Zynga Jumps Into the Toy Business With Hasbro
The maker of "Words With Friends" and "FarmVille" expects to have merchandise in stores this year.
Hasbro will make boardgames, action figures and toys out of some of those addictive games that Zynga builds for iPhones and other Internet devices under a deal announced Thursday.
About 227 million people play Zynga games -- infamously including actor Alec Baldwin -- like Words With Friends, FarmVille and CityVille, be it on their handheld devices, through Facebook or by other digital means.
Hasbro and Zynga were short on details about their arrangment, but executives at both companies have probably been eyeing sales of toys based on Angry Birds, a game from Zynga rival Rovio that has been downloaded 500 million times. Rovio licensed Angry Birds to Commonwealth Toys & Novelties and that company's CEO said in December that sales have been "phenomenal." An Angry Birds movie is also in development.
"Zynga is bringing more games to mainstream culture and is redefining how people play," said Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. "We're proud to help bring their games to even more people around the world."
The alliance, Goldner said, "is emblamatic of the new innovations and new platforms we are creating across our entire gaming portfolio."
The companies expect the first products from the partnership to be available in the fall.