Disney Acquires Social Gaming Company Playdom for $563.2M

Silicon Valley firm publishes games like “Social City” and “Sorority Life” for online social networks

Disney on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Silicon Valley-based social gaming company Playdom Inc. for $563.2 million.

Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif.,  two-and-half-year-old Playdom has developed a number of popular games for social networks, including “Social City,” “Sorority Life,” “Market Street” and “Bola,” while attracting a user base of 42 million active players each month.

According to TechCrunch, Disney is already an investor in Playdom, injectinng $33 million into the company through its Steamboat Ventures operation. Playdom has raised a total of $76 million, and its most recent valuation was around $345 million.

Disney is currently weak in the social-media area, TechCrunch adds, despite making investments in multiplayer gaming such as the acquisition of Club Penguin in 2007. Digital revenues continue to make up only a tiny percentage of Disney's bottom line.

“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.”

According to a Disney release, Playdom shareholders will receive total consideration of $563.2 million, subject to certain conditions, and a performance-linked earn-out of up to $200 million.