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Zynga enters sports games, signs Tiger Woods

Social and mobile games giant Zynga has announced a new series called Zynga Sports 365.

The company is developing mobile games for football and golf and has signed former EA-icon Tiger Woods for a game to be released later this year. Tiger Woods was the brand name for Electronic Arts' PGA Tour golf games from 1998 through to 2013, when he was dropped by the publisher.

Zynga has also signed a deal with the National Football League and with the NFL Players Inc., adding that its games will feature pro players and their likenesses.  NFL Showdown went live this morning "in select markets" according to the company. The game is a management simulation allowing players to take on the roles of coach, general manager and owner.

Electronic Arts has maintained a video game contract with the NFL for many years, including some exclusivity clauses, through its Madden games.

The Zynga sports games will be developed by Zynga Orlando Studio which features many former EA employees, such as Mike Taramykin, Jason Shenkman, Jeff Luhr, Ian Cummings and Michael Cayad.

"By combining our expertise with the NFL, NFL Players Inc. and Tiger Woods, we can create next-generation mobile football and golf games for consumers around the world," said Zynga COO Clive Downie.

The company also announced a deal with Warner Bros. for rights to Looney Tunes characters in an endless runner game, as it announced a revenue drop for its second quarter of the year, from $230.7 million to $153.2 million and a loss of $62.5 million.

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