Zynga Acquires Casino City Dev DNA Games, Validates Rapid Iteration Approach

By AJ Glasser Comment

Casino CityZynga announced another acquisition this morning in the form of Casino City developer DNA Games. The developer retains its founder and CEO, Jonathan Lee, as General Manager and will begin development on new Zynga games.

DNA Games saw success on Facebook with its oldest game, Casino City, to the tune of 2.4 million monthly active users and 356,000 daily active users at the game’s peak in February of this year. The title is still one of the top casino games by traffic on Facebook despite slowing down in recently weeks. DNA’s newer games, Bar World and Slot City, haven’t seen as much success, but the former did perform well in December 2010 and the latter only just launched in early April of this year.

Where DNA Games seems to excel, and why Zynga is interested, seems to be the developer’s approach to A/B split testing and feature iteration. When we spoke to Jonathan Lee around the time Slot City launched, he explained the process by which DNA tracks the results of its feature split tests, noting that the developer tracked player behavior across gender and age demographics as well as region and time-of-day demographics. Zynga noted in its press release announcing the acquisition that it was impressed with DNA’s technology platform that allows for rapid iteration of new features.

This is Zynga’s 14th acquisition in the last 12 months. Three weeks ago, Zynga announced a talent acquisition of United Kingdom developer Wonderland Software to beef up Zynga’s mobile development. The future of DNA’s existing Facebook games is not immediately clear.