LOS ANGELES—The mobile video game company Scopely has announced it will acquire GSN Games, a division of Game Show Network, which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).
The companies valued the deal at approximately $1 billion, half of which will be paid in cash and the remainder in preferred equity, providing SPE with a minority interest in Scopely and giving SPE an opportunity to benefit from the growth of the mobile games industry.
GSN Games operates a portfolio of free-to-play mobile and online games that includes “Solitaire TriPeaks” and “Bingo Bash,” among other titles.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Tim O’Brien, chief revenue officer of Scopely, explained that “the GSN Games organization is an exceptional team, and we are excited to see what more we can accomplish together. We hope to take what is already a strong business and accelerate it through our publishing and technology infrastructure, unlocking even more value. Through this acquisition, we will continue to cultivate a loyal player base as part of our mission to inspire play, every day. The GSN Games business has proven itself as both incredibly durable and consistently profitable, due to the dynamic experiences the team continues to build for players around the world. We look forward to a great future together.”
The acquisition will add a complementary games portfolio to the Scopely business as well as bring a team of gamemakers to the Scopely’s operations, the company said.
GSN Games has approximately 400 employees globally and its games continue to entertain millions of players around the world. GSN Chief Executive Officer, Mark Feldman, will continue to oversee the GSN Games business at Scopely, conditioned upon closing.
Ravi Ahuja, chairman, Global Television Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment Corporate Development, explained that “GSN Games has been a great business for Sony the last 14 years, and we are proud of the experiences the team continues to deliver for players around the world. In meeting the Scopely team, we knew we found the right organization to support and accelerate the business. We are confident they will take GSN Games to new heights and SPE is pleased to be a minority shareholder in Scopely as a result of this transaction.”
In 2007, the GSN brand expanded into online games, creating and acquiring games to build its portfolio. To date, GSN’s “Bingo Bash” has been played by 70M+ people with players cumulatively spending more than 60,000 years in-game. Meanwhile, 100M+ hands are played every week in GSN’s “Solitaire TriPeaks.”
Scopely acquired the studio behind “Marvel Strike Force” in 2020 from Disney and grew the title by 70% year-over-year. One of Scopely’s longest-running franchises, “Yahtzee With Buddies,” closed a record-breaking year in 2020, six years post-launch. The company also raised $340 million in Series E financing in October 2020.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.