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Yahoo! continues quest for youth with yet another acquisition

PlayerScale purchase gives foothold in gaming market

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Marissa Mayer has continued her acquisitions spree with the purchase of gaming software house PlayerScale for an undisclosed sum.

"We are happy to announce the next big step toward our goal of building the best possible gaming infrastructure platform: we have been acquired by Yahoo!" said PlayerScale's CEO Jesper Jensen. "And don't worry, we're not going anywhere. Our platform will continue to support the same great games that you love playing today … and in fact, it will only get better from here!"

PlayerScale builds software tools to allow game developers to port their products to a variety of different languages and platforms, including Flash, Unity 3D, C++, .Net, Android (Java), IOS (Objective-C) and HTML5. It also builds data analysis tools that can track user behavior over fixed and mobile platforms that the advertising team at Yahoo! should be very interested in.

"The team has built an incredible gaming platform that is used by over 150 million players worldwide," Yahoo! told El Reg in a statement. "We intend to continue to support and grow PlayerScale's technology, and we look forward to building great new experiences on Yahoo! using the PlayerScale platform."

You'd think that after Monday's announcement of the $1.1bn Tumblr purchase Yahoo! might be taking things easy and concentrate on dealing with what it has got, but it appears Mayer's buying spree shows no signs of abating.

Since taking over the reins of the ailing web portal in July she has bought news aggregator Summly, mobile recommendations app Stamped, youthful video chat firm OnTheAir, and would have had DailyMotion if the French hadn't complained. At the start of the week she closed the deal with Tumblr for its 300 million users and at the launch on Monday explained what she was up to.

"Our users are older," she acknowledged during a question and answer session, and Mayer knows it's a problem she's got to fix. There are 18 years-olds graduating from high schools across the land who weren't even conceived when Yahoo.com first went live on people's desktops and its core user base is aging fast.

It's all about youth impressions with Yahoo! at the moment, both by buying them in wholesale with Tumblr or reconfiguring the portal to be more focused on providing information and TV to the mobile young'un who sees having to set down to use a computer as something of a chore.

If Mayer can woo in this new generation of the "fourth wave" of computer use then her future, and that of the company, is secure. But while Yahoo!'s stock price is buoyant at the moment there's only so much revenue she can wring out of Alibaba and Mayer needs to act fast. The PlayerScale purchase shows she has no intentions of slowing down yet. ®

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