Zynga Awaits $600 Million Payday for Headquarters

The maker of hits like Words With Friends and FarmVille paid almost a third of the price just seven years ago.

Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters. (Courtesy photo)

Zynga will soon close a deal to sell its building headquarters for $600 million — nearly three times what they bought it for seven years ago.

The online game developer known for Words With Friends and FarmVille is selling its 670,000-square-foot building at 650 Townsend St. to real estate investor Beacon Capital Partners but that doesn’t mean they’ll be packing up. Zynga will lease 185,000 square feet for about $10 million a year, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The sale is anticipated to be finalized in July.

Zynga will be cashing in far more than the $228 million they bought it for in 2012. But not long after buying the building, it laid off hundreds of employees in 2013 and downsized its office spaces in other cities as stock prices fell. Zynga first put the property on the market in 2016.

CEO Frank Gibeau told the Chronicle that they sought to put the money back into building games.

FarmVille and Words With Friends may have taken over Facebook at its height but San Francisco felt their takeover in another way. In 2010, a guerilla marketing campaign for its Mafia Wars game went awry when about 4,000 stickers were glued to city sidewalks in 75 locations. The firm Zynga hired to promote the game, David Elen Advertising, settled with the City Attorney for $45,000

With $600 million headed toward Zynga’s pockets, let’s hope they don’t get any crazy ideas.

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