Zynga announced Friday its acquisition of the team at startup November Software as part of a move into "mid-core" games with more staying power than passing fad casual titles.
The new talent is working with Zynga engineers behind hit "Mafia Wars" on a Battlestone project intended to appeal to hardcore videogame lovers who don't have the time they once did to play.
"When we talk about mid-core games, we're really talking about making a deep game experience more accessible," November Software's Szymon Swistun said in a message posted at Zynga's website.
"We know that players, like us, love a good action combat game, so we want to push the limits on social and mobile games, and at the same time create an experience that fits around their schedule."
Zynga lost $52.725 million on revenue of $316.637 million in the quarter that ended on September 30 but was so confident in its future that it planned to repurchase $200 million worth of its shares.
The San Francisco-based social games pioneer also announced a partnership with real-money gaming (RMG) operator Bwin.party to run poker, roulette, blackjack and other virtual casino games in Britain.
The number of people playing Zynga games each month climbed to 311 million in a 37 percent increase from the same quarter a year earlier, Zynga reported.
Zynga last month shed workers, shuttered studios and shelved older titles to improve its underlying financial position.