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Oomba buys GameWorks

Tournament management outfit acquires arcade chain as part of expansion into esports

GameWorks has changed hands again. Tournament-organizing media company Oomba today announced that is has acquired the location-based entertainment chain as part of a focused expansion into esports.

As part of that expansion, Oomba will add esports stadium facilities to existing GameWorks locations, all of which will use the company's tournament management software. Oomba has also promised to "aggressively" expand the GameWorks brand with new locations. At the moment, there are seven GameWorks sites spread across the US. The chain had more than twice that number at its height.

"GameWorks is the perfect venue for our vision of esports stadiums, VR experiences and hosting 'game night' at GameWorks," Oomba CEO Michael Williams said. "We plan to transform GameWorks into the experiential anchor for AAA locations all across America and beyond."

GameWorks was founded as a combination family restaurant/arcade/bar concept in 1996. It was originally a joint effort between Sega, Universal, and DreamWorks, but the latter two partners pulled out over the chain's first decade. Sega continued to run GameWorks until 2010, when a restructuring saw it close half of the locations and sell the remaining business off.

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