IGT, a company specialising in both physical and virtual slot and gambling machines, has bought social developer DoubleDown for $500 million, hoping to enter the social market.
DoubleDown is the outfit behind DoubleDown Casino, a popular Facebook virtual gambling game which AppData lists as attracting 4.7 million MAU and 1.4 DAU.
IGT issued a statement saying that the acquisition, the company's first move toward social gaming would provide "instant size and scale in the fast-growing world of casino-style social gaming."
"As technological innovations increasingly influence consumer behavior, social dynamics are quickly transforming entertainment and gaming experiences everywhere," said IGT CEO Patti Hart.
"The addition of Double Down launches IGT into a leadership position in social gaming, extends our global reach through new mediums, and leverages our unmatched expertise in game development." The deal will see the staff at DoubleDown expanding to around 70 members at its Seattle offices. Current CEO Greg Eneil will continue to head up the studio "with the same level of independence", reports Gamasutra.