However, Zynga has seen problems in recent years, having struggled to cope with the transition away from online social media gaming, with shares falling by 75% since 2012. In recent days Zynga announced plans to lay off up to 15% of its workforce in a bid to cut costs. One undergraduate Computer Scientist said, “It would be a shame to see Zynga’s cost-cutting policy translate into redundancies in Oxford, but in this ever globalising world these sort of acquisitions are always going to happen. It will be interesting to see the result of this merger on gaming”. “Don’s background in AAA games and Zynga’s expertise in social game play and large-scale game operations will be invaluable to helping us grow our existing CSR and Clumsy Ninja franchises and maximize the breakout potential of our upcoming titles.” In a statement, Zynga CEO Don Mattrick said, “We believe that bringing Zynga and NaturalMotion together is the right step at the right time. Their creative portfolio aligns perfectly with our content strategy as Zynga will now have five top brands and capabilities in the Farm, Casino, Words, Racing and People categories”. He added, “Combining NaturalMotion’s strengths with Zynga’s ability to develop breakthrough social features while sustaining live games over time, offers us a huge opportunity to redefine the gaming industry and deliver consumers blockbuster entertainment experiences”. San Francisco-based company Zynga has purchased the Oxford-based gaming firm Natural Motion for $527 million (approximately £319m). Torsten Reil added, “NaturalMotion set out to make games that wow millions of people, by being obsessed with quality, disrupting and creating genres, and using almost magical technology… When we started talking to Don and his team, it quickly became clear that they shared this vision.” NaturalMotion was founded in 2001 as an Oxford University spin-out company by evolutionary biology graduate Torsten Reil, now Chief Executive of the company. Amongst its most famous releases is the ‘Clumsy Ninja’ app, released in November of last year. Don Mattrick said, “NaturalMotion expands Zynga’s creative pipeline, accelerates our mobile growth, and brings next-generation technology and tools to Zynga that will fast-track our ability to deliver consumers more hit games. Bringing Zynga and NaturalMotion together is a bold step in the right direction at the right time”. Zynga is best known for its social media gaming, amongst the most prominent of which is FarmVille. They acquired NaturalMotion in an attempt to boost their presence in mobile gaming. The purchase was finalised on 30th January.
FILE PHOTO: Uganda Cranes on training grounds.[photo via @OfficialFUFA]Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Cranes will face Ivory Coast in an International friendly match in the United Arab Emirates on June 15th.The two teams will use the match to prepare for the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).Head coach Sebastien Desabre made the announcement on Monday at the Kabira Country Club in Kampala.“We have already secured the friendly against Ivory Coast and we are now working on having another friendly match on June 9th that we shall announce later,” added the coach.Desabre made it clear that his team will camp in the UAE for three weeks before flying to Egypt on June 17th. The coach said they need to prepare well for the Afcon because the objective is to qualify for the knock out stage.“We shall take every game as it comes and we are already scouting around the other teams we shall face in the group like Zimbabwe, DR Congo and hosts Egypt,” he added. The coach made it clear that although he is aware the group is tough, he knows each of the teams in the group so well. “We need to prepare well for our opening match against DR Congo because the first game means a lot,” he added.He made it clear that with good preparations his team has the quality to beat any team. Desabre made it clear that although he had summoned Maroons FC player Brian Majwega to the squad, the Uganda FA advised him to drop the player for previous disciplinary issues.The 2019 Afcon which will for the first time attract 24 teams will take place June 21st to July 19th. Besides Uganda, the other teams from the Council for East and Central African Football Associations (Cecafa) that will feature in the Afcon include; Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.*****URNShare on: WhatsApp
“They’re a little scary, but if you know more about them, you can be respectful, not fearful,” said Williams, a post-doctoral coastal ecologist at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken.In a shark encounter, do not splash because the shark could take it for prey, such as a seal, Williams said.Teresa Sperber, a member of the board of the Library Association, which does fundraising and programming for the library, said she arranged Williams’ talk because she was familiar with Sea Grant after two of her children – Paul, 12, and Cecilia, 8 – attended camp at Sea Grant this summer. “I thought it was very informative,” Sperber said. “I think the kids learned a lot in a fun style,” Sperber said. About 20 children and five adults attended.Williams conducts two other programs for the community, a for-adults version of the one presented at the library and another on dune management, also for adults. Williams can be reached through Sea Grant, 732-872-1300, or at [email protected] Story and photos by Joseph SapiaRUMSON – With swimmer Michael Phelps racking up gold medals for Team USA in the Summer Olympics, it may be interesting to know he is much slower than a common Jersey Shore visitor.Rip currents can move “two times as fast as an Olympic swimmer,” said Amy Williams, a coastal ecology extension agent for the Sandy Hook-based New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium.That was one of the facts presented in “Ocean Hazards: Sharks and Rip Currents,” a children-oriented talk Williams did at the Oceanic Free Library, here, on Wednesday, Aug. 10.A rip current is “a current of water that rips you away from the shore,” Williams said. When waves come in, the water has to go back out – the channeling of that outgoing water in one location is a rip current.Aside from avoiding panic and swimming parallel to the shore, try to get a lifeguard’s attention if swimming in a rip current, Williams said. “Rip currents take you out to sea, but they stay on the surface,” she said. “They don’t go out very far.”Mary Catherine O’Connor, 9, who lives in the borough, said she came away with new knowledge. “I learned sharks don’t mean to attack you and a lot about rip currents and how to be safe in them.” Her sister, Eleanor, 11, said she learned that to get out of a rip current: swim parallel to the shore to escape the narrow funneling of water.Margot O’Connor of Rumson holds her daughter, Claire, 6, while attending a talk at the Oceanic Free Library, Rumson. O’Connor is vice president of the library association.The children also learned that a swimmer is safer if using a flotation device, and panic is a main reason people get in trouble in rip currents.Williams talked about shark attacks.In 2015, for example, there were 96 reported shark attacks worldwide, with only six deaths from these, Williams said. Of the 300 to 400 species of sharks, only three – great white, bull and tiger – are known to attack humans, she said.