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Zynga Dethrones Activision Blizzard as the Largest U.S. Mobile Video Game Company

By Danny Vena – Aug 19, 2020 at 1:15PM

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A strategic move pushed the smaller game publisher over the top.

Zynga (ZNGA) has become the largest mobile video game company in the U.S., climbing to No. 1 in terms of market share, on both Apple's (AAPL 0.06%) App Store and Alphabet's (GOOGL 1.43%) (GOOG 1.46%) Google Play store for the month of July, according to Cowen analyst Doug Creutz. 

The company moved up from the No. 4 spot in June after Zynga acquired mobile gaming company Peak for $1.8 billion, the largest acquisition in the company's history. The move expanded Zynga's offerings to include Peak's popular Toon Blast and Toy Blast titles. Toon Blast became the 12th most popular game on the App Store in July, enough to propel Zynga to the top spot.

A woman clenching her fist in triumph playing a mobile game on her phone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Activision Blizzard(ATVI 0.48%) maker of such well-known mobile gaming fare as Candy Crush, Bubble Witch, and Diamond Digger, relinquished the title after its Call of Duty: Mobile slipped one spot to No. 7.

Zynga has been working to expand its stable of games in recent years, and hasn't shied away from buying up smaller companies to augment its in-house game development. The company has made several strategic acquisitions, acquiring NaturalMotion for $527 million in 2014, Gram Games for $250 million in 2018, and Small Giant Games for $560 million, also in 2018. 

The company previously purchased Peak's mobile card-playing game developer, Turkey's Peak, for $100 million back in late 2017. 

Mobile gaming has seen increased demand in 2020 as the result of the stay-at-home orders caused by the coronavirus pandemic. After climbing 39% year over year in the first quarter, mobile downloads surged by 44% in the second quarter, as consumers sought refuge in video games. 

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Alphabet (A shares), Apple, and Zynga. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard, Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, and Zynga and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on Activision Blizzard and short January 2022 $75 puts on Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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