Zynga Buys Area/Code, Developer of Ubisoft’s CSI: Crime City Game on Facebook

Zynga has just announced the acquisition of independent game developer Area/Code, a company best known to our readers for its work with Ubisoft, developing the Facebook game CSI: Crime City. The New York-based outfit will become a new studio, Zynga New York.

Zynga has been busy buying companies, well, since its founding — but it’s made nine purchases in the last eight months or so. The reasons have varied: XPD gained it a China-based studio, Dextrose AG in Germany brought in experienced HTML5 developers, Flock’s team will help it expand browser-related features, etc.

Six year old Area/Code, however, has a strikingly wide range of experiences, including the somewhat unique one of building a successful media-branded social game for a leading traditional game developer. CSI wasn’t the first branded game, either — it made Parking Wars for A&E back in 2008, and that game made one of our first AppData leaderboards.

The CSI game did a good job moving up our leaderboards since launching this past fall, and today it has 2.25 million monthly active users and 402,000 daily active users according to AppData. Also, the social murder mystery impressed us enough that we named it one of the top ten social games of the past six months.

And, Area/Code is also a successful mobile developer, with quality games like Drop7 under its belt.

So Zynga is getting a competent team on its hands, that it can deploy on current or new social and/or mobile titles. Perhaps the newly-acquired company will go to work on a branded game (something that Zynga has dabbled in far less than many other leading developers). Or perhaps the team will go work on an intriguing new project in the works, that may just have some elements that are similar to Crime City — the new “Mafia Nation” beta we published some clues about yesterday.