Hasbro to team up with Zynga

David Gura Feb 10, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Toymaker Hasbro is teaming up with the online gaming company Zynga. And interestingly, it’s not the old school Hasbro that’s trying to climb the ladder into Internet games. It’s Zynga that wants to slide into board games.

Marketplace’s David Gura reports.

David Gura: To put it in context, more than 200 million Monopoly games have been sold since it was created in the 1930s. Zynga makes the game Farmville. The company says that 200 million people play its games on computers and smart phones every month.

Industry analyst Chris Byrne says Zynga has been missing out on a big market.

Chris Byrne: People are learning about games, engaging in them, and then they actually want to play them in the real world, sitting across the table from someone.

Hasbro’s rival, Mattel, capitalized on this last year, with an Angry Birds board game. That became a best-seller. Now, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner says his company is following suit.

Brian Goldner: It’s really wonderful to bring to life characters from the Zynga games that people really love and have so much fun playing with.

He declined to say how much the deal is worth. Byrne says it could be a natural partnership.

Byrne: The buying and selling of farm stuff, and the buying and selling of fields, sounds an awful like “Monopoly Goes Rural” to me.

Hasbro hopes that it can reclaim some of the board game real estate it’s ceded to Mattel.

I’m David Gura, for Marketplace.

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