It was recently published in some of the Israeli tech publications that Zynga intends to buy a studio in Tel-Aviv. Mark Pincus himself was quoted as saying that the gaming giant is interested in tapping in to the local talent. As a local Tel-Aviv resident and a gaming industry insider I decided to make Mark’s life a bit easier and offer a short list of companies Zynga should be looking at.
Luckyfish – social games company
Luckyfish specializes in social casino games such as casual slots games. The team’s background is from gaming company 888.com which was one of the innovators in the online casino space. The company received an investment from Carmel Ventures in 2014 but didn’t require additional investments due to cash flow from the games themselves. Luckyfish is the biggest social casino company in Israel yet to be acquired.
Jelly Button – maker of Pirate Kings
Jelly button started as a studio for super successful Playtika. They have since developed their own successful games and mostly known for their mega hit – Pirate Kings – which combines innovative game play with extremely high levels of virality.
Plarium – the Israeli response to Machine Zone
Plarium was one of the first companies to introduce the hard core genre to Facebook games and have since shifted their focus to mobile games. Their biggest hit is Total Domination but in the mobile space they are known for their medieval themed hard core game – Vikings.
TabTale – counting towards 1 billion downloads
When you go to the TabTale website you can’t ignore the counter showing the total number of downloads. The company has dominated the top free charts in the last few years and has shifted their focus from kids games to other casual genres by leveraging their massive platform for both in-house development as well as publishing partnerships. The company received investments from Magma Venture Partners and Qualcomm Ventures.
Tacticsoft – the hidden gem
This studio is the smallest of the bunch. Tacticsoft started as a maker of PC games and have hit the jackpot with BattleDawn – a hard core world domination game. They have since shifted their focus to mobile and are now in alpha version of their new strategy title. The company has raised angel investments in the past but mostly relied on their game cash flows to fund the new projects.
Hope this list helps Zynga and their post. The local industry would surely benefit if Zynga sets up an office in Tel-Aviv. If you have any thoughts or comments about this list feel free to respond below or tweet me @y_nizan.