Disney enters social gaming battle with $763 million Playdom deal

The Mouse is in sharing mode

Disney enters social gaming battle with $763 million Playdom deal

A lot has changed in the world of mobile games in the past 10 years and that's something we're considering as we repost articles from the past decade.

This week, we look back to when Disney was happy to invest a large amount into game development; a strategy reversed in later years


[July 27th, 2010] Heavily rumoured, Disney has confirmed it's bought the third largest social gaming publisher Playdom in a deal initially worth $563.2 million, subject to conditions.

An additional $200 million pay out to shareholders is based around what's labelled 'a performance-linked earn-out'.

Cash in comparison

The prime mover in terms of social gaming on MySpace, Playdom moved its focus and popular franchises such as Mobsters to Facebook, as well as dipping its toes in the iPhone market with tie-ins to games such as Mobsters, Social City and Sorority Life.

In total, Playdom estimates it has 42 million active players a month, mainly on Facebook.

In comparison, EA spent $300 million, plus a further $100 million conditional on performance, buying the second biggest social publisher Playfish in November 2009. It now claims 52 million active Facebook users.

Combining brands and brains

"We see strong growth potential in bringing together Playdom's talented team and capabilities with our great creative properties, people and world-renowned brands like Disney, ABC, ESPN and Marvel," said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

"This acquisition furthers our strategy of allocating capital to high-growth businesses that can benefit from our many characters, stories and brands, delivering them in a creatively compelling way to a new generation of fans on the platforms they prefer,"

Disney most recently purchased iPhone music game publisher Tapulous in an undisclosed deal, initially estimated at around $35 million.

"Disney is an incredibly forward-thinking company that shares our vision and is the ideal partner to further our mission to bring great entertainment to people around the world," said Playdom's CEO John Pleasants.

Pleasants will become an executive vice president of the Disney Interactive Media Group and general manager of Playdom, which has 15 development studios, reporting to DIMG President Steve Wadsworth.

[source: Business Wire]

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.