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Corporation
MOBILE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS | Mobile Software & Services / Advertising, Sales & Marketing
chartboost.com

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Founded Year

2011

Stage

Acquired | Acquired

Total Raised

$21M

Valuation

$0000 

About Chartboost

Chartboost provides game developers with a platform that is designed to help them reach new users through cross-promotion, make money from their games, and collaborate directly with fellow developers through the direct deals marketplace.On May 5th, 2021, Chartboost was acquired by Zynga. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Chartboost Headquarter Location

303 Second Street South Tower, Suite 200

San Francisco, California, 94107,

United States

Latest Chartboost News

Why Zynga Bought Chartboost, Then Was Bought By Take-Two

Jan 17, 2022

It’s the 2020s and apparently, we’ve normalized insanity. No, I’m not talking about public health or any of the other divisive social and political issues that grip our culture. I’m talking about mobile gaming companies buying ad networks, ad networks buying gaming companies, and the emergence of new titans of mobile that are increasingly aggregating and consolidating all the puzzle pieces from stuff people like (games, experiences, content, products) to stuff that finds them and onboards them (ad networks for user acquisition) to stuff that extracts money from them (more ad networks for ad-based monetization, plus player/user analytics and engagement tools) to stuff that proves the value of the people doing the things they like to the advertisers they hope to attract (marketing analytics and measurement capabilities). Yes, it’s getting complicated. Why? Because gaming companies want to control their own destiny. A screenshot from Zynga's new Star Wars Hunters game on mobile Zynga In spring 2021, mobile gaming giant Zynga bought Chartboost, a mobile advertising network, for $250 million. And just a week ago, console gaming heavyweight Take-Two announced an agreement to acquire Zynga in a deal valued at $12.7 billion which Forbes senior contributor Paul Tassi says instantly made it “a mobile monster.” MORE FOR YOU Those two are not unrelated. And while I spoke to Zynga and Chartboost before this latest acquisition came to light, it’s very relevant to the future of the combined company. “You need to be able to control your own destiny,” Chartboost CEO Rich Izzo told me recently in a TechFirst podcast . “The more you can control your user acquisition, your ad monetization, and really provide services to support not only your own content and users, but additionally the third party aspects — those things are key and critical, I think, to growth and scale.” Why does a gaming studio need an ad network? Control, sure. Also efficiency. “I think one of the things that drove us to do this acquisition was we were looking for ways to take more control over our ability to monetize players and our ability to acquire players,” Zynga chief product officer Scott Koenigsberg said. “We’re looking for opportunities to vertically integrate to get these efficiencies to create a better market for ourselves in both the user acquisition and ad monetization side.” Being a gaming company is difficult. On the console side, which Take-Two is mostly invested in, you’re at the mercy of console manufacturers: the hardware they release, the promotion they do, the deals you strike with them for exclusives or co-marketing. On the mobile side, while it seems more open — just publish a game and go — it could even be harder. Apple’s App Store and Google’s Google Play are the gatekeepers here. Not only do they take a portion of your revenue in perpetuity — let’s be honest, not unlike consoles — they also have the ability to cancel you and completely remove your games from their stores. ( Epic Games and Fortnite , anyone?) But mobile is increasingly where the money is, with $93 billion in 2021 revenue compared to $37 billion on PC and $50 billion on console, according to NewZoo . That’s of course why Take-Two bought three different mobile games studios before Zynga, and a key driver of Take-Two’s acquisition of Zynga. And competition is even more fierce on mobile, with small studios able to whip up fairly simple apps in much shorter time than AAA console games — and with a much smaller budget — and sometimes hit the big time, go viral, and outperform the big studios. The 2021 global games market NewZoo What owning your own source of acquisition does is reduce risk by taking some of the out-of-your-control factors and placing them under your own control. The biggest risk: not finding and onboarding great players for your games. Why did Zynga CEO say the company bought Chartboost? “Chartboost is one of the most dynamic monetization and discovery platforms in mobile, and we could not be more excited to welcome their talented team to our company,” Frank Gibeau, Chief Executive Officer of Zynga, said at the time. “By combining Zynga’s high-quality games portfolio and first-party data with Chartboost’s proven advertising and monetization platform, we will create a new level of audience scale and meaningfully enhance our competitive advantage in the mobile ecosystem.” Now Take-Two isn’t just getting a big, shiny, successful new mobile games powerhouse. They’re also getting an in-house ability to stock their games with the most valuable players (certainly mobile, but probably with some spillover benefit to console and PC) and reduce the inherent risk in publishing new titles. In other words, to control their own destiny. Highlighted in the press release accompanying new of the acquisition? “Other strategic benefits include the use of Zynga’s Chartboost advertising platform, which will improve new user acquisition through better audience targeting and optimize mobile advertising inventory to achieve greater yields.” There’s no silver bullet, of course. Make games that suck and there’s no amount of adtech and marketing you can throw at them to make them really thrive and drive revenue. But it certainly helps to control more pieces of the pie. And it also ensures that when you drive ad monetization of your games (in other words, sell ads to other companies in your games) you capture much more of the revenue, rather than giving away 15-30% to a non-owned ad network or other intermediaries. That’s efficiency: efficiency at being able to take the biggest portion of each advertiser’s dollar possible. “It is about delivering on that concept of a platform,” Koenigsberg says. “We want to develop a platform such that we have the capabilities both to launch games, scale games, maintain those games from an acquisition standpoint, and obviously monetize them as efficiently as possible.” Subscribe to TechFirst ; get a transcript of our conversation. Follow me on  Twitter  or  LinkedIn . Check out my  website  or some of my other work  here .

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