, have announced the acquisition of Austin-based social game company Challenge Games.

The former company will be renamed "Zynga Austin" and focus on product development, giving Zynga a Texas branch to add to locations in San Francisco, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Bangalore, and Beijing.

Challenge Games co-founder and CEO Andrew Busey will become vice president of the Austin studio, and his team of 35 employees will be integrated into Zynga's existing workforce.

Launched in 2007, Challenge Games was backed by Sequoia Capital and Globespan Capital Partners for developing online games with a virtual goods component. Its games include Warstorm and Ponzi.

The acquisition dovetails with recent partnership announcements between Zynga and Facebook and Yahoo, meaning you'll probably see FarmVille pop up in places you never dreamed of.

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