Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive agreed Monday to buy Zynga, a mobile game maker, for more than $11 billion, in a deal that unites the makers of “Grand Theft Auto” and “FarmVille.”

With the deal, Take-Two — known for producing games like “Grand Theft Auto” and “NBA 2K” for traditional platforms like the Sony PlayStation console and personal computers — is acquiring a specialist in mobile and social gaming, with Zynga’s best-known titles including “Words With Friends” and other apps.

Adding Zynga’s stable of app developers is meant to help Take-Two roll out more smartphone versions of its popular titles. Zynga will also help Take-Two expand its revenue from so-called recurrent consumer spending, in which players pay for new content and upgrades within games.

The deal values Zynga at about $12.7 billion, making it one of the largest in the history of the video game industry, topping the purchase of Supercell by Chinese internet giant Tencent in 2016 for $10 billion and Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in 2020.

The gaming industry has boomed during the pandemic, providing large tech companies with the cash to buy smaller rivals. It has also helped more troubled companies like Zynga, which found early success tying itself to Facebook with mobile game “FarmVille.” The company stumbled as the mobile gaming industry shifted away from social media and toward apps like “Clash of Clans” and “Candy Crush.”

Zynga has laid off employees and cycled through executives over the years as it struggled to maintain relevance. It was still losing money — $42 million — in its most recent quarterly earnings report.


By contrast, Take-Two is profitable and has gone on a buying spree since the pandemic, buying a handful of smaller studios to add to its portfolio of games.

“This strategic combination brings together our best-in-class console and PC franchises, with a market-leading, diversified mobile publishing platform that has a rich history of innovation and creativity,” Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two’s chairperson and chief executive, said in a statement.

Frank Gibeau, Zynga’s chief executive, said in a statement that combining the two companies would “allow us to create even better games, reach larger audiences and achieve significant growth as a leader in the next era of gaming.”

Under the terms of the deal, Take-Two will pay $3.50 in cash and $6.36 worth of newly issued stock for each Zynga share. That amounts to $9.86 a share, up 64% from where Zynga closed Friday.