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Another day, another acquisition by Yahoo. This time, it’s PlayerScale, a startup that designs and builds the infrastructures used by many cross-platform games, including those on iOS and Android.

yahoo-gamesYahoo has had a presence in the gaming world for quite some time. One only needs to browse games.yahoo.com to see a mix of Yahoo’s classic offerings and newer Web-based titles like “The Hobbit” and “Dragons of Atlantis.” But one place Yahoo doesn’t have a stronghold is in mobile games. The acquisition of PlayerScale, which powers games played by over 150 million people a month, could give Yahoo the back-end it needs for mobile without having to build one from scratch.

And because PlayerScale is built to support cross-platform titles, Yahoo could conceivably unify its Web and mobile games under that one single back-end.

PlayerScale’s cross-platform capabilities fit right into Yahoo’s current plan. The company doesn’t have a mobile operating system of its own, nor would launching one be a particularly wise move at this point in the rebuilding process. By showing equal love to both iOS and Android, Yahoo can get its apps and games in front of as many people as possible.

In my mind, the purchase of PlayerScale is another play for the younger crowd, the first being Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr on Monday. If the company can get some of its Web-based games going on multiple mobile platforms, it could set itself up to give Zynga a run for its money and would have the pieces in place to push out new titles.

We’ll have to see how Yahoo intends to use PlayerScale, but simply running an online gaming back-end doesn’t seem like it fits into Yahoo’s plan unless the company is using that product itself.

On the front page of the PlayerScale website, CEO Jesper Jensen had this message for PlayerScale’s customers:

Dear Customers, Partners and Friends,

Today is a great day — both in our journey with PlayerScale and for users of our Player.IO product. We are happy to announce the next big step toward our goal of building the best possible gaming infrastructure platform: we have been acquired by Yahoo!. And don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. Our platform will continue to support the same great games that you love playing today … and in fact, it will only get better from here!

Our goal has always been to help developers build the best possible games, without having to worry about building and scaling the infrastructure required to operate today’s biggest successes. In working with the folks at Yahoo!, it has become clear that we share this passion.

We have spent the past four years growing a three-person startup into a product that powers games played by over 150 million people worldwide and we are adding over 400,000 new users every day. In the last four months alone, we have increased our daily user growth rate by almost sixty percent. With Yahoo!’s backing, we can crank out awesome products and improvements to our platform faster than ever before. We will continue to support our existing product and deliver new services to help you grow and manage your success in cross-platform gaming — whether it’s casual, social or mobile.

Today marks a milestone for PlayerScale and I want to sincerely thank the team, our developers and millions of users for the adventure so far and can promise there will be more to come.

– Jesper Jensen

What do you think of Yahoo’s latest pick-up? Let us know.


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