Did Don Mattrick try to get Microsoft to buy Zynga in 2010?

Today starts Don Mattrick's first full day as the new CEO of social and mobile game developer Zynga, after serving as for the past few years as the head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division. But did Mattrick once try to get Microsoft to buy Zynga?

That's the claim in a new report from Bloomberg, which uses unnamed sources to state that back in 2010, Mattrick had talks with Zynga founder Mark Pincus that if successful would have led Microsoft to acquire the publisher. The idea was to try to boost Microsoft's reach into the social gaming genre, which in 2010 was a red hot business for Zynga, thanks to games like Farmville generating huge audiences on Facebook.

Ultimately, the talks didn't lead anywhere and the story doesn't state why the negotiations failed. However, both Mattrick and Pincus kept in touch and the story states that in March 2013 the two men started talking about Mattrick leaving Microsoft to join Zynga as its new CEO.

In retrospect, it's probably good that the talks between Zynga and Microsoft did not lead to Microsoft buying the publisher. The once red hot Facebook game market lost much of its audience to mobile games and Zynga has since cut tons of jobs and shut down a number of its development studios.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via Zynga

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