Disney to acquire social game developer Playdom for $563 million
It's official: The Walt Disney Co. Tuesday announced that it has agreed to acquire Playdom Inc. for $563.2 million, concluding days of speculation that it was in talks with the maker of games for online social networks.
In acquiring Playdom, Disney gains both expertise in developing games for social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, as well as new titles to add to its video game business, including Social City, Sorority Life and Bola.
"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," Bob Iger, Disney's president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Playdom, a company launched two and a half years ago, says it attracts 42 million monthly players to its games. If the company meets certain performance goals, the company's investors have the potential to earn an additional $200 million.
"We are at the start of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way people of all ages play games with their friends across devices, platforms and geographical boundaries," said Playdom Chief Executive John Pleasants in a statement.
Pleasants will remain with the company, becoming an executive vice president of Disney Interactive Media Group as well as general manager of Playdom. He will report to Disney Interactive Media Group President Steve Wadsworth.
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski