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Google Buys Social/Mobile Game Dev SocialDeck

Further fueling rumors of a game-centric move, Google has purchased Canadian mobile/social game developer SocialDeck (Pet Hero, Color Connect) for undisclosed terms.
Further fueling rumors that it's working on a new, games-friendly social network site, Google has purchased Canadian mobile/social game developer SocialDeck. Neither company disclosed financial terms for the transaction. Founded in 2008, SocialDeck specializes in creating multiplayer games that work across multiple mobile devices and social networks, such as Facebook, iPhone, and Blackberry. Its Spark technology is designed to connect players across different devices with chat, game lobbies, leaderboards, and other cross-platform features. The Toronto-headquartered firm's released titles include Pet Hero, Color Connect, and Shake & Spell. While the studio's catalog enjoyed more than one million mobile downloads total last year, its only Facebook release, Shake & Spell, is much less successful with less than a thousand monthly active players. This acquisition follows a series of moves in the social games space that Google's made in recent months, leading many to speculate that the internet services company is preparing to launch a social network -- possibly titled "Google Me" -- as a rival to Facebook. Earlier this month, Google bought another social app developer, Slide (SuperPoke!), for $182 million. It's also reportedly acquired virtual currency payments firm Jambool, invested an estimated $3 million to $5 million in iOS game developer Ngmoco (Rolando), and funded FarmVille developer Zynga with $100 million to $200 million. "SocialDeck's team and technology is a perfect addition to our current team of engineers in Waterloo, to continue to innovate in the social and mobile web," said Google Canada spokeswoman Wendy Rozeluk, according to a report from the Globe and Mail.

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