US firm RockYou purchases UK social game developer Playdemic

RockYou announced Friday the acquisition of Manchester based social game developer Playdemic. Under the terms of the deal, Playdemic will operate independently as Playdemic, a RockYou studio, and develop Facebook games for the mainstream audience.

As RockYou’s latest move in its commitment to social gaming, the investment brings extensive game development talent and an established Facebook game, Gourmet Ranch, to the company. Playdemic’s management team has held senior positions at major publishers including Ubisoft, THQ and Eidos, stated the firm. Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop and life president of Eidos, was a chief investor in Playdemic. Paul Gouge, CEO and Founder, will lead the studio as VP and General Manager. However, the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

George noted that being a part of RockYou gives Playdemic the opportunity to remain creatively independent, while leveraging RockYou's vast network and expertise at scale to reach a wide audience with its games. According to him, the investment presents a massive opportunity to expand the depth and quality of social games, and have found an ideal partner in RockYou.

Jonathan Knight, RockYou's Senior Vice President of Games noted that the firm places great value on the art of game-making, adding that RockYou is elated to welcome the Playdemic team into its studio system. Playdemic will retain their culture and creative control, as they bring their significant game industry experience to making social games of today and tomorrow, Knight added.

RockYou will grow the user base for Gourmet Ranch, Playdemic’s first title that is currently playable on Facebook with half a million monthly active users. A combined farming and baking simulation, Gourmet Ranch invites players to grow organic crops, raise animals and prepare and serve meals to their friends. Players can use cash to build and decorate their own homestead in a mountain wilderness, trading and helping friends to increase the value of their properties.

RockYou is a leading social entertainment company with over 200MM monthly unique visitors and 15BB monthly global impressions. The company developed the social game classic Zoo World, with 50MM installs to date, and is committed to the development of high quality titles for the social space.

RockYou's ad network empowers brands and game developers to reach and monetize audiences through innovative social advertising solutions, including Deal of the Day, video products and in-game brand integrations. Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Redwood City, California, RockYou is funded by Sequoia Capital, Partech International, Lightspeed Venture Partners, DCM, SK Telecom Ventures and Softbank.

14 Jan 2011.