* Hasbro licensed to make games, toys based on Zynga video
* First products expected this fall
* Deal follows Mattel success with Angry Birds board game
* Hasbro shares climb 2.4 percent
By Alistair Barr and Dhanya Skariachan
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 9 Is a Mafia Wars board
game on the way, or a cuddly toy horse from FarmVille?
Hasbro Inc, the iconic American toy company, and
social game company Zynga Inc said on Thursday they
would join forces to develop toys and games based on Zynga games
such as FarmVille.
The companies said Hasbro would pay for the license to make
products based on Zynga's games including CityVille and Mafia
Wars, which are popular on social media website Facebook. They
did not disclose how much Hasbro would pay for the license.
The deal also will allow both companies to develop
merchandise featuring Hasbro and Zynga brands. The first
products should be available this fall, they said.
There are more than 227 million active monthly players of
Zynga's games online.
Rovio, the company behind the popular Angry Birds video
games, has sold millions of plush toys. Its Angry Birds: Knock
On Wood board game, made by Mattel Inc, has been a
bestseller on Amazon.com for several months.
"Zynga's games reach a lot of people, and as Mattel saw with
its Angry Birds game, some of the games translate well into the
physical world," said Sean McGowan, an analyst at Needham &
Company, said. "Building a farm or a city, for example, could be
a good board game."
Many Zynga game players are adults, so the demand for toys
may be limited, he added.
"But the same could have been said of Angry Birds, and that
was a big hit," McGowan said.
Hasbro shares closed up 2.4 percent to $36.59, while Zynga
fell 3.2 percent to $13.25.