April 26, 2010
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.— Playdom, a leading social gaming company, announced today the continuation of its roll-up of talented social gaming development teams with the acquisition of Merscom, LLC. Privately held Merscom develops online and social games for third parties with nationally recognized brands. Merscom is currently developing games for Sea World, Purina, National Geographic and NBC Universal. Merscom is based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Playdom plans to leverage Mercom’s expertise in working with IP owners as Playdom moves to develop partnerships with powerful global brands. Playdom also plans to use the acquisition to leverage the talented North Carolina game development community. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Merscom was founded more than 16 years ago to produce games with third party branded content. Merscom’s core team has produced over 250 games in total and over 30 casual games for such brands as Lifetime Networks, Paramount and Starz Entertainment. Prior to 2009 Merscom produced games primarily using international engineering resources. In 2009 Merscom added in-house engineering staff and began building as well as producing social games. The company’s first internally developed social game“The Crazies” was released in conjunction with the movie of the same name in March 2010.
Founders Kirk Owen and Lloyd Melnick and their team of over 20 producers, designers, artists and engineers will lead Playdom’s efforts to partner with artists, entertainment companies and other IP holders to co-develop the next generation of social games.
“We believe that brands matter and that over time, as the social gaming industry matures, games which incorporate content from popular culture and widely respected brands will garner larger market share than those without it” says John Pleasants, Playdom’s CEO.“Merscom has 16 years experience working with content owners and we intend to call on this experience as we move into this promising area of our industry.”
“We are excited to join Playdom,” said Kirk Owen, Merscom CEO.“Playdom understands the power of branded content and decentralized international game development where we’ve focused our efforts for many years.” Owen continued:“Merscom’s team will thrive in Playdom’s culture of respect for its employees and its great benefit programs. We can’t wait to get started.” Owen closed by thanking Piedmont Angel Network Two LLC, Paul Sunu and J. Stephan Vanderwoude, Merscom’s North Carolina based venture capital and angel partners, who helped expand Merscom’s mission leading to this transaction.
Playdom is committed to bringing people everywhere together through the world’s best social games. Playdom is a top game developer on Facebook and MySpace with popular titles including Social City, Sorority Life, Mobsters, Tiki Resort and Big City Life. To date, over 100 million Playdom games have been installed on leading platforms including Facebook, MySpace, iPhone and Hi5. Playdom is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with studios in San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Eugene, Ore.; Chapel Hill, NC; Buenos Aires, Argentina and in South Asia. For more information about Playdom, please visit www.playdom.com.
Christa Quarles, Chief Financial Officer