Sony Pictures Entertainment has sold GSN Games, a division of its Game Show Network subsidiary, to mobile gaming specialist Scopely for $1 billion.
Half of the purchase price will be paid in cash and the other half in preferred equity. The deal, subject to the customary review by regulators, will give Sony Pictures a minority stake in Scopely. The privately held firm, which launched in 2011, has gaming franchises like Star Trek Fleet Command, Marvel Strike Force, Scrabble Go, WWE Champions and Yahtzee with Buddies.
The roster of GSN Games free-to-play mobile and online titles includes Solitaire TriPeaks and Bingo Bash.
The 400 global employees of GSN Games will continue to be led by GSN CEO Mark Feldman, per the official announcement.
Scopely Chief Revenue Officer Tim O’Brien called GSN Games “incredibly durable and consistently profitable” in a press release. “The GSN Games organization is an exceptional team, and we are excited to see what more we can accomplish together,” he said. “We hope to take what is already a strong business and accelerate it through our publishing and technology infrastructure, unlocking even more value. Through this acquisition, we will continue to cultivate a loyal player base as part of our mission to inspire play.”
Ravi Ahuja, chairman of global television studios and corporate development for SPE, said he expects the entity to reach “new heights” as a result of the transaction. “In meeting the Scopely team, we knew we found the right organization to support and accelerate the business,” he added.
Game Show Network was founded nearly three decades ago as a cable network that became known for airing “shiny floor” game shows. It was a joint venture until Sony bought out AT&T’s then-subsidiary DirecTV to become sole owner. The company branched into online gaming in 2007.