Disney acquires social gaming upstart Playdom for $763 million
The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire social gaming phenom Playdom, a move the Hollywood giant says will advance its efforts to expand its stories, characters and brands across new platforms favored by the next generation of consumers. Per terms of the deal, Playdom shareholders will receive total consideration of $563.2 million, subject to certain conditions, and a performance-linked earn-out valued at up to $200 million; Playdom, which boasts 15 game development studios, will remain headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with CEO John Pleasants signing on as executive vice president of the Disney Interactive Media Group, where he will report to DIMG president Steve Wadsworth. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Disney's 2010 fiscal year.
Playdom engages an estimated 42 million active gamers each month and ranks as the third-largest social game provider on Facebook--its portfolio also includes free iPhone titles like Social City, Sorority Life and Mobsters: Big Apple. In late 2009, hot on the heels of a Series A funding round valued at $43 million, Playdom acquired iPhone and social game developer Trippert Labs as well as Facebook developer Green Patch; earlier this year, Playdom announced a partnership with multiplatform mobile game publisher Moblyng, a deal promising to expand its catalog across the Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and webOS platforms.
Disney said Playdom's expertise in social gaming software, business intelligence and rapid innovation will broadly benefit DIMG, boosting its global presence in online, console and mobile gaming. At the beginning of the month, Disney purchased music game developer Tapulous, the startup behind the bestselling iPhone series Tap Tap Revenge, with the Tapulous team joining the DIMG mobile content group and founders Bart Decrem and Andrew Lacy assuming leadership roles within the unit. "Tapulous is going to be at the center of Disney's mobile strategy," Decrem told The New York Times.
For more on the Disney/Playdom deal:
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