US-based Saban Brands has acquired a social games developer, following its recent acquisition of 4Kids Entertainment’s assets.
Saban has taken over The Playforge, the Silicon Valley firm behind the Zombie Farm game, which was the third-largest grossing iOS app of 2011 and has been downloaded more than 37 million times. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With The Playforge in its stable, Saban Brands becomes the latest major children’s entertainment group to venture into the social gaming space. Disney acquired start-up Playdom for US$763.2m in 2010, while Viacom Media Networks (fka MTV Networks) bought developer Social Express.
The Playforge began as the husband and wife team of Vince McDonnell and Susan Salvador and now has 25 employees. It produces games such as Zombie Life and Tree World, as well as Zombie Farm.
“Mobile is becoming the default medium for entertainment and games are the future of social engagement. The Playforge has a demonstrated record of creating sustainable, high-quality mobile social game,” said Saban Brands’ VP of digital Dan Silberberger.
This comes soon after it acquired 4Kids’ programming block on US broadcaster The CW, which it has renamed Vortexx and will launch this fall. The block will include animé series Yu-Gi-Oh! and Power Rangers.
Japanese games developer Konami took brand rights to Yu-Gi-Oh! as part of a joint bid with Saban Brands, a subsdiary of Saban Capital Group.