Exclusive: Zynga Quietly Acquires Much of HipLogic for Android Ambitions

Social game developer Zynga has quietly acquired much of the assets and team from mobile startup HipLogic.

HipLogic began as a mobile UI platform with services for phone manufacturers to make their home screens more interactive. However eventually their flagship product emerged in the form of *Spark, a home screen replacement application for Symbian and Android. *Spark was an alternative to the Android home screen, and competed with HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz, providing preloaded content and up-to-the-minute weather, news, and sports.

The acquisition from Zynga is an apparent drive to move further away from a dependency on Facebook. Having an Android development team will give Zynga the power to make a clearer post-Facebook strategy, with mobile applications and games that more easily cross platforms from iOS to Android. Android has been criticized by many in the mobile development community for being more difficult to develop for than iOS, for several reasons, including fragmentation of device performance profiles. This has given rise to platforms such as the PlayStation Suite for Android, and also been one of the largest challenges for Android as a platform to deliver usability on.

Rooted in Java, Android also provides potential for social gaming to dovetail back from mobile to desktop. Google has been reported to be working on ways to offer gaming and applications inside Google+ that will enable it to offer a superior gaming experience to Facebook. Though PhoneNews.com cannot independently confirm at this time, it is possible that Google+ will emerge with interoperability between gaming on mobile, and gaming on the desktop, using Google+ as a single sign on across both platforms, with a single gaming profile. Such a user base could immediately give Google a higher usability potential than iOS for social gaming, and would also be attractive to developers such as Zynga.

*Spark has been pulled from the Android Market, Amazon Appstore, and Ovi Store. The HipLogic web site has been replaced with the company logo. PhoneNews.com can confirm that HipLogic as a company was not acquired, and that the company likely has more creditors than assets. However, much of the company’s core development team and executives now report as key members of Zynga’s mobile team presently. Zynga currently has approximately five Android games, with a larger iOS portfolio. Zynga has not formally announced any acquisition of HipLogic, and due to the state of HipLogic, is likely avoiding making mention of the acquisition.

Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of PhoneNews.com. Today, he leads the team building Console, Inc. – a new kind of Android™ device. He still likes to pontificate… a lot. You can visit his personal blog at ChristopherPrice.net.

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One response to “Exclusive: Zynga Quietly Acquires Much of HipLogic for Android Ambitions”

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