Mobile social gaming business Scopely has agreed to acquire GSN Games, a division of the Game Show Network, from Sony Pictures Entertainment for $1bn £728.4m/€860.6m).
Of the $1bn purchase price, half will be paid in cash and the other half in equity of Scopely.
This, Scopely’s board said, would give Sony “the opportunity to benefit from the expected growth of the company and the mobile games industry”.
Scopely’s growth and ability to make the deal was boosted by a $340M in Series E funding round in October 2020.
Tim O’Brien, chief revenue officer of Scopely, said his business’ publishing and technology infrastructure, coupled with GSN Games’ “exceptional team” would allow it to build on what was already a strong business to accelerate its growth.
“Through this acquisition, we will continue to cultivate a loyal player base as part of our mission to inspire play, every day,” O’Brien said. “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.”
Mark Feldman – currently chief executive of the entire GSN network of both games and television properties, will continue to oversee GSN Games following the deal.
“I am immensely proud of the entire GSN Games team for building and enhancing our portfolio of games while delivering strong and growing profits,” Feldman said. “Over the past four years, and in the teeth of a global pandemic, GSN Games has undertaken huge tech and product improvements to deliver on our commitment to providing our players with phenomenal game experiences.
“I am delighted that GSN Games will now be part of Scopely’s dynamic global mobile games business.”
GSN Games was founded in 2007, allowing the Game Show Network to create games based on its existing television programs. Its offering includes Bingo Bash and Solitaire TriPeaks.
Ravi Ahuja, Chairman, Global Television Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment Corporate Development, said: “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.”
Earlier this year, Game Taco agreed to acquire GSN Games’ WorldWinner skill-based gaming arm.