RockYou announced its acquisition of TirNua, which developed a 3D social game engine that the company intends to use for several of its next generation Facebook games launching in 2011.
"This is one of our major bets," said RockYou's chief operating officer Lisa Marino in an interview
with VC news site VentureBeat. "We believe we can make multiple games on TirNua's engine."
The company intends to create more sophisticated 3D titles that stand out from the simple 2D games that currently dominate Facebook. It also plans to use the platform to produce synchronous games, or releases played in real-time, similar to console and PC titles.
TirNua has worked on its engine for 2.5 years and has built a self-titled, browser-based virtual world with it. The ecology simulation game is available on Facebook, but it hasn't found much success on the social network so far -- it currently has only
9,436 monthly active users.
RockYou's headquarters in Redwood City, California will absorb TirNua's team of ten, boosting its total staff to around 157 employees. This acquisition follows shortly after the company laid off an unspecified but substantial amount of its workforce to shift more of its focus to social games.
Two weeks ago, RockYou revealed that its CEO Lance Tokuda resigned from his position around the time of the layoffs. The firm is currently searching for a permanent replacement and has appointed Greg Kearney, who was president of Tirnua, to vice president of engineering at RockYou.