Slot machine and virtual gambling game company IGT (International Game Technology) has purchased Double Down Interactive, the social game developer behind DoubleDown Casino, in a $500 million deal.
Though IGT had no prior presence in the social space, the company seeks to broaden its existing offerings beyond physical casinos to Facebook, and it says this acquisition provides it with "instant size and scale in the fast-growing world of casino-style social gaming."
Launched in June 2011, DoubleDown Casino is one of the most popular casino-themed games on the social network, currently attracting around 4.7 million monthly active users and 1.4 million daily players, according to AppData.
The total consideration for the purchase includes $250 million in cash, $85 million in retention payments for the next two years, and up to $165 million dependent on the developer meeting certain financial performance targets over the next three years.
After the transaction's expected completion in the second quarter of IGT's fiscal year (ending March 31, 2012), the Seattle-based developer will continue to operate "with the same level of independence" and with current CEO Greg Eneil still heading the studio.
With the support of IGT, Double Down intends to release more games for social and mobile, and expand its staff of 70 full-time employees with a "hiring spree." IGT, which is headquartered in Reno, employs approximately 5,000 workers across its 60 domestic and international offices.
"As technological innovations increasingly influence consumer behavior, social dynamics are quickly transforming entertainment and gaming experiences everywhere," says IGT CEO Patti Hart.
Hart adds, "The addition of Double Down launches IGT into a leadership position in social gaming, extends our global reach through new mediums, and leverages our unmatched expertise in game development."