Articles Posted in Mergers and Acquisitions


On March 7, 2012, in our San Francisco office, Pillsbury hosted a discussion with prominent industry players from
Electronic Arts, Zynga, Lightspeed Venture Partners and KlickNation
(acquired by EA in 2011) to discuss all aspects of the process
surrounding video game company acquisitions. Topics included: how
deals are sourced in the video game space, how to decide whether or not
to sell, how to shop your company and how to negotiate deal value and
other key terms. Panelists came from both sides of the table to provide
insights as to how deals work from the perspective of the strategic
buyer and the founder/VC investor.

To read about the top takeaways from the event, visit Inside Mobile Apps.


A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Don’t Buy and Sell Pokemon Data In Japan

Japan is going a bit copyright crazy of late. It’s not cool to sell customized figures online, it’s not cool to rent video games in love hotels, and now, it’s apparently not cool to sell Pokémon save data.

Lessons of the NBC Agreement With Battlestar Galactica Fans

NBC / Universal has agreed to let Battlestar Galactica-themed roleplay sims continue in Second Life.   They too had been issued a cease and desist order through a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) order.  In their case, the order was arguably even more serious – filed against Linden Lab itself, resulting in the closure of several Battlestar-themed sims and even the confiscation of content..

Wannabe Cool Kids Aim to Game the Web’s New Social Scorekeepers

Today, a new generation of VIPs is cultivating coolness through the world of social media. Here, ordinary folks can become “influential” overnight depending on the number and kinds of people who follow them on Twitter or comment on their Facebook pages.

Guitar Hero Video Game Series is Axed by Activision

Activision Blizzard, which makes the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft series, says it’s ditching the franchise because “the popularity of music-themed video games has faded”.

Social Gaming Market Value to Approach $4 Billion by 2015

The global social gaming market’s value will grow by 166 percent from $1.5 billion in 2010 to almost $4 billion by 2015, according to a recent forecast by analyst firm Business Insights.

Visa Acquires Playspan

Pushing into the virtual goods space, payments giant Visa has acquired Playspan, which powers e-commerce for hundreds of online games and virtual worlds, for $190 million.

How Location-Based Services Changed Social Games in Asia

As social gaming on mobile devices continues to grow throughout 2010, so will the number of applications offering location-based services. But will 2011 be the year that location-based social games take off in the U.S?


A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Why Groupon and Foursquare Should Mate

Each company has its flaws and strengths.  The beautiful thing is they both have strengths where each other lacks.  To say it simply:

Groupon has many businesses on board off the start and they give great deals for consumers.  But customers don’t come back after they have used a Groupon.  Leaving businesses completely upset and losing money. Foursquare motivates people to come back to establishments for mayorships and badges but leaving consumers wanting more for their efforts.  Plus the lack of involvement from venues is hindering the process.

Venezuela and Ecuador Make Trade Using New virtual Currency

Ecuador sent Venezuela an initial shipment of crude palm oil under a new trade currency regime known as the Unified System for Regional Compensation, or Sucre, the Ecuadorian government said.

Social Gaming Market to Pass $1 Billion in 2011

The social gaming market is expected to pass $1 billion this year, thanks to a rising number of users and a projected increase in advertising, according to research group eMarketer.

Non-profits Ride Social Gaming Trend Too

It is not surprising non-profits are entering this space: social gaming is expected to become a billion dollar business this year, eMarketer estimates. Nearly 62 million US internet users, or 27% of the online audience, will play at least one game on a social network monthly this year, up from 53 million in 2010, it said. As these numbers increase, so will the money spent on virtual goods,
lead-generation offers and advertising.

One to Watch: Caped Koala Studios

Caped Koala Studios has stormed into 2011, ready to launch what it believes will become the world’s top online education and entertainment destination for kids.
The firm has developed an online 3D virtual world called Pora Ora (, which combines games, education and social networking. Pora Ora made its public debut in London on 12 January at BETT 2011, the UK’s largest educational technology trade show.

Next Stop: OpenSim!

An emerging virtual world platform is the destination of droves of emigrant avatars, as a price hike and the shutdown of the teen-only grid have prompted an educator exodus away from Second Life.

Social Gaming Ads to Soar – But Virtual Goods Still Lead Revenue

With the still rising popularity of social media games like Zynga’s Farmville
and Mafia Wars, advertising is naturally beginning to follow. But at least for the next few years, despite a major growth spurt, ad dollars will continue to lag virtual goods when it comes to making money in the social gaming. “Understanding the popularity of social gaming is simple,” said eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna.


According to a press release today, the Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Playdom Inc., one of the leading
companies in the fast-growing business of online social gaming for $563 million plus an earn out of up to $200 million more.

According to the release, in just two and a half years of operation, Playdom has established itself as
a pacesetter in building popular games for social networks enjoyed by consumers
around the globe. Through well-known titles like Social City, Sorority Life,
Market Street
and Bola, Playdom engages an estimated 42 million
active players each month.

Disney President and
CEO, Robert A. Iger stated:

“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.” said Robert A. Iger, President and
CEO, The Walt Disney Company.

This deal is just the latest in what has been a rapidly growing and evolving industry segment.