Microsoft could be the next company to drop big cash on a Facebook game maker. Bloomberg reported last week that the Xbox 360 maker is one of the companies in talks to buy CrowdStar, supposedly valued at $200 million.
Who is CrowdStar? And why would they command a $200 million buyout? They make Happy Aquarium, one of those Facebook apps that survives financially on the purchasing of virtual goods. As insane as that may seem to those of us without a spare few hundred million, the market for these types of applications may reach $2 billion by 2012, according to one research firm cited by Bloomberg.
That buyout figure, big to some of us, is still half of what Electronic Arts paid for Playfish, the makers of Pet Society.
And it's way less than what Microsoft paid for Rare in 2002, a $375 million acquisition.
According to that report, there's still plenty of time for plan to change or some other buyer to snatch up CrowdStar. We'll be stocking up on virtual seahorses, sure to be our new currency at some point, just to be on the safe side.