Nintendo Switch – Zynga acquires ‘Golf Rival’ developer, says ‘Star Wars’ project on track
Zynga had a busy week announcing an acquisition and a big milestone for one of its studios as it sets the stage for an intriguing few months.
As the San Francisco-based company relayed its earnings, it revealed that it is acquiring the game developer, StarLark, which is behind the popular game “Golf Rival.”
“When it comes to acquiring studio teams, we fall in love with the game first,” said Bernard Kim, Zynga president of publishing. “Golf Rival” seems to fit the mold of a Zynga title with its fantastical and competitive approach to the sport.
Players shouldn’t confuse it with a sim. It’s not EA’s “PGA Tour” or 2K Sports’ “PGA Tour 2K21.” One of the big differences is that the hole that players have to putt the ball into is enormous. The second characteristic is that it’s played in some off-the-wall locales.
One of those levels is atop skyscrapers, where players hit the ball across rooftops. The game is competitive and has players taking turns to see who can hit the ball into the hole the fastest. The easy-to-play competitive nature of the game fits with Zynga’s other franchises such as “Word with Friends.”
The other big piece of news was Rollic Games, a Zynga subsidiary, surpassing 1 billion total downloads for their games. The studio specializes in hyper-casual games.
“They have 15 titles that have hit No. 1,” Kim said, mentioning the likes of “High Heels,” “Queen Bee,” “Hair Challenge” and “Tangle Master 3D.” He said part of the appeal of Rollic’s projects is that they’re easy to pick up and play. “They bring a contagious style of gameplay,” he added.
Lastly, Kim offered an update on two of their biggest projects in the coming months: “Star Wars Hunters” and “Farmville 3.” The first game is still scheduled to launch worldwide in 2022 and “Hunters” will come out on mobile platforms and the Nintendo Switch. Before it’s released, it will be tested in select geographies in Q4 of this year, according to Kim.
“Star Wars Hunters” is set during the time of the Mandalorian and Kim describes it as an arena battler that supports up to 30 players. It’s free-to-play and will allow have cross-platform play.
“Farmville 3” is still on track to come out in Q4. Unlike previous entries, this title is built specifically for mobile and it features new elements such as grooming livestock and raising exotic pets. That’s in addition to the gameplay that fans should be familiar with.