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Disney Buys Playdom, Ups Lead in Social Games

The Walt Disney Company on Tuesday became Hollywood's leader in the booming social game business by acquiring Playdom in a deal worth as much as $763.2 million. Playdom is one of a cluster of tech start-ups that make simple online games and sell virtual goods. The purchase continues Disney's effort to strengthen and diversify its digital media portfolio by betting on casual Internet games, in contrast to more complex games for platforms like Xbox and PlayStation.

As social games becomes a more crowded and difficult field -- several hundred new games are introduced on Facebook weekly and most go nowhere -- brands that can be used as the basis for titles are becoming more important. Sales of virtual goods in social games are expected to reach $835 million this year, according to Inside Network, which researches the industry.



Read the whole story at The New York Times »

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