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Farmville maker Zynga plans studio-sized group making blockchain and NFT games by year end

"They come at it from an investor or, a whale, point of view."

Zynga, maker of Farmville and Words with Friends, plans to expand its team making games centred around the blockchain and NFTs to a studio-sized amount by the end of the year.

This means as many as 70 to 100 staff will be working on such titles, Zynga blochain boss Matt Wolf told Axios. Hiring is now ongoing, including for a position titled "tokenomics designer".

A project designed from the "ground-up" to be dedicated to NFTs will be launched "sooner than later", Wolf continued.

Game teams will be able to opt out of building NFT games, Wolf said, and existing Zynga franchises will be kept separate.

The aim here, though, is clear. Says Wolf:

"When they enter into one of these products, they come at it from an investor or, a whale, point of view and are interested in specific elements, including yield."

Last month, Take-Two, owner of Borderlands publisher 2K and Grand Theft Auto maker Rockstar, announced it would purchase mobile games giant Zynga for around $12.7bn.

At the time, it was set to be the most expensive video games acquisition of all time - until Microsoft's enormous $68bn Activision Blizzard buyout announcement.

Revealing its plan, Take-Two said it would leverage Zynga's development skills to create mobile games based around existing IP. As well as Borderlands and GTA, Take-Two also oversees NBA 2K, Red Dead Redemption, BioShock and Mafia.

At the same time, Take-Two said it was also keen to use Zynga's knowledge of mobile gaming to "drive free-to-play synchronous cross-platform ambitions" in products from its existing internal studios.

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Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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