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Zynga takes over game studio November Software for 'mid-core' mobile offerings

Following a rough few months at the Zynga headquarters, the game developer has announced that it is ringing in November with the acquisition of a mobile game studio.

November Software, which was launched in January 2011 by a group of former LucasArts developers, has been working for a few months with Zynga on a new mid-core mobile game, according to a blog post from November co-founder Szymon Swistun.

Working from the ground up on a new cross-platform 3D engine, November Software settled on the action-combat concept for the mobile game, codenamed Golden Arrow.

"We focused on delivering high-quality 60 fps capability on mobile, fast workflows, and on-demand content streaming," Swistun said.

During the building process, November Software took note of Zynga's "insights and passion for improving the experience of our game," as well as an understanding of social and free-to-play games.

"Speaking with the folks at Zynga, we were immediately blown away with the conviction and energy they had about making kick-ass mobile games that leave a strong, memorable impression on players," Swistun wrote. "We realized we could accelerate game development by combining our team's expertise building blockbuster console games and Zynga's strength in building social games on a massive scale."

Those games have put Zynga in the hot seat over the last few months, though.

Within a week in early August, the company was sued by angry shareholders claiming Zynga failed to warn them about declining revenue and was taken to court by Electronic Arts for copyright infringement regarding Facebook games The Ville and EA's The Sims Social. Then, Zynga's COO John Schappert resigned from the company.

Still, November Software said it is excited to work with Zynga, especially the team from Mafia Wars, which Swistun called an "eye-opening" experience. "We are constantly learning and incorporating their knowledge of what makes mid-core gaming truly fun and what it takes to build a social game at scale."

It sounds like the companies are working together on gaming platforms, not business 101, which is probably for the best, since Zynga once again reported a bleak third quarter, announcing in early October that it expected a net loss of between $90 million (£57 million) and $105 million (£66 million), a new all-time low for the service.

There are no details regarding the terms of the deal, though the announcement comes shortly after unconfirmed reports of mass layoffs at Zynga's Austin office began circulating. In late October, the company was rumoured to have dropped more than 100 workers from its Texas office, and possibly shut down the Boston and Chicago locations, leaving only the San Francisco headquarters operating.