From the recent actions in the social gaming field, it’s clear to see that a maturation of the industry is afoot. Last week EA announced their acquisition of Playfish, and only days after announcing that they’d raised $43 million in their first funding round, Playdom has put the capital to work and purchased not one, but two social gaming studios – social networking platform games developer Green Patch and iPhone gaming studio Trippert Labs.
Playdom, the largest game developer on MySpace, and one of the larger players on Facebook has been rumored to have purchased the two studios for a while, but chose last week to make the announcement official. While the timing might be slightly suspect, it’s clear that these deals were in the works long before the accrual of the recent round of funding. Both firms were purchased for an undisclosed amount, but remember, in early October, a source within Playdom commented that the company’s “annual revenue is upwards of $50 million.” A sizeable revenue stream no matter what industry you’re looking at. Combining the annual revenues as well as the (almost matching) investment round, and Playdom is looking at some serious buying power.
What’s clear to see from these acquisitions is Playdom’s future goals. iPhone developer Trippert Labs is responsible for titles including Dr. Ito’s Brain Training and The Godfather II Crime Rings. This past summer, Playdom expanded their Gangster type games to the iPhone platform, and it’s clear that the Trippert Labs acquisition is a further investment in the genre. They’ve also got a project in the works that’s been described as “a significant Flash experience.” Trippert Labs CEO Omar Siddiqui will join Playdom in the role of VP of Game Production and joins former EA vet John Pleasants who serves as CEO.
On the social networking platform front, the acquisition of Green Patch can only be seen as a direct challenge to Zynga. Formerly, a mid sized Facebook game developer, Green Patch has grown from the success of their initial offering (lil) Green Patch, and now includes a series of (lil) inspired titles, including (lil) Farm Life – a direct competitor to Zynga’s FarmVille. Clarifying the purchase, Playdom chairman explains to insidesocialgames.com, “We’ve been close to Green Patch since almost the beginning [of the Facebook platform]. We actually work about three blocks from each other. We’re mutual admirers.”
Green Patch founders David King and Ashish Dixit will join Playdom in the roles of Executive Producer of a new game studio and a management role within Playdom’s engineering team, respectively.
“Playdom has aggressive plans to expand our social gaming footprint in 2010. With these acquisitions, we are increasing our cross-promotional power and bringing two talented new game studios into the Playdom family,” said Pleasants.