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Disney buys Playdom for up to $763m

By Matt Martin

Wed 28 Jul 2010 7:07am GMT / 3:07am EDT / 12:07am PDT

Company adds 15 development studios and around 42 million active players in social games acquisition

Disney has confirmed that it is to buy social gaming company Playdom for up to $763 million, $200 million of which is connected to a performance-linked pay-out.

The deal adds Playdom's 15 development studios to Disney, including Trippert Labs, Hive7, Green Patch, Offbeat creations and Acclaim. The company pulls in around 42 million active users to its games each month

"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," offered Robert A. Iger, 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," Iger added.

The deal was rumoured earlier in the week, with Disney recently growing its interest in social gaming with the purchase of iPhone developer Tapulous and investing in Playdom last month. Playdom has been on an acquisition spree as it beefs up in the socal games space dominated by rival Facebook developer Zynga.

John Pleasants, CEO of Playdom, will become general manager of the development group and join Disney Interactive as executive vice president.

"We are at the start of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way people of all ages play games with their friends across devices, platforms and geographical boundaries," he said.

"Disney is an incredibly forward-thinking company that shares our vision and is the ideal partner to further our mission to bring great entertainment to people around the world."

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