'Words with Friends' maker Zynga buys Gram Games for $250 million

FILE PHOTO - The Zynga logo is pictured at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo

(Reuters) - Zynga Inc ZNGA.O has bought mobile gaming startup Gram Games for $250 million to boost its portfolio of franchise-based titles, it said on Wednesday.

With Istanbul-based Gram, the company behind “Words with Friends” and “Farmville” will gain access to easy-to-play and addictive titles such as “1010!” and “Merge Dragons!”.

“Merge Dragons!” in particular had the potential to become a long-running franchise for Zynga, its Chief Executive Officer Frank Gibeau said in a statement.

The acquisition is Zynga’s latest attempt to bolster its mobile gaming business — which generates revenue through ads and in-game purchases of additional features — as it shifts focus away from once-popular titles such as “Farmville”.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar