Did you miss GamesBeat Summit 2021? Watch on-demand right here!
Skill-based mobile game platform Game Taco has agreed to obtain WorldWinner from Sony. The price tag of the deal wasn’t disclosed, but GamesBeat has discovered that the price tag was in the higher eight figures.
WorldWinner is a talent-based game publisher that tends to make games exactly where individuals can wager dollars and win money. In the U.S., such games are legal in about 41 states, and Game Taco will choose up games such as Solitaire Rush, Bejeweled, Wheel of Fortune, Scrabble Cubes, Angry Birds: Champions, and Two Dots. The deal comes at a time with a lot of consideration on talent-based games as rival Skillz went public via a unique objective acquisition enterprise (SPAC) in December at a $3.5 billion valuation.
Boston-based WorldWinner is a 22-year-old enterprise and a portion of GSN Games, itself a division of Game Show Network beneath Sony Pictures Entertainment. Meanwhile, Platinum Equity has acquired a controlling interest in Game Taco in a bid to generate a premium talent-based games platform in the U.S. It has rights to more than 200 branded and original titles.
David Nathanson, a former Fox media executive and founder of Platinum Equity, will serve as executive chairman of each Game Taco and WorldWinner, although Joshua Barrow will serve as CEO. The WorldWinner brand will continue operating beneath the Game Taco umbrella and beneath the leadership of WorldWinner’s basic manager, Matt Turetzky.
“While we’ve been building out our technology and curating the game library, we see this market heating up,” mentioned Barrow in an interview with GamesBeat. “I met David Nathanson in the last year and talked to him about him coming on as a strategic investor. We share our mutual desire to grow aggressively and look at acquisitions and Worldwinner was the very top of our list.”
Combining net and mobile talent-based games
Like Game Taco, WorldWinner.com and the WorldWinner app present tournaments for players of all talent levels featuring numerous nicely-identified brands.
“I’ve been pursuing WorldWinner for over three years,” Nathanson mentioned in an interview. “Josh, independent of my interest, also looked at WorldWinner. And so when the opportunity came for us to come together, to join forces, we recognized what we believe is enormous hidden value in these assets and differentiators in the marketplace, particularly based on their portfolio of IP. I think it’s a perfect marriage. This was a hidden gem with Sony’s GSN that had upside if given the proper attention and proper technology partnership. Sony has a been a good steward of this business.”
Other titles owned by WorldWinner include things like The Price Is Right Super Plinko and Trivial Pursuit.
“They’re a proven player, a pioneer in skill gaming,” Barrow mentioned. “They’re the leader in the browser space, they have an excellent team, and have wonderful branded intellectual property that sets them apart. We saw a wonderful opportunity to pick up the studio, pick up these assets, and put it into a growth mode, combined with the technology and relationships Game Taco brings to the table.”
Technology involves factors like matchmaking, anti-cheat technologies, and anti-dollars laundering, Barrow mentioned.
A extended history
WorldWinner is also recognized for in-residence game improvement and it has provided out prizes worth more than $1.5 billion considering that 1999 across each mobile and desktop platforms.
Since 2016, Game Taco has partnered with top rated game developers to provide talent-gaming tournaments on mobile platforms. Game Taco currently holds the rights to nicely-identified game licenses, which includes Atari hits like Breakout, Asteroids, and Centipede. The addition of WorldWinner’s branded titles complements Game Taco’s developing game portfolio, Barrow mentioned. Game Taco has a multi-game location mobile app, although WorldWinner has a net gaming portal. WorldWinner also has apps for numerous games or single games on iOS and Android , and its presence is mainly based in the U.S.
“We’re positioned to bring more games to the market faster as a platform for third parties,” Barrow mentioned.
Telos Advisors served as economic advisors and Cooley as legal advisors to GSN/Sony Pictures Entertainment. Platinum Equity was represented by Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. David Nathanson was represented by Loeb & Loeb. Game Taco was represented by Donahue Fitzgerald.
The combined firms will have more than 60 workers, not which includes a quantity of contractors.
As for the existing boom in games, Barrow mentioned, “This is definitely a boom time for gaming as a whole. Even before the pandemic set in, we saw high growth and acceleration in the industry. Skill gaming in particular is very exciting. We have a lot of respect for what Skillz has done in the industry. We see a lot of room for more than one player and ways that we differentiate ourselves. The timing couldn’t be any better.”
Barrow mentioned the enterprise will look for extra possibilities for organic development and acquisitions.