Digital Chocolate, the social games publisher probably best known for getting legally rowdy with Zynga over the Mafia Wars name, has just acquired Sandlot Games, the studio responsible for Cake Mania and an assortment of other weird social or casual flings. This news comes on the heels of tons of various other acquisitions in the social space. EA’s moves are the most notable due to the sheer size and scale, but other publishers are snagging dudes up with the quickness as the social digital social games market emerges into a substantial force.

In a press release, Digital Chocolate made this move sound like it was an attempt to expand into social and expand its own development team.

“Sandlot has built a great reputation in casual games,” Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate said in a statement. “We love their development teams and we can now expand further in Seattle and Eastern Europe. We expect to be the leading game company in at least 5 of the 7 cities where we now have development studios.”

Our take on this is, simply, that it’s definitely a funky market right now. We have big publishers like Zynga and EA scooping up whatever has a decent name attached to it, while others like Warner Bros, Activision, or THQ are shuttering studios right and left. Economic unease and the fact the gaming landscape is indeed changing are certainly factors in these developments, but we're a little too close to the moment to be able to see how everything is shaking up. We wonder how we’ll look back at 2011 once everything settles.

  • HeadcaseGames

    Funky indeed. I think we will certainly look back at these days as kind of a Golden Age when the industry went all haywire, "out with the old & in with the new" as far as how everyone's ways of thinking were concerned. One thing is for certain, although the "gold rush" days of mobile app development are over, a big war is definitely still to come between the old guard and the new.. as casual gaming continues it remarkable ascent, as the old model of multi-year (and multi-million $$) development of $60 price-point model continues to deteriorate. It's absolutely too early to tell where things will wind up, but one thing is for certain - it's going to be a big mess!