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Playdom Acquires Merscom

by Rainier on April 27, 2010 @ 9:30 a.m. PDT

Social gaming company Playdom announced the acquisition of privately held Merscom, developer of online and social games for third parties, currently working on games for Sea World, Purina, National Geographic and NBC Universal.

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.

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