Google investing in social gaming giant Zynga: sources

Posted by Mark Raby

Perhaps Google was just too tired of reading about how it is becoming overthrown by Facebook, so now Google is reportedly investing hundreds of millions of dollars into one of Facebook's biggest cash cows.

Google plans to launch its own gaming platform, likely to be called Google Games, sometime later this year. In order to get a jump start on that, it has invested somewhere between $100 million and $200 million in Zynga, without making an official announcement about the deal, according to Tech Crunch which cites sources familiar with the deal. Zynga is the company that made gaming on Facebook a profitable enterprise, with the revolutionary game Farmville and later releases like Mafia Wars.

Tech Crunch also reports that Zynga's revenue could be as much as $1 billion in 2011, a stunning thought considering the company didn't even exist a couple years ago.

It is unknown what Google hopes to get with its $100+ million investment into Zynga, as that amount is considerably less than the money it has received from other venture capitalists. However, the mere fact that Google is giving money to a company that by and large only exists through one of Google's biggest competitors, shows that the search engine giant is now taking a preemptive strike.