Saban Brands, a portfolio company of Saban Capital Group, has acquired The Playforge, a mobile games developer and publisher. “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 games,” said Dan Silberberger, Vice President of Digital at Saban Brands.
The Playforge is a mobile games developer and publisher, known for Zombie Farm, the third highest grossing iOS app in 2011 and a top 10 grossing game for nearly two years, accounting for more than 37 million downloads. The Playforge already has three live games in the iTunes App Store (Zombie Farm, Zombie Life, and Tree World) and is the only company, with the exception of Rovio and its Angry Birds game, to be in the Top 10 grossing iPhone apps on the iTunes Rewind in both 2010 and 2011. As of the end of 2011, Zombie Farm is the No. 1 top grossing free-to-play application of all time and The Playforge was the only bootstrapped company to make the top 10 grossing list. The company is based in San Mateo, CA (www.theplayforge.com).
“Zombie Farm is one of the first iOS games to sell virtual currency redeemable for virtual goods. This continues to reinforce The Playforge’s position as an industry pioneer and leader as this model now represents the lion’s share of iOS app revenue,” said Richard Yen, Director of Private Equity, Saban Capital Group.
Formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of Saban Capital Group, Saban Brands was established to acquire and develop a portfolio of properties and capitalize on the company’s experience, track record and capabilities in growing and monetizing consumer brands through content, media and marketing. The company provides full-service management, marketing, promotion and strategic business development for its intellectual properties including comprehensive strategies unique to each brand, trademark and copyright management and enforcement, creative design, retail development, direct-to-consumer initiatives and specialized property extensions. The company is based in Los Angeles, CA (www.sabanbrands.com).
Saban Brands plans to extend current and future free-to-play mobile games developed by The Playforge into licensing, merchandising and media opportunities. The Playforge team adds more than 25 employees to the organization and gives Saban Brands a solid footprint in Silicon Valley.
“By partnering with Saban Brands we’re able to take our products to new heights where they can be enjoyed and experienced by a much broader audience through licensing, merchandising and media opportunities, areas that are tremendously exciting to us.” said Vince McDonnell, CEO of The Playforge. “We look forward to collaborating with Dan Silberberger and his team in support of our three additional title launches in 2012, and as we plan for the future.”
Saban Capital Group specializes in the media, entertainment and communications industries. The firm invests in both public and private companies worldwide and adds strategic value through its established relationships and industry experience. Saban invests across all stages including early stage venture capital as well as later stage private equity deals. The firm was founded in 2001 and is based in Los Angeles, CA (www.saban.com).